Natacha Donzé: Functional Dust
19 January2 March 2024




The title of the exhibition, at first glance contradictory, leads us to interrogate how we define its composing parts. What does it mean to be functional, productive, performant, what is useful? What is dust; detritus, neglected, the powdered form of larger materials… The series Grindstone features augmented depictions of grains, a cornerstone not only of human sustenance and well-being, but by extension functioning as an origin story and foundation of world commodity markets and financial speculation. These cereal forms are set in contrast against gaseous vapors, flames, and voids. The polyptych works may formally evoke a skull in two parts; a large receptacle containing and protecting the reasoning brain; and a smaller articulated mechanical section that drives the teeth to bite, chew, puncture, masticate and consume. On the other hand, the rectangular forms might themselves be the grinding stones, and between them, the rough primary material to be ground, reduced, separated, and refined. An illustration at the micron level of material subjected to friction, pressure and therefore heat. Along with Grindstones, the ensemble of works presents in the exhibition hint at the contemporary cycles of scope loss we are faced with when making sense of global phenomena, always oscillating