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Working closely together with her sister Lieve, who wanted to surprise Brigitte for her seventieth birthday, photographer Titus Simoens created a book out of old photographs and clippings of her college years. Leaving the design partly up to chance, Simoens builds an accidental and surprising narrative. Photo album meets artist’s book in a story at once original and coincidental.
“I have a wish concerning my sister (who was recently struck with cancer), wanted to surprise her with some old photographs and clippings of her college years.” By coincidence this call from a woman named Lieve, who is slowly going blind and therefore unable to do it herself, found its way to photographer Titus Simoens. While listening to Lieve speak of her sister Brigitte, an image of this unknown woman, “the best looking girl in her class”, started to form. Simoens went through the family albums, looking for images that portray her as a woman of the world. A young lady who, even if from a small Belgian village, had the elegant allure of the jet set. Leaving the book design partly up to chance, Simoens builds an accidental and surprising narrative, full of unexpected details and pregnant with potential metaphor. The result is a story at once original and coincidental, where one cannot help but wonder what mystery or melancholy, joy or tragedy might lie behind a woman’s smile. (Stefan Vanthuyne)
Titus Simoens: “I liked the idea of an encounter with a young woman from the past, without really meeting her. I wanted to become involved in her life, by becoming the narrator of her story. The question was how involved I could become, having only heard the stories told by her sister. Without completely taking control of her life. How could I tell this story, but also let Brigitte tell her story? By inviting chance to play a part, the images met me halfway. Having chosen a book format, I decided to import the images randomly and see what arose, as Indesign filled the pages without taking into account what is actually in the photographs. The automatic image crops make you look at them in a very different, unexpected way. By doing this, I let the images decide what they wanted to share. Though Brigitte is present in every picture, we don’t always see her – we see part of her, we see things or people around her. And so the narrative finds its way somewhere in the middle. It’s where Brigitte and I meet.”
Peculiar Artifacts in Bosnia & Herzegovina
Het Wilde Ding
In alledaagse gebruiksvoorwerpen kunnen we een bijzondere dimensie ervaren. Het gaat niet om functie, noch om louter vorm, evenmin om een concept en al helemaal niet om een trend. Wat is het dan wel dat ervoor zorgt dat het ene glas meer ‘aura’ heeft, meer glans, meer passie, meer ‘mystieke allure’? Het Wilde Ding doet een poging om die vaak ongrijpbare kwaliteiten te benoemen en beschrijven.
Er lijkt een licht te schijnen langs de binnenkant der dingen. Niet het licht van media en marketing, dat als een schijnwerper de consument verblindt, maar een helder licht dat tot de verbeelding spreekt en het gevolg kan zijn van de methodiek en intentie van de maker. Zoals de aloude ambachtsman die ontwerpt vanuit een eenheid met de materie en de kosmos en zich ten dienste stelt van het maakproces. Hierbij vindt als het ware een overdracht plaats van maker naar ding, waardoor het gebruiksvoorwerp bezield raakt.
Dit boek poogt deze overdracht te beschrijven. Het legt daarbij de nadruk op een bepaalde manier van dingen ontwerpen en ervaren waarbij een eenheid tussen mens, ding en kosmos centraal staat. Deze attitude staat in schril contrast met die van de hedendaagse star-designer, die vaak nodeloze producten bedenkt die de consument status geven en hem vooral willen verleiden tot nodeloze aankopen.
In een reeks essays reflecteert Hilde Bouchez over de geschiedenis van design en de nieuwste bewegingen binnen design. Ze reikt ook een fenomenologische methodologie aan die zowel maker als consument op een hernieuwde, poëtische manier met het alledaagse gebruiksvoorwerp laat omgaan. De rode draad is het zoeken naar duurzaamheid en zingeving die verder gaan dan het ecologische aspect van materialen.
Hilde Bouchez, schrijft, denkt en doceert over onze materiële cultuur, in het bijzonder over datgene wat dicht bij de mens staat. Ze werkte als journalist, was oprichter van BEople, hoofdredacteur van A-magazine en docent aan de Design Academy Eindhoven. Ze behaalde een doctoraat in de kunstwetenschappen aan de KU Leuven. Dit boek schreef ze met steun van een onderzoeksfonds van het KASK, waar ze ook docent is.
Met de steun van KASK / School of Arts Gent.
A Wild Thing
Everyday objects can have an extra dimension or quality that has no relation to functionality, form, a concept or a trend. So what is it that gives a particular glass an “aura”? Why should one thing have more shine, passion and “mystical allure” than another? A Wild Thing attempts to identify and describe these often intangible qualities.
