Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Installation view of 'Semâ Bekirovic: Matters in Space'

24 June – 25 JuLY 2010

This exhibition of new sculptures and video by Semâ Bekirovic (b.1977)
takes the young Dutch artist’s observation that ‘everything in the universe
boils down to matter, space, and the friction between the two’ as its point
of departure. Working in the enquiring, polymath spirit of the
Enlightenment-era ‘Natural Philosopher’, Bekirovic examines the most
basic building blocks of reality, and in the process highlights the ways in
which humanity attempts to understand the physical world.

Suspended from the gallery ceiling, Untitled object made of dice (2010) is
formed from thousands of plastic dice, removed from the factory before
they have been separated, sanded and coloured. Resembling both a simple
atomic model, and a mathematically complex system such as a cloud, this
meditation on the workings of chance may also be read in the light of
quantum theory. As Bekirovic has said: ‘on a particle level, mass is not
stable at all. Rather it can be described as a range of possible states […]
The sculpture could be viewed as representing the many ways in which a
single dice might be thrown’. This instability is echoed in Mountain nr 2
(2010), in which we see a geological object’s exterior surface replicated
in negative in its interior space, forming what Bekirovic has called just
one ‘link in an imaginary chain of mountains, from the infinitely small to
the infinitely large’.

In the three-screen video Stuff (2010), we see various items slowly sinking
into a tank of thick white paint, as though they were being eaten up by
nothingness. Somewhat similarly, in the video Event Horizon (2010), the
destruction of the Earth is staged by a person in a home-made Black Hole
costume, who draws closer and closer to the camera until the surrounding
landscape disappears. In these digital representations of the relationship
between matter and space, the cosmic and the domestic are brought
humorously and poignantly together. As Bekirovic suggests, for all that
we may think we may grasp abstract scientific or philosophical principles,
our understanding of them is filtered – perhaps inevitably – through the
messy, very human stuff of everyday life.

Curator: Tom Morton


Guardian piece on Bekirovic on the occasion of her Hayward show

Artist's website

Hayward Gallery / Southbank Centre website


Semâ Bekirovic, screenshot of Event Horizon (2010)

Semâ Bekirovic, detail of Untitled object made of Dice (2010)

Semâ Bekirovic, Mountain nr2 (2010)

Semâ Bekirovic, screenshot from Stuff (2010)