19/06/2018 - 19/08/2018
Curators: Komplot with Sonia Dermience,
Photography : Fabrice Dermience
The exhibition in Bozar Brussels in 2018 is to be revived in Odessa in 2019 with a certain idea of expographie, which in French refers to the practice of exposition as a discourse ; it is an exhibition that creates a space mimicking the setting of a house, desacralising its objects and inviting people to touch and interact with them freely, reflecting a kind of habitat. Decoration is often considered to be a reflection of a poor relationship to Western Modern art, and so we turn the question in the other direction in order to use this notion as a reference to the habitat : How to inhabit a space, how our living spaces, which can be seen as protective envelopes after our body, are threatened by war or another precarious situation, and why many people are on the street.
These issues affect us all, and in the face of inequality and injustice we feel the same sense of helplessness, tormented at the thought of losing what we have built. This decorated second skin is a place of intimacy, creativity, sharing and hospitality, a place that we can create from scratch or that we can adapt using decorative objects in order to make it liveable. In other words, it is the setting of our lives, in the forms of a workplace, school, public space, businesses and recreational areas. We are the characters of these places that are steeped in history and are haunted by layers of life like archaeological sites. Every day, we live in these places that we own, surrounding ourselves with furniture and also with the immaterial, including gestures, words and music that we sometimes share with plants and domesticated animals...
This exhibition traces the evolution of dwellings from one generation to the next, beginning with an example of a Soviet dwelling, a space intended for sharing among people and for building a relationship with nature, but turned into an unrealised utopia for the most part, scuttled in the totalitarian. In addition, we discover parallels with the supposed promise of a better life thanks to capitalism, which also damages our human nature and contributes to the overall indifference regarding the fate of our next homeless, undocumented, unemployed…
A glimmer of hope, however, survives in an exhibition that shows the trees as models of life, rooted and radiant. Starting from the utopia of grouped living spaces or decorated and tinkered houses, we arrive at the loft where it is the empty space that is luxury, an expression of perfectible and accessible uselessness. The colour white is an expression of ownership, of immateriality, of withdrawal from the reality of necessities, and the white wall is a support for modern art, one that is relegated to the closet of the history of obsolete contemporary art. The decorative object reigns in a universe completely adapted by the artists, the amateurs and the visitors.
Komplot invites friends from Europe to speak about insularity and togetherness through their art: each artist has their own studio practice, and has accomplished residencies and land art projects that we find peculiar and of interest in the contemporary research of our social and natural landscape. They are brought together in an exhibition that also documents their practices that deal with isolation as much as connection, network and friendship between colleagues living in Europe, shedding light on the influence of the context on the creation of artists and curators living in their locality and travelling. Moreover, the exhibition shows the links that the artists and curators are weaving together in time and space to create discourses, critiques, representations of our contemporaneity – a constellation of islands of creation in Europe from Tallinn to Sardinia…
Objects, images, talks and workshops organised by Komplot’s School of Curating are all given a place in this exhibition that follows its own motto: “Our main product is society’s transformation”. The animators, tutors, lecturers and participants will use the art of curating as an emancipation tool, creating a rupture from what could be associated with a productionist school of art. Each curator will occupy a space to establish a new setting with the artists, while engaging in dialogues with the school's participants and visitors.
Bora’s artwork consists of two distinct yet inter-dependent “compositions”. A condom, a motherboard, an empty pack of crisps, cigarettes, sim cards, a fidget spinner and many more mundane objects are sealed in resin, frozen in time, permitting them to develop archaeological qualities, to tell a story. The objects that compose the landscape of our contemporary lives are ephemeral, bound to be used to then disappear, out of sight, chucked away. The lifespan of our relationship to objects has incredibly shortened throughout the re-organisation of daily life induced but our consumption habits. One could say, through the presence of the two mask figures, that Bora Akinciturk's artwork is a metaphysical insight onto how our strange relationship with these present-day artefacts construct our identities, and how such a mechanism articulates when those are bound to be consumed and replaced. Ultimately, the artwork spawns curiosity: it is an invitation onto the privacy of the artist, it is a visual record of a peculiar moment of his life.
