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The Permeance project maps the cadmium and zinc contamination in the Dommel river that crosses the borders of the Netherlands and Belgium. Pollution of the river by zinc smelting histories of land dispossession and industrial extraction degrades the environment. The artistic research by Steffie de Gaetano is based on the soil chromatography method and maps the contamination traces of the past and present actions via the material language.
The images that are revealed via a chromatography process offer a first step towards unearthing and reimagining a damaged environment. This chromatography process is a chemical analytical method during which the soil compounds are separated. However, it is also an alternative photography technique that lends itself to study soil samples by exposing them to the light. The resulting images are not supposed to represent pollution existing in the river’s bed but instead, it is the contamination itself that is tracked in a specific time and space. The images are not about, but made with the polluted soil.
Exhibition dates: 03.12.2022 - 21.01.2023
Artist: Steffie de Gaetano
Venue: SEA Foundation, Tivolistraat 22, 5017HP Tilburg
Opening Hours: the vitrine is open 24/7, the front room is open Thursday - Saturday 1-5 pm or by an appointment (winter break 18.12.2022 - 12.01.2023)
Artist-led SEA Foundation is a non-profit art initiative. Over time, SEA Foundation has become a synonym for exhibitions, art practice support, exchanges, and publications. Since 2013, we also run an International Artist in Residence program that offers a unique environment, by providing time and space for research, experimentation, and professional advancement. SEA Foundation is an independent, artist-led, residency-based venue for contemporary art. To fulfil our mission; To create awareness for contemporary art and to build cultural resilience, we act as a catalyst in the working lives of artists. In all our activities we are fuelled by visual arts. Through exchanges and working in different cultural contexts SEA Foundation is part of international networks, where we generate and take part in discussions on eminent issues.
Steffie de Gaetano
Steffie de Gaetano (1992) is a Dutch-Italian interdisciplinary researcher based in Brussels where she pursues a PhD at Hasselt University. Her research concentrates on Geologic Architecture and Landscapes of Extraction. Her family history splits between Umbria in Italy and the Noord Brabant region thus finding her in an “outsider-insider’ position. This ‘inbetween’ state, as she is describing it, offers a starting point for ‘bridging the modern and demodern’ and it reflects her professional interests that are rooted in-between the disciplines. Steffie de Gaetano’s research is based on unbuilding architecture, landscape, photography and anthropology and aims to excavate the remnants inherited through entanglements of colonial violence and Modernity.
The exhibition is part of WARP, a series of vitrine exhibitions which were activated in 2020. These exhibitions now also follow the SEA Foundation’s folds on art and sustainability, currently researching fold on Reimagining. In this fold, we commit ourselves to explore what it means to go back to practices that are familiar. But instead, work hard in the exercise of rethinking them. This act has the potential to instigate an epistemic rupture with the past, yet promises to carve out paths for knowing anew.
The aim of the WARP series is to stimulate artistic research and present the adaptations of the works made by regional artists or artists with regional connections.
Tivolistraat 22, 5017 HP, Tilburg, The Netherlands