SANNE DE WOLF - VISUAL ARTIST  - BELGIUM

 

Sanne De Wolf lives and works in Antwerp. With a fascination for drawing and language systems she creates art with a conceptual meaning in a wide variety of materials, such as porcelain, plaster, paper, bread, but also performances and videos.
De Wolfs' works are extremely subtle, often fragile and carry an unmistakable postiche tension. Connection is a central thème in  her oeuvre, both socially, geographically, culturally and historically. Although engagement is an essential foundation of her work, it is rarely explicit.
De Wolf has a natural affinity with the Middle East, both in her theme and in her implicit language. In 2017 and 2018 she moved for residencies to Iran and Lebanon. Most of the works she shows during 2019 have arisen during and after her workstays.
Morning Call is a video recording of a performance that De Wolf performed for the first time
Iran. Two hands are visible, the right hand of De Wolf himself and one the left hand of an Iranian. Each hand writes religious texts from its own culture. The Wolf in English and the other hand in Farsi and Arabic. Because of the opposite writing directions the hands collide with each other, after which they find a way to stay on the sheet and keep writing. This creates a game of colliding, dodging and finding solutions.
Human landscapes I, II is a transfer from an old photograph that De Wolf found in Tehran. The photograph refers to the Iranian revolution of 1979. The Wolf cut parts and out and worked out the result with pencil.
In the preparations to her residency in Iran, De Wolf realized that she would have to wear a headscarf, a very loaded symbol for Westerners. She decided to make her own version and put a print of her hair on textiles, which she wore in public spaces. This was the start for Sentinel, a work with connections to performance and fashion. The name refers to the Lockhead Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, a drone from the American intelligence force that fell into the hands of the Iranian State Security Service in 2011, and which the Iranians successfully copied.
De Wolf positions Sentinel as a label with its own logo, with which refers to Western capitalism as well as in Iranian culture. In Belgium, Europe and U.S.A. the scarves are marketed as a commercial product (Launch March 21,  2019 - www.sentinelantwerp.com).

Aside of these arguments De Wolf points the importance of sharing art with the main public to create a platform for dialogue.
In Iran, on the other hand, De Wolf sold the headscarves on Valiasr Street in Tehran, a poetic political action with which she wants to encourage citizens to engage in dialogue. The production and pricing reflect on different layers in which Sentinel works: In Iran the fabrics cost 3 euros and are made from a polyester mix, with us they are made of luxurious cotton and they cost 100 euros.
There is also a limited edition on silk that is sold as a work of art.
    
LEF (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) also uses hair as a medium, but in a completely different way. With a high-tech process, the words Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were microscopically inscribed in three hairs by De Wolf. A political message, which, however, becomes invisible by the scale.
During her last trip to Lebanon, De Wolf traveled to the refugee camp of Shatila. What she saw made a deep impression. the absence of pure fresh water prompts residents to use salt water for their washes, which draws the skin immensely. The Wolf became fascinated by salt and has been experimenting with salt as a material ever since. The works Savon de Shatila are expressions of this. Savon de Shatila is a series of salt blocks in the form of soap from Aleppo and Marseille, for which De Wolf processes pressed salt as if it were marble.

 

 

 

Tim Van Heers-  november 2018