‘The confidant of the moon’ consists of three chairs that personify the three lunar goddesses Selene, Artemis and Hecate. The shape see from above is reminiscent of a triskelion, a Gaelic symbol of eternity and renewal. The goddesses embody each of these aspects : black magic, moonlight, rebirth and fertility, putrid and organic life; the confident chair is the archetype of Parisian boudoirs of the 18th and 19th centuries; the seat of moods and vapours is an instrument of counter-power in a patriarchal society, the weaving places of Parisian intrigues; the boudoir is the room where romance becomes a political tactic, and where the body frees itself and breathes. Under the soft lights of the moon and the gas beaks from the streets, the three lunar divinities guide a bodily debauchery behind the scenes of the bourgeois apartments.
I’m contemplating the world
and all is dumbed
and all is cosy
one foot down, one leg high
no whisper, no glory
I’m contemplating the world
one foot high, one leg down
Francisco Camacho Herrera
Francisco Camacho Herrera conceived a new film on how we relate with our environment, and also how we are metaphysically connected to the concept of reality; these are two concerns that rule our daily life and define personal and collective philosophies. For the ancient Aztecs, the Nahautls are all that is true, and a Truth has roots much like trees, unlike our physical human nature that makes us all wander around the planet without any certain truth. Our life, as suggested by Shakespeare, is a shadow on the stage, or even a dream according to Calderon de la Barca.
The couch covered with a metal lattice is not so comfortable, which can remind us of different precarious situations. Comfort is not essential, but it is interesting to sit on what seems to come from another world rather than a piece of conventional contemporary furniture. In reference to the Barcelona couch by Mies Van Der Rohe, this platform perverts a conventionalised form of luxury through the use of a radically poor material, and can be regarded as a stratum, a sample from a raw and chaotic context that invites the viewer to be its user and to experiment with a hybrid object by putting inside materials from the outside and blurring the notion of the new object by an assume wear (a user who assumes responsibility for its changed status).
Jade Fourès-Varnier & Vincent de Hoÿm
Jade Fourès-Varnier & Vincent de Hoÿm consider art as an extension of life. They create atmospheres inspired by the notion of domesticity, where visitors are received as guests. Depending on the context, the country and the tradition, whether in a bar, a hotel restaurant, a bazaar, or a nightclub, the pair adapt their proposals, many of which deal with the themes of sharing, generosity and the idea of being together with someone ; this adaptability makes their work a form of ‘total art’. In February 2014, they founded TONUS, a Paris-based artist-run space, which perpetuates this state of mind. The wall they create for Bozar is a continuation of the banquet curated by Komplot in Copenhagen some weeks before…
The title 'Beautiful Portraits Of Artists' plays on a misunderstanding: who makes which portraits of whom? This series of the seven portraits suggest that the identity of this artist stems from his work on colour, light, the position of the model, composition, background… in other words, a classic recipe of fine art. Be them real or fake art and artists, that is not the question: it is a creation, a falsification or an authentication of a practice, a labour, a lifestyle, a posture…
‘An Atomic Energy (Lend me a hand)’ is a marble piece (30 x 12 x 9 cm) in the form of a hand reactor suggested to be a source of great atomic energy condensed into its own matter and calculated to be the equivalent of more than 400 megatons of TNT, which is the amount of energy that would come out of a 10 gigawatt power point, a point big enough to run 10 million homes for at least 30 years of prosperity. Unlocking that energy is no easy task, however: solidarity is one of several ways to release a tiny bit of an atom’s mass, but most of it remains in the form of familiar protons, neutrons and electrons. One way to turn the entire block of marble matter into pure energy would be to bring it together with yourself!
Morrison's art engages a pre-modern architecture and design history: moments from Art Deco, utopian architecture, and interior design all nourish his work. In his installations and objects, Morrison is interested in the constant recycling of aesthetic codes – the pre-modern and post-modern – and how these aesthetics are used to stand in for outside notions of authenticity. This is not a history of “important” art and artists, but rather that of the kind of peripheral art that ornaments middle-class houses, advertises for small businesses, or hangs behind nostalgic bars. In Morrison’s work, all these complex references are brought into relation in a single picture frame – like that of the cubists. As such, depth and surface are in constant disagreement.
