Beige is pleased to present new works by Heidi Voet.

The exhibition Am I moving atoms when I wave my hand? starts off from the physical gesture of waving one’s hand as an acknowledgment of a social context and a form of communication. The hand as a tool through which one connects, both tender or cruel, and interacts with the material world.

As one of the earliest motifs identified in art history, the hand gives agency and defines the specific abilities of primates. Whereas today, the creases and veins of the palm are used as biometric information to map identities. With the focus on a gesture through which one now shares and communicates personal information, the exhibition places this ordinary gesture in a context of world politics and future building.

For Am I moving atoms when I wave my hand? Heidi Voet worked together with a medium and AI developer to read the palms of world leaders, based on media images of their waving hand. Intimate details about aspirations, trauma, relationships, character flaws or strengths, and predictions, are read and articulated by both
medium and machine. The lines of the palms are translated into glass neon signs and placed on modular structures adorned with materials to form portraits of contemporary world leaders.

The glass tubes are filled with noble gasses such as Neon and emit a strong, coloured light when electric current is applied and the ionised gas rushes through the fragile veins. The element Neon, from the Greek work ‘neos’ or new, consists only of a single atom. An element more common in the cosmos than on Earth, where it is found mainly in the cracks of rocks in the Earth’s crust. Neon signs refer both to the early 20th century commercialisation and the obsession of man to explore far beyond Earth’s horizon.

The exhibition Am I moving atoms when I wave my hand? reflects on intimacy, agency, power and building futures. Through the abstract portrayal of powerful individuals, questions are posed concerning the structures that uphold contemporary society. How gestures, bodies, materials and signs are read to find a sense in the entanglement.

Heidi Voet lives and works in Brussels and Taipei. Her multidisciplinary practice is concerned with the place of an individual in contemporary societies, and locating this within cultural, historical and universal narratives. The interconnectivity of these elements is evoked in her practice through the use of everyday objects which are placed in large scale installations, sculptures and performances, creating links between the singular object or individual, and larger entities.

She recently participated in A Madeleine Moment: The Technology of Memories and Emotions curated by Amy Cheng at Forever Life Foundation, Taichung (TW) and But don’t tell anyone curated by Joanna Warsza at Elefsina (GR). In 2021 she was part of Beaufort 2021 curated by Heidi Ballet.