And/or – an indication that one, more or all stated possibilities may occur – is a fitting conjunction through which to enter the work of Nat Bloch Gregersen. Because her practice is one riddled with multiplicities and dualities, and’s and or’s. Her solo exhibition “Two blue ones: each an eye and/or” presented at In extenso thus reveals the core of her practice: a certain interdisciplinarity that blurs the boundaries between artistic and scientific research.
Through the works presented, one can imagine the opening of a cosmic dimension that reveals the multiplicity and/or duality of worlds that unfold “from a grain of sand to the stellar lights of constellations [and how] between the breaks and splinters of time, other ways of existing together beyond metaphysical divisions (nature/culture, human/non-human, spirit/body) awaken.”* Here, the grain of sand is replaced by thistle as the constellations gaze back at the viewer through two blue ones, each an eye and/or, reviving ideas of being.
This confrontation between the physical and the cosmos reflects the various tensions between the material/immaterial, the visible/invisible, the tangible/intangible at play in Nat Bloch Gregersen’s practice. Because although her interest may stem from an observation of scientific phenomena, a rooting in her physical world allows her to grapple with these observations. During a residency in Clermont-Ferrand in the autumn of 2021 she collected dried thistle scattered in a local garden. The thistle is presented here, yet slightly altered. Encapsulated in resin, these typically unwanted weeds are now rendered precious, frozen within their new coat and thus suspended in time.
This suspension recalls the artist’s process of capturing and suspending gases in her series of light works (Light techniques, 2018–ongoing). Driven by a desire to understand the seven noble gases – each of which are odourless and colourless – Nat Bloch Gregersen visualises the intangible informed by scientific phenomena and knowledge discovered in her transdisciplinary research. A poetic, illuminated line thus winds around itself, rendering visible the immateriality of not only gas, but also of the language evoked by these illegible scribbles.
Language is yet another one of the artist’s preferred mediums, as she often uses poetry to grasp complex narratives that go beyond our reach. A verse borrowed from the artist’s ongoing text Dressed in Saturn, to have every dumb flower, the enigmatic title here refers to the planets orbiting in the largely unexplored outer realm of our solar system, ice giants Uranus and Neptune. There is thus a constant flow between the cosmos, the body (the eyes), nature (the thistle), and language that unfolds in the space– whether visible or not.
The ensemble of works may evoke a certain stillness, yet the various comings and goings between form, matter and research are nevertheless vibrant, and present. Nat Bloch Gregersen’s practice can thus be described as a braid, an interweaving of matter. A constellation of places, things, beings, emotions and phenomena that reveals an equation of interconnectedness, a way of understanding the and/or.
* David gé Bartoli and Sophie Gosselin, Le toucher du monde: techniques du naturer, Éditions Dehors, 2019, p. 353-354.
Nat Bloch Gregersen (born 1986, Denmark) lives and works in Copenhagen.
In 2019, Nat Bloch Gregersen was awarded the Prix In extenso – Artistes en résidence at the Biennale de la Jeune Création Européenne hosted by the city of Montrouge. As the winner of the prize, she benefited from a residency at Artistes en résidence in Clermont-Ferrand (2021) to produce “Two blue ones: each an eye and/or”, her first solo exhibition in France.
Her work has recently been shown at Alice Folker Gallery, Copenhagen; Rønnebæksholm, Næstved; Biennale “Interdimensionale 2”, Gammelgaard Artcenter, Herlev; Philipp Haverkampf Gallery, Berlin; Den Frie – Center of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; Kunsthal Aarhus, Aarhus.