There seems to be an inner light that shines from certain things. Unlike the blinding spotlight of media and marketing, this light is gentle and clear and reflects the methodology and intention of the maker. Ancient craftsmen designed from a place of unity with matter and the cosmos, putting themselves at the service of the making process and thereby creating a moment of transference from maker to thing.
A Wild Thing focuses on how this unity between a person, a thing and the universe can be attained through a particular manner of both designing and experiencing objects. This approach is in stark contrast to that of the star designer, who frequently conceives useless products that are nothing more than status symbols designed to generate wasteful consumption.
In a series of essays, Hilde Bouchez reflects on design history and the latest movements within the design world. She also presents a phenomenological methodology that opens up a new, more poetic approach to everyday objects for both maker and consumer. The texts are linked by the author’s search for a sustainability and meaning that transcends the organic component of materials.
Hilde Bouchez writes, thinks and teaches on the subject of our material culture and especially on the aspects that are closest to humans. She worked as a journalist, founded BEople, was editor-in-chief of A-magazine and a lecturer at Design Academy Eindhoven. Bouchez holds a doctorate in Fine Arts from KU Leuven and teaches at KASK, which provided the research funds that made the writing of this book possible.
with the support of KASK / School of Arts Gent
PLAIN / PURL
Rechts / Averechts wordt gepubliceerd naar aanleiding van de gelijknamige tentoonstelling die loopt van 30 maart tot 1 oktober 2017 in het Design museum Gent. De publicatie, die 10 jaar textielontwerp aan KASK, School of Arts Gent belicht, kadert de opleiding textielontwerp binnen verschillende contexten waarbinnen de discipline zich ontwikkelt: onderwijs, onderzoek, industrie, kunst… Het boek benadrukt het potentieel van de opleiding én verduidelijkt haar filosofie die openheid, artistiek onderzoek en experiment voorop stelt. Rechts / Averechts bevat tekstbijdragen van Wim de Temmerman, Katrien laporte, Els Roelandt, Diane Steverlynck, Els Huygelen en Clara Vankerschaver en is overvloedig geïllustreerd met de bijzonder inspirerende foto’s van creaties van de eindejaarsstudenten textielontwerp.
met de steun van KASK / School of Arts Gent
This publication coincides with the exhibition Plain / Purl from march 30th until october 1st 2017 in Design Museum Ghent. It marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the ‘Textile design’ course at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) of University College Ghent. The publication emphasizes the potential of the course and explains her philosophy of openness, artistic research and experiment. With textual contributions by Wim de Temmerman, Katrien Laporte, Els Roelandt, Diane Steverlynck, Els Huygelen and Clara Vankerschaver. The publication contains inspiring pictures with works from graduating students.
with the support of KASK / School of Arts Ghent
Mastering The Curtains
Republic of Iran: on the one hand the public and transparent, on the other hand the hidden. The first approach focuses on the content and implementation in the public space of the old popular and politicized street theatre Tazi’yeh. The second approach explores the hidden world of the Sufis and their political difficulties within the current policy. Originally, these seeming opposites have common ground in Iranian collective memory through a rendition of social and spiritual resistance. The four-year research process involved continuous oscillation between exploration and self-reflection. Reflections on religion, other and I, position and opposition, private and public, transparency and control are combined with series of images as in a ‘flow of consciousness’. The social potential of secular mysticism is distilled from this research.
with the support of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp
Two years after his celebrated Nude Animal Cigar (Art Paper Editions, 2015), Dutch artist Paul Kooiker is set to publish a new book called Tokyo, a joint publication by Art Paper Editions and Artbeat Publishers. The new series presented therein has its origins in just one photography session held by Kooiker in Tokyo in 2015, as part of a brief residency on the invitation of G/P gallery. Kooiker shot about a dozen colour photographs of a professional model posing nearly naked. In a modest pin-up pose the anonymous woman is seen on her back, left arm raised toward her head in a curve, and shoulder pushing a set of Venetian blinds to the right, that is casting a striped shadow onto her body.
In the spring of 2016, an early part of the series was first shown under the title History X at tegenboschvanvreden gallery in Amsterdam. Kooiker had revised a few of the nearly identical images in Photoshop, freely altering layer after layer, often stretching the image beyond recognition while exploiting Photoshop’s complete colour spectrum. The large inkjet prints he made from his experiments conveyed a subtle painterly effect.
Expanding his series, Kooiker downsized the image to a square format, shifting the focus to the model’s bottom, while he kept labouring on and experimenting with this basic image in Photoshop. For Tokyo, Kooiker selected 106 from several hundreds of images. The book presents the widest array of possible variations on a theme. For viewers well-versed in twentieth-century art it is almost impossible not to be reminded of movements in art such as constructivism, cubism, surrealism, abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism, and so on.
