BEIGE is thrilled to present Isabelle Andriessen’s first solo exhibition, BILE, in Brussels.

In her sculptures Isabelle Andriessen explores ways to physically obscure the interface between animate and inanimate (synthetic) materials by giving them their own metabolism, behaviour and agency. Through interlacing materials, parsing queer materialism and probing plastics, crystals, and coolant for latent dark intent, they offer a window into a speculative world.

Her work inhabits the liminal space between sculpture and performance; Addressing a world attuned to death but thriving with new organs and sex, as if to suggest how new entanglements might flourish in a non-human world. Seemingly beyond perception they transform into grim agents, often irreversible. They remind of re-animated automata or relics, revealing unreliable characteristics within materials that otherwise seem dormant or passive.

These processes unfold in phases choreographed over one or several exhibitions; Some performances last a few months, while others continue to develop over years. They showcase the passage of time, disturbing notions of permanence, posterity, and the primacies afforded the restoration and collection of art.

Installed in the first space is a work which has been on display since 2018 and revealing an increase of disintegration. Tidal Spill offers a glimpse into a grim future reality. A reality in which materials have agency, enabling them to control certain entities and bodies, transgressing them into resilient species that endure in crisis.

The title of the exhibition BILE refers to ‘black bile’. According to medieval the theory the body is comprised of four fluids—blood, choler (yellow bile), mucus, and black bile—which must maintain balance for good health. Historically, black bile was associated with not only sorrow but also heartbreak, irrational behavior, and uncontrolled bodily impulses. These sculptures become a cast of characters in a sticky landscape members of a semi-choreographed orchestra, an exhibition chorus.

Concluding, Andriessen alludes to loss, grief and horror, and in order to redefine what an apocalypse can be, understanding it as not necessarily (or only) a space for destruction but rather a continuum state in which there is apocalypse upon apocalypse, or catastrophe upon catastrophe—an inhospitable darkness that is also a fertile source.

Isabelle Andriessen lives and works in Amsterdam.
Andriessen has had solo exhibitions at art institutions including De Pont Museum, Tilburg (NL) and CAN Centre d’Art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel (CH) (both 2021) and Kunsthal Gent (BE) (upcoming 2025). Group exhibitions include Middelheim Museum, Antwerp (BE) (upcoming 2024); Moderna Museet, Malmö (SE) (2022); GAMeC, Bergamot (IT); Modern Museum of Art, Warsaw (PL) (both 2020); 15th Lyon Biennale, Lyon (FR) (2019); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL).