Prolonged until 16 January 2022

Another Energy: Power to Continue Challenging – 16 Women Artists from around the World

Another Energy focuses on 16 of these female artists in their 70s or older, from across the globe, who continue to embark on new challenges. Ranging in ages 71-105 with their careers spanning over 50 years, they are originally from 14 different countries, and equally diverse in their current locations. Nonetheless, what these women share regardless of recognition or evaluation by art museums and the art market is a determination to pursue their own distinctive creative paths in turbulent environment and times.

Lili Dujourie began her career as an artist in Belgium during the 1960s. She resided in Berlin for a year between 1989 and 1990, and has continued to live and work in Belgium ever since. While she has participated in numerous exhibitions, her artistic practice came to enjoy increasing attention starting in the 2000s, with invitations to present work at major international exhibitions such as documenta 12 (2007), the 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008), Sharjah Biennale 9 (2009), and the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018). In 2015, large-scale solo exhibitions were held concurrently at S.M.A.K., the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, and the Mu.Zee (Ostend, Belgium).

Dujourie’s work, produced using a variety of techniques and materials, is characterized by its sophisticated sense of poetic expression fashioned from only a few, limited elements. During the 1970s, she exhibited pioneering works in photography and video, and since the mid-1980s has been producing three-dimensional works that make use of heavy materials such as iron, marble, lead, clay, and plaster. Her recent sculptures feature soft clay and papier- mâché, evincing a shift to a more delicate and ephemeral manner of expression. The subjects she deals with range from political content to literature, music, and Western art history, while the titles of her works are often derived from classical literature. Her works depict various motifs referenced from Western paintings such as drapes (fabric), windows, painting frames, and the sea.

Dujourie’s photographic and video works from the 1970s, which featured her own body, also encompass within them various contexts, including the history of Western painting and feminism. In traditional Western art, the female nude has been regarded as an object of desire, or something that belongs to the male artist. Gender inequality was also still very much present in Brussels during the 1970s, as laws had granted men the legal right to act and sign on behalf of women who were unable to rent property on their own. Given this historical background and reality, Dujourie chose to use her own body as a subject, rather than hiring a nude female model. The human body became an important motif throughout her career: it harbored within it multiple layers of meaning, such as notions of home and existence.

The poetic sentiment and abstract expression found in Dujourie ’ s work neither discloses nor obscures anything specific. By articulating a state in which multiple elements antagonize one another, as seen in the exhibited work Untitled (Balance), she draws the viewer’s attention to the intermediary realms created through the relationship between essential elements such as artist and subject, movement and stillness, and space and time, thereby prompting new discoveries. This approach is meditative, while at the same time also being somewhat an Oriental.

Co-curated by Martin Germann


Lili Dujourie, Installation view: Another Energy: Power to Continue Challenging – 16 Women Artists from around the World,
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2021. Photo: Furukawa Yuya for Mori Art Museum, Tokyo