But Tokyo doesn’t show paintings. Instead, Kooiker pushed photography to its very outer limits. The resulting images might resemble the art of painting, but in the end it amounts to neither painting nor photography. Kooiker has travelled the dual track of image abstraction and obsessive repetition of a single digital cliché, thereby permitting himself ultimate freedom. It resulted in a high-spirited picture volume, devoid of any narrative editing, walking the line between art catalogue and artist’s book.
With the support of Mondriaanfonds.
Print On Demand
Manor Grunewald considers himself first and foremost as a painter, although he is also active in the fields of sculpture, installation and prints. His work is characterised by the constant analysis of the development of the pictorial in our daily environment. He finds and collects the sources of his images everywhere in daily life: in newspapers, advertising, books, etc. In his recent works, his painting is concerned with the optics, visual conformity, imperfection and arbitrariness of the phenomenon of the black-and-white copy.
The Great Cape Rinderhorn
Thorsten Brinkmann (1971, Herne (D)) calls himself a serial collector. In the storeroom at his studio you can find the most varied objects. He finds these objects on flea markets, in thrift shops, on the street, at refuse dumps, etc. They are part of middle-class domestic culture. He uses these objets trouvés to show how we relate to the objects that surround us. Objects define our identity and inform our culture, and as a result what belongs to us is of considerable importance. We shape and design the objects that surround us and in turn they shape us and the lives we live.
The Great Cape Rinderhorn is a word-play which on the one hand refers to a monumental bull’s horn, to a cape (a sleeveless garment) and Cape Horn at the southernmost extremity of Chile. Apart from a lighthouse, a house and a chapel, Cape Horn is a barren landscape.
The Great Cape Rinderhorn has been shown at the Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas (US) and Be-Part, Waregem (B). This publication is made with images from these two exhibitions and acts as a new chapter for this installation.
With the support of Be-Part (Waregem)
Tu me dis
Tu me dis « c’est fou ce pouvoir que tu as quand tu es photographe, tu peux capter un instant et tu détiens le moment, tu peux dire à quelqu’un regarde moi dans les yeux, enlève ta robe, croise les jambes ».
Je te demande c’est quoi « be photographer » tu me dis c’est ça c’est « get the power ».
J’essaie de te capter mais tu files je n’arrive pas à t’attraper, je te dis « non » ce n’est pas ça, ce n’est pas toi.
Tu m’expliques qu’il ne faut jamais dire ça, ne dis jamais « non » quand tu cherches à obtenir une image vraie.
Tu m’expliques que c’est du travail que des fois il ne faut juste rien dire c’est là, des fois tu dois dire que « c’est bien », « oui comme ça » mais « non » c’est impossible, pas quand tu essaies de capter l’instant.
Tu es assis, tu me parles de ces images, des enfants qu’on vend en Afrique, de toi qui arrives là-bas, quatre hommes te récupèrent quand tu descends de l’avion, deux hommes t’amènent sur un marché, tu dois prendre des photos vite, vite, capter le regard de cet enfant qu’on vend, vite.
Tu me dis que des fois tu ne sais plus pourquoi tu fais ça mais qu’en même temps tu ne sais rien faire d’autres.
Tu me dis qu’en Russie, tu n’as pu photographier que des portes closes.
Tu me dis qu’en Chine, tu as dormi trois semaines dans une école de garçon en plein cœur des montagnes, tu les prenais en photo, il faisait pareil.
Tu me dis que vous étiez des étrangers qui s’apprivoisaient comme ça.
Tu me dis que c’était comme de la méditation, couper de tout, dans le silence des montagnes.
Tu me dis que dans trois semaines tu pars mais je ne comprend pas où.
Tu me dis que tu es up and down que tout se casse et que tu sais que c’est de ta faute.
Je te dis que je connais moi aussi c’est comme ça.
Tu me dis, j’ai rencontré une vieille dame aux cheveux rouges, elle est belle, je l’ai prise en photo de nuit c’était magnifique.
Tu dis j’aimerais capter l’intimité des gens.
You tell me that “it’s a crazy thing, the power you have when you’re a photographer, you can capture a moment and you own that moment, you can tell someone to look you in the eyes, to take off their dress, to cross their legs”.
I ask you what it means to “be a photographer” and you tell me that that’s what it’s about, to “get the power”.
I try to capture you but you slip away I can’t seem to catch you, I tell you “no” it’s not that, that’s not you.
