Cast in the cool tones of an overcast afternoon, Aglaé Bassen's paintings create stillness in close crops of quotidian scenes. Inscribing the gallery with uncertain doublings — rain staining glass, light catching in a curtain's gauzy cascade — objects are saturated by the weight of a gaze peering closer and closer yet. Bassen’s canvases riff on the genre of “still life,” entertaining a dialogue between the arresting temporality of photographs and the active curiosity of a body exploring foreign environments. Striking a rhythm of scale and pattern, these canvases are animated by a repetition that verges on obsession, everywhere seeking windows, glass, the slant of sun through fabric. In the transposition of past visions onto a present scene, Bassens captures the familiar in uncanny distance, filtering the city through the lens of first encounter,a seeing that is both discovery and remembering again.
Following is an excerpt of a conversation between Bassens and Oglander, moderated by Nicole Kaack. For the full transcript, please follow this link. This conversation was held in conjunction with the exhibition You Can See Better From Here.