A real site-specific artist.
Jeannette Slütter is an artist who infiltrates organisational structures. These structures are complex, made up by many moving parts like visitors, emotions, hallways, power relations, furniture, public transport, art objects and office meetings. Slütter studies them like a game plan, observing how spectators, workers and objects are positioned and steered through the space. Only when she has a firm grasp on the context, Slütter makes a site-specific intervention, which can take the shape of a performance, video-work, object or installation.
Slütter’s works are made to guide, misguide and redirect the participants in the game. Based on what’s ‘already there’, they appropriate, mimick and copy their surroundings since, in the words of Slütter: ‘New objects are too distractive’. The aesthetically attractive objects she makes — a meticulously realistic pink ceramic stool, a photo-printed buoy, or a glass-in-lead floor plan — are tools meant to grasp, but not hold the attention. Through gentle trickery and seduction Slütter redirects the viewer, ultimately inviting them to question the system itself.
Slütter is interested in how organisations ‘work’, and studies labour as if it were a choreography. Her artworks often include processes or a workflow — chairs that are veiled and unveiled, tasks that are executed on set times, objects that are moved in accordance to a shifting floor-plan. Her study of behind-the-scene machinations extends to her own production as an artist. In the artist-in-residency EKWC, Slütter produced a pre-made oeuvre out of ceramics to be distributed all throughout her career. The sculptures, baked in different ways, have different life-spans. Some will crumble sooner, in collections, exhibitions or storage, some later. With every exhibition and every work, Slütter tries to find how the situation ticks, and where to search for the loophole in the rules that nobody wrote down, but everybody follows.