You explain to me that one should never say such a thing, never say “no” when you are looking for a way to shoot a real photo.
You explain to me that it’s work, that sometimes you just don’t have to say anything, that it’s there, at times you have to say “it’s alright”, “yes, like that” but “no” is impossible, don’t say it when you’re trying to catch the moment.
You’re sitting down, you’re telling me about these pictures,
about kids they sell in Africa, about you arriving there and four guys who came to collect you from the plane, about two guys who took you to a marketplace, how you quickly, quickly had to take pictures, capture the look of this kid they were selling, quickly.
You tell me that at times you don’t even know why you do it but at the same time you wouldn’t know what else to do.
You tell me that in Russia you could only photograph closed doors.
You tell me that in China you’ve slept in a boys school that lied in the very heart of the mountains, you’ve taken their photos, they’ve taken yours.
You tell me that you were strangers who grew familiar with one another like that.
You tell me that it was like some kind of meditation, to cut yourself loose from all things, to be in the silent mountains.
You tell me that in three weeks you’re leaving but I don’t understand where to.
You tell me that you’re up and down, that everything breaks and that you know you’re the one to blame.
I tell you that I know, that I’m also like that.
You tell me: I met an old lady with red hair, she’s pretty, I’ve taken her photo at night, it was magnificent.
You tell me that you would like to capture the intimacy of people.
Fascinated by the concept of intimacy in Japan, and Japanese culture at large, Belgian photographer Zaza Bertrand created a documentary photo series inside rabuhos. In these kitschy safe havens, erotic desires roam freely yet anonymously, in utter seclusion. More colloquially known as love hotels, rabuhos epitomise the long-held pragmatic separation of sex and love in Japan.
Even though rabuhos have become pretty normalized in the national mindset, sentiments on this phenomenon tend to run the full gamut, from scandalized through embarrassment to titillate and sheer intrigue.
As an outsider looking in, Zaza attempted to capture these innate dichotomies and paradoxes. Her physical presence yet inability to communicate with her subjects, creates a tension so palpable between her and the visitors she portrays (or models as she prefers to call them), it echoes through in her imagery. Reflecting the ambiguous perceptions on intimacy, the documental photo series captures a frail sense of alienation and poignancy at the same time.
She was wholly dependent on her subjects: they were in charge and decided to let her in or not (in return she would pay for their room). Reliant as she was on the openness of her subjects, she could only direct and stage the shoot to some extent. There was no styling involved and her models picked the location. In these hotels adorned with neon colours and gaudy décor, she experienced a candidness that stands in remarkably stark contrast with traditional cultural hallmarks such as chastity, decency and social conformity.
The Japanese are often assumed to be sexually repressed. To some extent this rings true: the list of erotic taboos is infinite and an increasing number chooses to forgo romance in favour of a single lifestyle. Relationship phobia and romantic apathy, also known in Japan as “celibacy syndrome”, reign supreme among a persistently growing group of mostly youngsters. And while even traditional values still abound, the sex industry is the second largest industry in the country.
It makes the phenomenon of rabuhos all the more puzzling. The fully automated hotels –rabuhos are completely devoid of personnel to grant visitors the utmost privacy and anonymity- provide a window of opportunity for furtive lunchtime quickies and encounters of financial nature. Yet it is predominantly twenty and thirty-somethings who haven’t (yet) reached a state of financial independence to move out of their elderly home, that enter these love hotels. Given they often live in tiny houses with paper-thin walls with little to no privacy with their granny in the next room, intimacy is an audacious pursuit.
In that regard, in a country which according to cultural critics is experiencing a “flight from human intimacy”, rabuhos can be seen as a way to escape the yoke of parental control and re-gain some level of autarky and empowerment, albeit temporally. (Claire van den Berg)
In 2015 The Maarten Van Severen Foundation and the Department of Design of KASK / School of Arts Ghent decided to establish a chair with the aim of conveying the relevance and significance of Maarten Van Severen’s work for today’s designers. Every year a leading designer, whose work has an affinity with the work of Maarten Van Severen, will give a lecture and a masterclass. He or she will reflect on the common ground between their work and that of Maarten van Severen and on the qualities of his work in light of the current design culture.
In December 2015 Erwan Bouroullec gave the first MVSC lectures for more than 700 attendants and the following week he guided 15 students from 5 different art schools into the wild, -the title of his workshop.
Starting from a material of choice and no other parameter, goal or well defined result, the students played, -some struggled-, but in the end they all had a lot of fun. Being in the moment, fully intuitive and working with whatever is available was the motto.
