Group Exhibition

Stanley Brouwn – Francois Curlet – Jef Geys – Guy Mees – Michael Smith – Ann Veronica Janssens – Bernard Frize – Heimo Zobernig – Koenraad Dedobbeleer – Marthe Wéry

Ann Veronica Janssens
Plastillon Vert Grand Froid, 2009
∅ 39 x 20,5 cm, plastic

The sculptures that Ann Veronica Janssens makes refuse to yield to the pressure of objectification. As a result, they not only deploy time as medium; they are time, ontologically. No experience can be reiterated, no point of view can be selected for privilege. Janssens’ brilliant work “Aquarium” makes this point abundantly clear. In a glass cube filled with a mixture of water and alcohol, a perfect sphere floats. It never stays in exactly the same place, for it floats freely; yet it doesn’t change, it never loses its perfect shape. The sphere consists of silicone oil, and all it does is float.

Unlike the Venice mist installation, here you can stand outside the aquarium. But that is only one way of being with this work. Through the clear liquid, the clear glass, the clear silicone oil, the world around you is visible, as if in a photograph. But you can also catch a glimpse, in the sphere, of a reversed, upside-down reflection of your own mirror image surrounded by the space you are standing in. Once this has happened, the dizziness commences. Where you are, who you are, has lost its innocence. You are (in) the photograph.

Janssens’ pieces with glass and mirrors invoke transparency, not as a self-evident illusion but, on the contrary, as what makes perception not self-evident. All these works make the body feel the need to perceive in order to be, act, perform. In 1987 she lined the Altenloh room of the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels with a plinth of mirrors. The mirrors were placed obliquely, but the angle was small, barely visible in itself. The viewer walking on the floor of the room saw her feet separate from her body.

Immediately, walking became something to be learned anew; an effort, not “natural” movement. Again, then, the body was affected by perception. Perception was no longer an aid but a performance that took all your energy and concentration. The time it took to adjust and walk again was part of the work.

François Curlet
Intuitive Galerie Légitime, 2010

François Curlet proposes a gallery within the gallery and uses the “Galerie Légitime” by Robert Filliou in which works of art by different artists are covered by a Plexiglas hat. In the exhibition two posters are also shown: one published in 1968 by “Mayer Editions” for the exhibition of Robert Filliou that showed 6 versions in different colors of the “Galerie Légitime”. The second poster is by M/M (Paris) and is part of François Curlet’s “Galerie Intuitive” (2010).

François Curlet is interested in Filliou’s principle of liberty, who wanted his “Galerie Légitime” to be a functioning gallery in which he could show his own personal work. François Curlet decided to replay this principle by creating an “Intuitive Gallery Légitime”. The choice of the plaster brain by Katarina Fritsch is a play on Robert Filliou’s idea of wearing a hat that contains works of art on your “head and brain” where after all, everything is anyway. “G” from the videotape Portafilliou, 1977. This stamp I used, I think was in 1961. At the time I had the idea to have a gallery, to open my own gallery. I opened a gallery called Galerie Légitime in my cap. I had a stamp made, that said Galerie Légitime couvre chef d’oeuvre. It’s something in French that has a double meaning this sentence, couvre chef d’oeuvre. It means two things: it covers up a masterpiece, that is it covers up the head, it covers up the brain, (it’s all in the brain anyway). It means also, covering up works, couvre chef – hat, over works – couvre chef d’oeuvre. So in my cap, the same as the one I’m wearing now, inside my cap, on top of my head, I had small works of mine. At that time I used to make things, where I measured up things, or I mummified them.Then in the streets of Paris, I would walk through the streets and I would come up to somebody walking in the street, and a typical dialogue might be, “Are you interested in art, monsieur, or madame, or mademoiselle?” and if they said, “Yes, yes,” I would say: “Well do you know I have a gallery?” If they express some interest, I would say “Here it is”. There inside my hat were the works. They were a little bit bigger than this grape, you see, or this stamp. And then we would look at the works. ⎯Robert Filliou

Jef Geys
Woodward Avenue, 2010
12 colour prints each 42 x 21,7 cm

At the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave – Detroit, Belgian artist Jef Geys (b. 1934) will present a new body of work specifically based on Detroit entitled Woodward Avenue. Geys rarely exhibits in the United States, making this project a remarkable and unique opportunity for visitors to engage with the artist’s extraordinary work, which encompasses conceptual approaches, educational activities, experiments and cooperative formats. Woodward Avenue is both an expansion and a departure from his Quadra Medicinale project, an interdisciplinary exhibition presented at the Belgian Pavillion at the 53rd Venice Biennale. For the Detroit project, Geys asked Dr. Ina Vandebroek, an ethnomedical research specialist, to collect weeds at twelve intersections along Woodward Avenue beginning at Cadillac Square, in the heart of the city of Detroit, and ending at Saginaw Street, nearly 30 miles north in the neighboring city of Pontiac. Woodward Avenue’s installation includes the collected and dried plant specimens with their corresponding scientific descriptions, photographs and specific maps. The exhibition also features two new films that record an ethnobotany workshop with traditional health practitioners run by Dr. Vandebroek in Bolivia. A special edition of the “Kempens Informatieblad” (Kempens Information Journal) will accompany the exhibition, as well as public programs and workshops that are an integral part of this art project.

At Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Jef Geys presents the 12 Google Maps printouts of his project.

Group Exhibition

Stanley Brouwn – Francois Curlet – Jef Geys – Guy Mees – Michael Smith – Ann Veronica Janssens – Bernard Frize – Heimo Zobernig – Koenraad Dedobbeleer – Marthe Wéry