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Edith Dekyndt

Belgian, born 1960

Provisory Object 01, 1997. Image courtesy the artist and Parker’s Box, New York, Galerie Vidal Cuglietta, Brussels, and Galerie Karin Guenther, Hamburg. © 1997 Edith Dekyndt.

Provisory Object Series, 1997–2004

DVD projections, edition 7/10
Running times variable
Pending Acquisition Funds, 2011

Provisory Object 01, 1997
Running time: 2 minutes, 29 seconds 

Provisory Object 02, 2000
Running time: 1 minute, 55 seconds 

Provisory Object 03, 2004
Running time: 1 minute, 57 seconds

Edith Dekyndt experiments with the physical limitations of matter and how the “lives” of these elements are often imperceptible to the human eye. In 1999, she founded the groundbreaking group Universal Research of Subjectivity, which focuses on the promotion and dissemination of works of art that center on minimal and conceptual forms. Working in a variety of media, such as text, video, and simple technology, Dekyndt seeks to question what she calls “both the individual and global positions of people in society” by exploring the limits of the relationship between art, science, and reality.

The three works that make up her “Provisory Object” series focus, in fixed shots, on a sequence of experiments she conducted in different atmospheric conditions with a bubble of soapy water collected in two hands. In each instance, the ephemerality of the soapy water determines the length of the work. The first work in the series, Provisory Object 01, 1997, was filmed in Belgium at 16°C (61°F). Here, the soapy water forms a dazzling, colorful membrane of light that occupies the diamond shape formed by the thumbs and index fingers of both hands. The imagery is reminiscent of childhood and the dazzling surface of a breath-blown bubble against the summer sun. In Provisory Object 02, 2000, filmed in Canada at -20°C (-4°F), the bubble’s membrane becomes transparent and shrinks after a few moments of contact with the cold. In the third and final experiment, Provisory Object 03, 2004, filmed in the Congo at 25°C (77° F), the soapy water takes on a more visceral appearance and survives for the shortest length of time.

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