Acquisition in 2011
B. 1968 in Pakistan, a graduate from Goldsmiths College of London, Ceal Floyer currently lives and works in Berlin. She is represented by the following galleries: Lisson Gallery (London), Esther Schipper (Berlin) and 303 Gallery (New York).
If Ceal Floyer’s works take varied forms – sound pieces, drawings, found objects, sculptures – they are all characterized by a deliberate economy of means and an obvious sobriety. Rooted in simple and everyday situations and images, they seem to constantly open up to a place that is beyond the appearance and to suggest the existence of an elsewhere. Therefore, a chink of light under a door (Door, 1995) hints at the presence of a hidden dimension. The visitor discovers, by drawing closer to the installation that this effect is created by a slide projector placed at ground level behind the door. The apparatus is not carefully concealed and the keys of the illusion are revealed to the spectator. The artist revisits, with humour, the history of Minimal and Conceptual Art and retains a sense of the void, an attention for the essence of things as well as the importance of language and a pronounced taste for reflexivity. In Monochrome Till Receipt (White), 1999, an exhibition of a receipt from a local supermarket, listing articles that have the particularity of being only white in colour (tissues, cheese, a pen eraser, etc.), Ceal Floyer plays for example with the chemical particularities of the materials she uses. Printed on thermal paper, the inscriptions on the receipt are subject to a rapid effacement which adds to the unique flavour of the piece. Therefore a subtle gap is established between the work presented and the implied ideas.
For 0-10, Ceal Floyer modifies the historical recording of the launch of the Apollo 11 space rocket. Contrary to the wonderful discovery of Fritz Lang in 1929, who invented the principle of the countdown to add to the suspense of the film Woman in the Moon, the artist decides to reverse the countdown from 0-10. This very small change, which is representative of her artistic approach in general, unsettles the listeners who are surprised by the slightly modified recording within the exhibition space. Playing on a shared aural knowledge of the event, Ceal Floyer introduces a certain element of strangeness; she deals out the cards of history in her own way, thereby creating a second narrative that challenges our perception of time. Transporting our memory back to the time of the first conquests of space, our imagination is invited to explore different directions.