THE DONG WITH A LUMINOUS NOSE
Fons Welters Gallery
9 September 2017 - 21 October 2017
The Dong with the Luminous Nose borrows its title from a nonsense song by Edward Lear (1871). The song depicts the heartbroken Dong, who is left behind at a beach, longing for his ‘Jumbly Girl’. He designs a device to communicate his loss: “ the luminous nose”. Just as this nonsense rhyme, Vasiljeva touches up on subjects as grief, madness, eros, displacement and fragmentation.
At the axis of the installation is a dark and musty architectural structure/furniture piece "Mr. Krop Is Not At Home". Here Vasiljeva refers to a prominent Dutch urban designer Hildo Krop (1884-1970), whose sculptural reliefs are integrated in the bridges and buildings in Amsterdam, not so far from the gallery. An echoed cabinet by H.Krop, being filled with traces of one's brief stay: clothes, personal items, a small domestic lamp; hints on a temporary shelter. The notion of temporality is echoed through other items: a giant paper trenchcoat on the floor, which seems to function as a fragile tent, an aged mattress stamped with private markings and ceramic objects resembling bunker ruins. Titles of other pieces within the installation, such as as "Hotel Bloedel", "Tempo House" and "Wrong Place, Right Time" all stemming from the songs of the British post-punk band The Fall and give away Vasiljeva's affinity with the spirit of salty rebellion.
The Dong with the Luminous Nose is being accompanied with a custom made soundtrack by Vasiljeva, recorded on tape.
In her installations Vasiljeva plays with the absence of hierarchy, the time space within her exhibitions is irrelevant; cartoonish, puzzled, absurd and burlesque characters are present, but resist leading the story through a linear narrative.
The Dong with the Luminous Nose likewise introduces an environment filled with objects, scents and sounds as clues of overlapping narratives.
Photos by Gert-Jan van Rooij