Thomas Swinkels’ solo presentation at Spirit Shop (Lisbon, Portugal) is realized in collaboration with P/////AKT, platform for contemporary art in Amsterdam and will be the result of a two week working period on location.
Unified by the artist’s manipulation of the exhibition space’s lighting to summon a crepuscular, in-between atmosphere, his works converse with each other so that submarine space becomes psychological space to be explored, and live creatures and recalled places figure as temporary emanations of warmth. Factors in the exhibition display, meanwhile, variously create sensations of blocking and emptiness, set off by bursts of information. This, and the works themselves, add up to something double-edged. It’s implied that technical means might offer a way into the past or the mind, but only superficially, and what we remember and how we think of what we see is changing too. All here, accordingly, moves towards a condition of quietly violent abstraction in which representations only emerge through a process of distortion, damage or translation. In the process, Swinkels’ art asserts itself as an emotive paradox: it speaks of memory yet situates its core as perpetually out of reach.
(Martin Herbert on Thomas Swinkels’s final presentation at De Ateliers, Amsterdam, 2019)