Because the essence of the workshop was rather the process than any kind of final product, Erwan and his birds, -that is the name he gave his students-, decided to continue the workshop until the summer. The result is a fascinating collection of things, created out of the wild, which is presented at the Biennale Interieur 2016.
In collaboration with The Maarten Van Severen Foundation and the Department of Design of KASK / School of Arts Ghent.
Vormgevingserfgoed in Vlaanderen na 1945
Belgisch Congo Belge
“Why copy an album of postage stamps from the former Belgian Congo, page after page, stamp after stamp, and so precisely in terms of dimensions, illustrations and colours? Despite the initial confusion about Tuur and Flup Marinus’ project, when confronted by the materiality it soon becomes clear that there’s something interesting going on here. We see perfectly reproduced sheets; sets of exotic stamps in soft hues, protected by a transparent strip of varnish, and framed by an intrusive black background. Go on looking and this painterly appropriation becomes the magnifying glass and the mirror which unmask the colonial rhetoric.”
“When we look at colonial collections some 60 years after decolonization, we are struck first and foremost by what is missing in those collections: the real world of colonial subjects and their relationships with Belgians (and other Westerners) and the structural inequalities between the two categories which made the passion for collecting possible. In some of his best stories Jorge Luis Borges showed the absurdity of attempts to create an imaginary world which corresponds fully to the reality or even to another imaginary world, such as Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
Flup and Tuur Marinus’ artwork does something similar: the patience and diligence with which they toiled to create it reminds us how absurd it was to try and collect the complete colonial world through collections and by extension how absurd it was to try and control and dominate politically an area as large as Western Europe through colonial rule.”
La Botiga de l’Anson
“The towering sign saying ‘Meubelgalerie Vynckier’ rises up in an ordinary street in the urbanised town of Waregem. The advertising message does not adorn the façade, but covers almost the entire blank side wall, which in Belgium is known as a ‘waiting wall’. In anticipation of a neighbour who will build his terraced house or business premises against it, this side wall, in brick and lacking any windows, contributes to the phenomenon of typically Flemish or Belgian ribbon development.
The architecture, with its glazed brick and large glass display windows tells us that Meubelgalerie Vynckier must have been built at some time in the 1950s. The period of Expo 58, when Flanders, and with it the rural district of Waregem, enthusiastically embraced modernism. The Vynckier furniture business now no longer exists. An artist has moved into the workshops and makes the showroom available as an exhibition space.
However, Meubelgalerie Vynckier was part of another modernity, another vision of furnishings, than that in which the Catalan artist Martí Anson grew up. Joaquim, Martí’s father, designed and manufactured furniture with the approach of the modernist avant-garde, which did not conceive of utility objects as an artistic craft or as reduced to the role of consumer goods, but as ‘constructions’ that contributed to building a better – and more social – society .La Botiga de l’Anson (Anson’s Shop), the project at Meubelgalerie Vynckier, does not simply show a number of pieces of furniture inspired by Anson’s father’s work. It is actually an ambiguous installation. It is in fact a revival of a project that he had already developed for the Species of Spaces exhibition at the MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona).”
realised in collaboration with Be-Part, Waregem
The uneasy realisation of a coincidence
A questioning of the role of the camera as obstacle between the photographer and reality continually enters into young Belgian photographer Tom Callemin’s artistic process. This inquiry is translated into haunting images that are usually created in the studio, requiring long periods of preparation. His work therefore reads as an ode to slowness. Meticulously constructed black-and-white compositions are contrasted with Callemin’s ongoing exploration of the portrait, resulting in a selection of enigmatic and refined images. This book is published on the occasion of a solo exhibition of Callemin’s work at FOMU Antwerp and includes a text by Taco Hidde Bakker.
BUNSHAFT X PISTE
BUNDSHAFTX PISTE performed by Jan Vanbiervliet, TommySunshine, Christian Simenon and Dietmar Zadel (riders), Lynn Lichtervelde (jury), Jean Bernard Koeman (commentator), Waldo De Roo (assistant to Mr. Sunshine and Mr. Zadel), Pablo Alfonso (mechanic), and Etienne Delzeyne (guest of honour) at WERELDKWARTIERRECORD, 12 September 2015, ING Brussels. Recorded, mixed and mastered by by Edwin Willemen/Studio SanteBoutique.
Photo Tom Callemin & Olmo Peeters. In collaboration with ING Belgium – Art Management.
