press release

Fons Welters gallery starts the new season with an exhibition by Gabriel Lester (Amsterdam, 1972): 'The clock and the clockwork'. This is Lester's second solo show at the gallery.

For this exhibition, the gallery space as it is familiar to the visitor will be transformed completely by the artist. This will not result in an unfamiliar surrounding - it is easy to make references to places we know or could imagine to exist. Possibly real, conceivable spaces are a recurring theme in Lesters work. In a space created by Lester, one experiences a sensation of recognition: "I' ve been here before" - or might have been here before. The concrete space is at the same time a décor for possible scenes to be played out. How do we know the world? With our senses, our memory and with an imagination that is considerably influenced by the media. Lester uses the formal language that surrounds us to ignite the imagination of the beholder. In his sceneries he intervenes and suggests movement and time. It is by these interventions that sequences are created, sequences that in their turn create stories. Or, possible stories, atmospheres and even anecdotes.

After the first concrete space a second one follows, different from the first. In it, Lester again calls upon the imagination of the visitor. This highly unpersonal space refers to 'the clockwork': we are familiar with clocks, but most people have no idea how the machinery works. Similarly, a large part of our daily reality passes through unknown, inaccessible spaces and unknown hands, before it reaches us. As a metaphor for these places, Lester created a laboratory space. The form of this space is fully dictated by its function. Lester meticulously dissects this form and reassembles it into volumes and patterns. The rationality of the space thus created, mirrors the rationality that controls everyday reality.

Once again, in this space sequences are created and the view of the beholder is controlled. What is visible one moment, is invisible or takes on a different shape at the next moment.

The fascination for the laboratory space is not only triggered by its cool rationality. The sensation of inaccessability and of the unknown mechanism of the clockwork can create a sudden sense of fear or unease. In 'The clock and the clockwork' reality is conceived of and exposed as a kafka-esque, labyrinthic system.


Gabriel Lester "The clock and the clockwork"