In his workshop ‘La Jeunesse dorée’ (The Golden Youth) at the Larue association in Molenbeek, Adler Murada invited Naîm, Aymane, Anas, Safia, Marwane, Habiba, Yassir, Malak, Iennate, Zineb, Dhalia, Zakaria, Fikri, Adam, Mahir, Safia, Reda, Nada, Yasmia, Yanis, Hajar, Youssef, Ibtissam, children who made these objects related to their emotional memory of travel, the identity of a country, a city, the legacy of historical moments that can not be used for political purposes; We revisit the aesthetics and symbolism of the objects that encompass such memories: interferences on a flag, t-shirt, trinket, postcard…
Even though she works mostly with ceramic, the main reference for Cécile Noguès is polymorphic sculpture. She projects her pieces into scenes that come from a large spectre of forms, until the eclecticism becomes a genre. Although they lean away from narration as well as figuration and abstraction, these sculptures reorient their subjectivity through the choice of a title, fluctuating between a minimalist literality of what we see before us – meaning its form and colours – and the image: Portique (portico), haut debit (high output), a tire in each. Reality thus invites itself, much like the many object and materials that add to the ceramic pieces by Cécile Noguès, resulting in a status most troubling for the matter itself.
Marthe Ramm Fortun
The painted sheets were created in the Parc de la Fonderie in Molenbeek in September 2017 for Komplot’s Sculptural Park. Those occurrences of works and public interventions talk about the relation of the artist with public and private spaces. In her own words: “Through actions and performative sculptures, ‘Exit The Forest’ is an ephemeral platform that tests the limits of behaviour and merges utterances from disparate sources. It is a storytelling practice that engages passers-byes by an enduring presence, transcribing the soft bodies that are vulnerable in the city. The sculptural element is supple (flexible?) and receptive, ambulating and feminine.” Later Marthe added: “The project is at once rhetoric and purely visceral, exploring the limits of behavior and reason. The idea is closely linked to Marguerite Duras and her writings on film in which she discusses the relationship between the house, the park and the forest. Her idea was that women were left alone while men went to war or were sent off to labour; a new language was invented by women to interpret the transition between the domestic, internal and the untamed and external. This invented language that came from the forest, so to speak, was interpreted as witchcraft through its linguistic claim to freedom, crafted by need, situated between the primordial and a new science. I am also indebted to Chantal Akerman’s film ‘Saute ma ville’, from which I extract the suicidal female body not as blind insanity, but an act of sublimation that could be an intellectual device. My interest is in the broken city that materialises through acts of sublimation, and shows its fracture in the violence and in the self-destruction of its inhabitants.”
Elise Van Mourik
The rotating plant takes on the status of decoration and its function in public and commercial interiors. You could imagine it in the background of an airport lounge, a business lobby, a shopping center, in flexible office areas, or other types of open plan architectures that have the “always-on” corporate culture in mind commonly associated with Californian Ideology that confuses biological time with the economical. Pots were previously exhibited at the Catherine Vertige Collection in Brussels, amongst other objects that also reminded of the decorative capacity of the art object, as well as during Sun Set Cinema at Marion De Canniere, Antwerpen.
Salvatore Moro, curated by Montecristo
Salvatore Moro (1931-2007) is the first artist Montecristo exhibited on their island and the one for which they decided to create Montecristo Project. The exhibition they organised for him was built thanks to the use of planes and structures designed for the old Spanish watchtower that hosts the Project, in the shape of a white-cube. The decision for this display, as well as the idea of turning it into a deserted island, are both highlighted by the will to separate Moro’s work from its historical and social context, giving back a different perspective through the use of aesthetics of the installation shot. Added to the works and relics of Salvatore Moro (granite and concrete sculptures, inlays of various materials and objects from the house) are photographs shot in the large piece he created in Oniferi.
Carl Palm, curated by Diesel
Chrome paint is what’s left from the environment created for the piece in the abandoned gas station of Diesel project space in Liège. Six diptychs were installed over both convex and concave corners suggesting the shape of books. The bronze welded whippet canisters form geometric patterns that remind us of those created by children when they play and learn, whilst the six plaster objects depict early drug tests done on spiders. The miscommunication between generations is a lingering interest and starting point for the works.