APE#071 2015, Art Paper Editions & Pieterjan Ginckels
Idiosyncratic Copy Machine
Idiosyncratic Machine is a shape-generating drawing method developed by Kristof Van Gestel in the context of his visual artistic practice. The space in between everyday objects become the basis from which unexpected abstract shapes are systematically derived. The artist then uses these abstract shapes in the creation of networks. Tis is how this publication Idiosyncratic Copy Machine was conceived. In collaboration with Niek Pladet, a new procedure was developed that applies the logic of the Idiosyncratic Machine in the graphic realm. Two shapes were placed on the plate glass of a photocopier, copied and cut out. The resulting remainder then became the original for a new copy, again yielding a reminder to be worked with. These steps were repeated 30 times. This publication is the documentation of that process.
SABOTAGE AND COMPLICITY
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Essay: Tom Van Imschoot
Design: We Became Aware
The Perfect Document
Every conceivable object—from an ordinary thing to a readymade that is presented in an artistic context or an intentionally constructed artefact—once probably had a photographic pendant, either as a document or an artistic interpretation. On the one hand it’s a lovely and even comforting idea that things are given a second life, but on the other hand it’s a depressing thought that reveals something about our obsession to portray.
design: Yana Foqué
How Things Meet (Photo novel)
A photo novel
This book can be found in the rooms of the Plaza Hotel in Tirana, Albania, which opens in 2016. It is situated within a tower, designed by the Brussels–based architecture practice, 51N4E. The aim of the photo novel is to celebrate the project and its anticipated finalisation. As the tower took 12 years to be completed, the locals started to call it kulla e pambaruar, the unfinished tower. The book navigates the suspense of that epic journey, unravelling the links between the tower and the city, and hinting at ways one may choose to embrace them. Although the reader may only be passing through, this book urges them to look beyond their room, at the city and what it stands for.
Also available in Albanian (ISBN: 9789490800475)
Një roman fotografik
Këtë libër mund ta gjesh në dhomat e hotel The Plaza në Tiranë, Shqipëri, i cili u hap më 2016. Hoteli është vendosur në kullën e projektuar nga studioja arkitekturore 51N4E, me qendër në Bruksel. Që nga shpallja e fituesit në vitin 2004, u deshën plot 12 vjet për të përfunduar kullën e cila, në këtë kohëzgjatje, u emërua dhe si kulla e pambaruar. Libri është një udhëtim emocional e vizual në këtë rrugëtim të gjatë, gati epik, dhe në të gjithë tensionet që përmban. Mund të kesh qenë në një nga dhomat e këtij hoteli apo thjesht mund t’i kesh kaluar përbri. Kjo nuk ka rëndësi, sepse ky libër merr shkas nga një projekt dhe të fton ta shohësh nga tjetër këndvështrim një kryeqytet, nje kullë dhe atë çka ato përfaqësojnë.
How Things Meet
Book launch at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016
‘Tell me where you want to go first. I will tell you the whole story on the way. My generation is well versed in The Palace of Dreams,’ Ont said, a strange pride straightening his back, as though it had shed a few of its years. ‘As for today’s youth, that’s a different story.’
This dual-narrative, part photo-novel, part real-life journey, tells one story in multiple ways. In its first part, the book couples short stories by Falma Fshazi with photographs by Stefano Graziani. The story of a discovery; an encounter with a strange land, beyond East and West, and a city, Tirana. The second part casts a retrospective look at the construction of a tower designed by 51N4E, and on all the projects that followed in its wake, from 2004 onwards. It describes moments, processes and relationships that allowed the architects to come into contact with a culture and a context so different from their own. Overall, this book is a story of embracing otherness, and a contemplation on how things meet.
‘51N4E, in the beginning they were only architects and later they became Belgian immigrants in Albania…’ Edi Rama
Little blues booklet
Little Blues Booklet is a facsimile of a songbook that Hana Miletić found on the streets of Brussels. The title, which can be found in one of the songs, refers to the Rhythm-and-Blues style of the handwritten lyrics. As Miletić wasn’t able to return the songbook to its anonymous author she decided to put the book into circulation.
For the launch Little Blues Booklet will be activated during a live singing performance by Virginie Honvoh who is trained in traditional jazz, a style at the origins of contemporary RnB. The original lyrics are written from a male perspective. In order to overturn the objectifying descriptions of the female body in the lyrics and in order to distrupt the described gender patterns, Miletić consciously favoured to give the lyrics a female voice.
