Our companion, our other

Dries Segers, Suzanna Zak
28
February
,
2020
17
July
,
2020
VITRINE, Basel

‘Our companion, our other’ is a two-person exhibition of emerging artists Dries Segers and Suzanna Zak, whose practices use different photographic processes to explore animals, organisms and environments in relation to humans interaction with them.

Dries Segers, The fossil gas and the parrots, 2020. Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, lasercutted frame in Afzelia wood. 54 x 74 x 13 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Dries Segers, Dear god and the red cat, 2020. Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, lasercutted frame in Afzelia wood. 54 x 74 x 13 cm. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Dries Segers, Dear god and the red cat (detail), 2020. Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, lasercutted frame in Afzelia wood. 54 x 74 x 13 cm. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Dries Segers, Dear god and the red cat (detail), 2020. Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, lasercutted frame in Afzelia wood. 54 x 74 x 13 cm. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Dries Segers, The death, the wolf and the bird, 2020. Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, lasercutted frame in Afzeliacwood. 54 x 74 x 13 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Dries Segers, The death, the wolf and the bird, 2020. Silkscreen on 300gsm Canson Heritage, lasercutted frame in Afzeliacwood. 54 x 74 x 13 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Dries Segers, Fungi B003 and Fungi B008, 2019. Black thermochromic on archival inkjet print, MDF frame in black heat-resistant paint. 40 x 30 x 2 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Dries Segers, Fungi B003, 2019. Black thermochromic on archival inkjet print, MDF frame in black heat-resistant paint. 40 x 30 x 2 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
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Dries Segers, Fungi C003 and Fungi C002, 2019. Black thermochromic on archival inkjet print, MDF frame in black heat-resistant paint. 40 x 30 x 2 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Dries Segers, Fungi C002, 2019. Black thermochromic on archival inkjet print, MDF frame in black heat-resistant paint. 40 x 30 x 2 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
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Dries Segers, Fungi BB01, 2019. Lambda C-Print mounted on 12mm MDF. 125 x 83 x 1 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Suzanna Zak, Sunset Pull, 2018. Hand plasma cut steel bracket, landscaping stone, resin, petals, c-print. 34 x 17.5 x 7.5 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Suzanna Zak, Moss Soak, 2018. Hand plasma cut steel bracket, landscaping stone, resin, petals, c-print. 38 x 20.5 x 8.5 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Suzanna Zak, Howl on command, 2020. 35mm glossy photographs, pins. Dimensions variable. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Suzanna Zak, Howl on command, 2020. 35mm glossy photographs, pins. Dimensions variable. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Suzanna Zak, Commemorative Sleep: Continental Divide Snow Lick with Lady (Durational Until Numb), 2020. Sewn photo printed on silk, sleeping bag. 182 x 170 x 2 cm. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Suzanna Zak, Obedient Improvised Shelter (detail), 2020. Space blankets, found sticks, local newspapers. Dimensions variable. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Suzanna Zak, Obedient Improvised Shelter (detail), 2020. Space blankets, found sticks, local newspapers. Dimensions variable. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Suzanna Zak, Obedient Improvised Shelter (detail), 2020. Space blankets, found sticks, local newspapers. Dimensions variable. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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Our companion, our other, Installation view, 2020. VITRINE, Basel. Photographer: Nici Jost.
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‘Our companion, our other’ uses each artists unique narratives to weave together stories of human and non-human companionship. Through their thoughtful and sensitive use of subjects and material, Zak and Segers empathetically explore what it means to be together in cohabitation with others, trying to understand our shared relationships with the species we hold close.

Drawing closely from Joseph Bueys’ iconic work ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’ (1974), as well as the theorists Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing, ‘Our companion, our other’ situates companionship as a site of vulnerability and communication. For Beuys, who’s work saw him cohabit a room with a coyote for 3 days in America, direct communication and understanding is a fundamental part of healing a divide. For Haraway and Tsing, communications with other species is more nuanced and sublime, particularly as we begin to understand the complexities and interrelations of them.

Each of these forms of communication involve being vulnerable, both metaphorically and physically, with another to achieve encounters that become transformative. Segers and Zak have engaged in a listening exercise to understand our changing relationship to the species we hold closely, attempting to further understand what it means to cohabit spaces presently as compared to historically.

Zak explores landscapes and locations through a shared experience with her dog whom she relates to wolves and their historic position as North America and Central Europe’s apex predator. She traces their narrative from this point, through to becoming an endangered and protected species, speculating on possible histories, presents and futures of human’s cohabitation with them. As well as presenting work from her series of ‘bricks’, Zak has developed a new photographic installation and sculptural intervention within the gallery with the intention of replicating a habitat.

Segers practice uses photography to explore human and non-human relations as well as invisible systems of existence. In his new series ’The Natural Contract’ developed for ‘Our companion, our other’, Segers has photographed trees which have been planted and grown at specific geographic locations as signifiers for borders or significant locations. As time has gone on, the geopolitical landscape of these locations has changed resulting in alterations to boarders and sites of importance. The trees relationships to their locations, as well as with the people who relied on their communicative power, has been revised and they now function through their vulnerability to the landscape. Segers has also produced new hand sculptures for the exhibition which uses photochromic paint that reacts to temperature and light changes, reflecting the changing nature of relationships.

Curator: William Noel Clarke.

Selected press

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Dries Segers (b. 1990, Turnhout, BE) lives and works in Brussels, BE. He holds a BA and MA in Fine Arts from LUCA School of Arts, Brussels, BE and Listahaskoli, Reykjavík, IS. He has exhibited at galleries and museums: CAMERA/Centrul de Interes, Cluj-Napoca, RO; CCHA, Hasselt, BE; Galerie Botanique Brussels, BE; Tique Art Space, Antwerp, BE; A Tale of A Tub, Rotterdam, NL; Fotomuseum, Antwerp, BE; Hopstreet Gallery, Brussels, BE; De Warande, Turnhout, BE; The Weekend Room, Gwangju, KOR; 019, Ghent, BE; Museum Botanique, Brussels, BE; Vakfı Foundation, Istanbul, TR; De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, NL; DMW Artspace, Antwerp, BE; Gouvernement, Gent, BE.

Suzanna Zak (b. 1990, Moscow, RU) lives and works New York, US. She holds a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in Sculpture from Yale University. She has exhibited at galleries and museums including: In Lieu, Los Angeles, US; Danielle Criqui Open Space, Baltimore, US; September Gallery, New York, US; LAND AND SEA, Oakland, US; La Permanence, Clermont-Ferrand, FR; Good Press Gallery, Glasgow, UK; Current Space, Baltimore, US; 2nd Bedroom Gallery @ Minnesota Street Projects, San Francisco, US; Acre Projects, Chicago, US; Dispersed Holdings, New York, US; SAMUEL Gallery, Chicago, US; Human Resources, Los Angeles, US; Parliament Gardens, Melbourne, AU; Gether Contemporary, Copenhagen, DK; Working Title, Toronto, CA; Embassy, Los Angeles, US; Austin Centre for Photography, Austin, US; Signal Gallery, New York, US.

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