Sugar for the Pill • Chantal van Rijt

Chantal van Rijt

The practice of Chantal van Rijt (°1984, NL) is driven by experimentation. Like a contemporary alchemist, she dives into the material stories of plants, animals and other natural substances. Perhaps we can reach a better understanding of ourselves by exploring the potentialities of our non-human friends. In her video ‘FIN’ we travel through an otherworldly landscape, one that was generated by the chemical reaction of fresh blood with resin. This is not a voyage through the alien, but through the familiar and natural, a reminder that there is much more alive beyond our anthropocentric scope. For this exhibition, she also invited many ‘Tiny Tube-Dwellers’ in the space, who were allowed to create an infestation in all freedom. They are sculptural imprints of shells, turned inside-out, as if the hard shells that once protected the soft bodies of the animals are imbued with new life.

Works in Sugar for the Pill:
• Tiny Tube-Dwellers, 2022. Plaster, shellac.
• FIN, 2016. Video, silent, continuous loop.

Chantal van Rijt (NL 1984) lives and works in Brussels. Van Rijt uses a variation of materials and media, in which her background in photography resurfaces in unexpected ways. Her inspiration comes from researching histories and possible futures, where she often starts with one point to let it unravel into an extended landscape. Her subjects are found in the organic realm as well as in the clinical cradle of a laboratory. Protagonists that have made an entrance in the work are woodworms, the sun, the lethal taxus baccata and the earstone of a fish.