Modern RnB is not about discrete songs, It’s about texture, mood and feel. (Rihanna)
Geen Wolk, hoe kunst mijn leven redde
Hanne Hagenaars neemt ons mee dwars door de donkere tijden van haar jeugd naar het licht van latere inzichten. Hoe ze zichzelf en de herinneringen die haar najoegen oversteeg door haar oor bij kunst te luisteren te leggen. Niet per se bij grote, bekende kunstenaars, sommigen zul je nog nooit van gehoord hebben. Kunst als een middel om over jezelf heen te kijken en grotere verbanden te ontdekken. Voorbij jezelf, en tegelijkertijd in jezelf. Zo is ze bij de kunstenaars uitgekomen in dit boek. Intuïtief moet ze geweten hebben dat er in hun werk iets te halen viel. Dit is een dapper, persoonlijk en intelligent boek. In wat het beschrijft en hoe het beschrijft is het zelf een kunstwerk. (Uit het nawoord van Hans Aarsman)
dunkel (artist edition)
(shipping february 2016)
12″ coloured vinyl / cover sleeve photo by Geert Goiris
mein Bruder Karin is an electronics duo from Brussels and Düsseldorf, founded by Volkmar Mühleis and Lutz Boddenberg. They mix the tradition of German songwriting with sound experiments. Boddenberg has collaborated with Kraftwerk drumcomposer Wolfgang Flür, Angela Davis and Australian singer Julia Messanger; he composes and produces the music. Mühleis writes and performs the lyrics.
Elk Island Construction Workers
“Every time I went home to my apartment on the outskirts of Moscow, I passed hundreds of waiting construction workers, mostly guest workers from Central Asia, involved in the construction of the “ Elk Island” block of flats. One day, I decided to take out my camera and capture the movement of my passage and my view, and to look back.” — For the occasion of the 4th Moscow Biennale, Debby Huysmans stayed in Moscow for a short period at the border of the Elk Island national park.
Debby Huysmans’s (°BE,1980) poetic visual language mostly lends itself to rural, small pieces of marked out landscape. In Elk Island Construction Workers she wonderfully manages to translate her photographic ability to the Russian metropolis. Her landscape appears to grow smaller than before, as if she has succumbed to an inherent need of intelligibility. A seemingly unequivocal, poetic gesture. Still, again this is poetry with a sting. Shuffling and wavering, the photographer moves closer, subtle variations in the reactions become visible. Like a game, a classic game, between the maker and the portrayed, between intimacy, privacy, social order and gender. Fortunately, sometimes nature interferes, from behind the fence, that red rigorous fens. (Joachim Naudts)
introduced by Hana Miletić
Featuring Maïra & Samia Belassa, J-ST
For her contribution to the Young Belgian Art Prize exhibition in BOZAR Brussels Hana Miletić sought a way to share the space and time resources of an art institution. In addition to the series of daily live poetry readings from the book « Tenir Paroles » (APE #046) that is based on song lyrics by fka La Frénétick, the collective of young rappers from Brussels that Miletić has been working with since 2012, she made an audio-recording of fka La Frénétick performing in BOZAR’s Chamber Music Room. This recording will be released as a single (APE #059) and presented to the public during a live performance at the closing event of the exhibition on Thursday 10 September.
Miletić proposed to fka La Frénétick to co-create a new repertoire of songs in which their narratives could intertwine. One of the fruits of this collaboration is one of the rap songs on the single, « 15 ans » that is based on Françoise Mallet-Joris’ – fka Françoise Lilar – poem « Chanson de mes 15 ans » from 1947. Miletić introduced Mallet-Joris’ poetry to fka La Frénétick because they both began writing verses at 15 years old, albiet in a very different Brussels.
Recorded live in the Chamber Music Room of the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels (BOZAR) during the summer of 2015 within the framework of Tenir Paroles, Hana Miletic´’s contribution to the Young Belgian Art Prize.
7’’ single, 45 rpm
Written by Mister Zeff
Beats by Five’0
Produced by Youri Balcers
Photography by Hana Miletic´
Dominique Somers’ work 00A consists of a remarkable compilation of found images. The title of the series refers to the starting-point markings printed between the sprocket holes on the leader of a 35-mm photographic film. Somers has been collecting the first, automatic exposures made on this 00A frame of the negative strip for years. They are the result of a photographic practice that in today’s digital age has almost become a form of archaeology: when positioning a roll of analogue film in the camera, one has to release the shutter a few times and wind a couple of frames forward to reach the starting position (1A) of the unexposed part of the spooled film. It is precisely these throwaway shots, made while loading the camera before the real work begins, that Somers has appropriated.
The 00A image is given, not made. It is the antipode of the naïve, redundant photography of amateurs and journalists, the users of 35-mm cameras. As a series, 00A investigates the boundaries of the technical and conceptual identity of photography.
