MARTA HERFORD Museum for Art, Architecture and Design, 2018

Fieldwork, 2014 was included in the group exhibition ‘Welcome to the Labyrinth, Artistic Deception’ June – Sept 2018

“The hidden and mysterious disconcert and fascinate us at the same time. Although it is not always easy to stand irritations and visual deceptions, it can actually be a pleasure and a revelation to lose ourselves in unexpected structures. With six large-format room installations, which profoundly alter some parts of the museum building, this exhibition opens up a sensual experience of a very special kind.

From an ornament to the Baroque garden, right up to the hall of mirrors: as deliberate spatial deceptions, labyrinths often serve as entertainment. Although they are misleading, they are based on a hidden order which only becomes clear from the birds-eye view.

In our globalized world, the loss of the overview appears to be an omnipresent, existential issue. Contemporary artists are thus engaging with the labyrinthine, whether as a symbol for a path of life, as a reflection of urban planning structures, or as a metaphor for the highly dynamic data traffic. For the exhibition they transform the interior of the museum into an inspiring tour de force which is critical and humorous, and presents the labyrinthine as a meditative figure of thought and at the same time as a physical experience challenging the senses. “ Exhibition Text

Fieldwork, 2014

Object with Audio – Cast concrete objects, timber and hardboard structure. Audio inside structure (13 mins 40 secs looped) on Bose speaker system.

Dimensions – 5m x 5m x 2.5m

 

‘Anne Hardy’s wooden structure is reminiscent of a prop from a film made long ago and already forgotten. Initially, it’s uncertain whether it’s an object or a piece of architecture. Jacked up with breeze blocks as if it is mobile and could move away, the dissolution of traditional architecture’s usual position firmly on the ground creates a mysterious transitional situation.

Only at second glance do we spot a door on the lower slope of a trapezoidal porchway adjoining to the side. Behind it, three carpeted rooms dimly lit in shades of red and blue are revealed. Small holes in the walls let in light from the gallery and remind us in the cramped yet magical atmosphere of a starry sky and the endless expanse of the universe. Another level of perception is opened up by the rhythmic narrative of the sound, which has been generated by the artist using the materials and processes that are a part of this work. At the other end is a second door returning the viewer to the outside world. Even though the interior and exterior are separate, distinct spheres, they strongly influence each other. They are simultaneously porous parallel worlds and independent galaxies.

The impression created by Anne Hardy’s FIELD works constantly fluctuate between familiar structure, an abandoned place with remnants of a long-forgotten occurrence, and dream-like echoes. What features here is not just the actual and the remembered, but also the unconscious and the spiritual. Confusing spaces freed from time they pose fundamental questions about our psychological characterisation and its impact on our perception of the world.

The artist collects material and stories for her ‘physical headspaces’ in her local environment and in urban settings she describes as “pockets of wild space” or “in-between” spaces. These places–as continuously moving and ever-changing entities that secrete experiences, emotions, sounds and things–provide the starting point for her installations. Moreover, literary models such as J.G. Ballard and Haruki Murakami and the imaginary, fictitious spaces they create at the edges of the tangible concrete everyday world play a suggestive role in her work.

As abstract as Hardy’s works may seem, references can be discovered to the real world and its urban appearance in every cautiously, meticulously or fleetingly positioned element. The multi-perspective view; the exploration of orientation and its loss, and making connections between things, the environment and one’s own position are all part and parcel of Anne Hardy’s profound play with the illusion of image creation. ‘

Ann Kristin Kreisel, 2018, Marta Herford catalogue