Kaspars Groševs in dialogue with Hardijs Lediņš and Imants Žodžiks, curated by Maija Rudovska
Latvian artist Hardijs Lediņš' work has been significantly important for the Latvian art scene during the last decades, inspiring many artists in the 21st century, including Kaspars Groševs. With this small contribution, we hope to start and even ensure a conversation that invites Lediņš’ work in a contemporary discourse and that opens many angles of possibilities of relating and translating it.
Hardijs Lediņš (1955 – 2004) represented the so-called “avant-garde art” and “underground culture” of the late Soviet era in the 1980s and 90s. Working in various fields, including music, architecture, visual arts and literature, Lediņš created a multi-dimensional space for actions that were both reflective and active towards the sociopolitical and culture context of that time. The film ‘Human in the Living environment (1987, sound film, 1 hour 13 minutes, Courtesy Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and Hardijs Lediņš family) is a work that combines critique about the housing estate, anthropological research and reflections on the Zeitgeist of that time. It documents the environment and atmospheres of the late 1980s in a pictorial and emotive way, while including performative, dada-like activities and educationally critical material on housing estate development in the tone of a postmodernist discourse.
On his new work, ’10 Minute Walk From Solitude’, Kaspars Groševs writes : « There was no choice. I arrived at this island with promises for a better life. I quickly learned all the paths, finding shortcuts to anything. Solitude was close, very close. I could hear it at night, flashing headlights through the dark trees. I never learned any street name ; the web was vague and present. It was a self-absorbed vacuum of comedy shows, improvised hockey games, dissolved fights, wandering and running. No one ever thought about the core : the core was an abstract being with shiny lights that we didn’t need. No one was lonely. We walked from 5 to 3 to 1, and back to 5. We didn’t question why our ceilings were low. »
Jaakko Pallasvuo and Viktor Timofeev create the collaborative drawings, curated by Valentinas Klimašauskas, ‘Flowcharts for Labradoodles’ : Collaborative drawings are a conspiracy. One of the collaborators strongly disagrees. They are not drawings but Brown Labradoodles, he says, from doodle. They sniff mind maps & high quality flowcharts, keywords & concepts, catchphrases & mimicry that appear & disappear, as scratch marks. Every word is an animal, a doodle or a love letter. Look at it. Yes. Who’s a good boy? Power on. Disagree. Again. Hierarchical Pyramid. Like, certainly, drawings do not need to be grammatically connected into grammatically correct sentences. You’d hate that. Let’s start again: Brown Labradoodles on a desktop. They rise as dust. Escape. Power Off. Paws for Hands. Paws for Cookie. Paws for Non Verbal Communication. Four for Telepathy. For Touch, for Soft Hair, for Charcoal. Do you confirm? Each confirmation or denial brings you closer to the object, until finally you are, as it were, inside it: the contours you have drawn no longer marking the edge of what you have seen but the edge of what you have become. Who is a good boy now?
Kris Lemsalu and Aili Vint, curated by Maria Arusoo
Kris Lemsalu is an artist who combines ceramics with installation and performance art. She often uses personal stories, situations, moments when travelling as a base of her works or as she herself puts it, “sticks a finger into the aching wound of being alive”. The theme of death often appears in Lemsalu’s works, as it is also visible in ‘Erik und Maria’ (2016) in the form of Erik’s head or in the form of Maria’s dress made up of tampons covered in dried blood. The sculptural pair can be seen as an art historical still life, or nature morte, with its morbid silence, interrupted only by a constant mobile ring.
Aili Vint started out in the 1960s of Soviet Estonia, where she was inspired by optical art and by Victor Vasarely, using their techniques to create her own unique bodily landscapes. Although she always states that her main starting point was the balance of nature, her printmaking and gouache paintings still hint to body-images, especially female forms. The painting ‘Improvisation IV’ (1965) is an exceptional work in Aili Vint’s practice. Here she has abandoned her then-praised colourful gouache painting style that characterized her works through the 1960s and has used the duplication technique inherent to Pop and Op art, but in a more dark and mystical way.