Rotterdam – Anne Hardy’s installation currently at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is an intense colourscape which sets the scene for an assemblage of found objects, which are given meaning through the relationships with their surroundings and with the presence of visitors. The British artist, who has become known for her site-specific Field Work installations, populates Sensory Spaces – a series which asks artists to respond to a colour-dipped space at the entrance hall of the art museum in Rotterdam – with apparent abandon, creating a world that draws on Hardy’s signature multimedia palette.
Upon entering, the space appears as a reckless fantasy – an assemblage of objects set in what the artist calls a ‘sentient place’. The walls, floor and ceiling are painted with the shades of a smog-filtered sunset, the colours appearing as though covered in the ash of a wasted world.
The objects placed in this installation were found by Hardy, who often takes discarded objects from the street to repurpose them in these scenes. Although the objects in isolation offer the viewer a moment of repose in familiarity, as the objects converge with the colourscape the viewer is abandoned by the known and welcomed instead as a fellow misplaced actor. In response to the presence of the viewer’s body as well as that of other visitors, the installation is always shifting both in meaning and in form.
The objects come to represent multiple histories at once, evoking the many layers and hands of acquisition that give these household objects mystery and meaning. Hardy is able to use these imagined histories to further complicate the relationships between the various elements of the intriguing installation.