Four Oranges, Some Office Buildings, Woman’s Legs
Between August and November 2014 Stephanie Kiwitt was commissioned by Team Flemish Government Architect to make a photographic work about the outskirts of Brussels: Diegem, Haren, Zaventem, Sint-Stevens-Woluwe, Kraainem, Sint-Pieters-Woluwe, Oudergem, Ukkel, Vorst, Drogenbos, Ruisbroek, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Anderlecht, Dilbeek, Groot-Bijgaarden, Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Ganshoren, Jette, Strombeek-Bever, Grimbergen and Vilvoorde. These neighbouring but extremely different areas cannot be conceived in terms of a single unequivocal image. The composition and order of the double pages in this publication do not refer to their geographical origins, but introduce a new order and create a connection related purely to aesthetics of form.
Temporary Penetrable Exhibition Spaces
Gedurende 10 jaar opende de kunstenaar leegstaande, vergeten ruimtes in de urbane omgeving. Deze plaatsen werden opengebrokenen en opengesteld voor het publiek gedurende de periode dat deze plekken niet terug ontsloten of afgebroken werden. Elke tijdelijke doordringbare ruimte werd telkens aangekondigd binnen een andere tentoonstellingscontext om zo de problematiek van site-specific interventies doorheen de kunstgeschiedenis aan de kaak te stellen.
Dit project is een ankerwerk binnen het oeuvre van de kunstenaar die steeds op een andere manier de aandacht wil vestigen op de overdreven snelheid waarmee leegstaande panden afgesloten en ontsloten worden voor het publiek. In vele gevallen worden het te mijden plaatsen die de omgeving ontsieren. Esthetische kankervlekken in de publieke ruimte zijn in vele gevallen het gevolg van economische veronachtzaming en speculatie. Ingrijpende renovatieplannen leiden vaak tot uitsluiting van alles wat onaangepast is en niet aan de doorsnee norm voldoet. Elke bron van wanorde dient onmiddelijk de kop ingedrukt te worden. Alles wat de rede of orde zou kunnen bedreigen, wordt uitgebannen en als ontoelaatbare keuze veroordeeld.
Geografische en stedelijke ordening is in die optiek een parallel aan de mentale uitsluiting van alles wat irrationeel, chaotisch en onredelijk is. Toch veroorzaken sommige overhaaste beslissingen tot af-of uitsluiting bij vele mensen een gevoel van desoriëntatie en onzekerheid. De maatschappelijke snelheid lijkt het verlies aan tolerantie en blijvende zingeving in de hand te werken.
Indeed, the latest episode in F&R R&F’s artistic course is tangible and real. Dealing with killing hardware and all its social, political, economical, cultural and sexual ramifications, the Guns‐project (2014), which consists of 400 hand‐made wooden weapons, leaves no room for ambiguity. It is distinctly about guns, yet the project offers a productive lead to reflect upon a broad set of issues, from the production and distribution of fire weapons, to the guns’ presence in our everyday lives and social imaginaries. Not only does the Guns‐project reflect the global omnipresence of fire weapons (be it in the media, in the film industry or in our direct environment), it equally touches upon some recent questions concerning the DIY‐manufacturing of armory. The Guns‐project comes at a time when designer Cody Wilson has conceived the first 3‐D printed gun, now owned by the V&A in London, the world’s largest design museum. In 2014 a New York Times article indicated how the rise of open‐source education has smoothed the path for Al‐Qaida militants in distant lands to carry out smaller‐scale solo attacks by virtue of hand-‐made artillery. And one shouldn’t forget how easily child militias living in the Third World craft their homemade guns from scrap metal at junkyards.
Yet, for some, guns are closer to home than we’d sometimes want to believe. Guns are the comfort objects hidden underneath the thousands of pillows in American homes. Guns are the means through which children, for the first time in their lives, learn to enact power dynamics and hierarchies when playing racist Cowboys and Indians games. Guns are the symbols of patriarchy: hard and erected, the guns impertinently point at human flesh, ready to explode. Guns are the tools of oppression and control, the instruments of brutality and domination of the police state.
Why have in F&R R&F decided to devote one month of their artistic practice to the creation of a wide collection of harmless weapons made of wood? The answer is very simple. “Weakness is provocative”, President Rumsfeld famously observed, “It entices people into doing things that they otherwise would not do.” When your power is weak, you give power to your weakness. With vulnerability and humor as their weapons, F&R R&F happily play the game‐and they play it quick and with a slight twist. (Laura Hermann)
Introduction by Laura Hermann
Essay by Charlotte Van Buylaere (translated into the 6 official languages of the UN)
This publication is made possible with the support of Be-Part (Waregem), Broelmuseum (Kortrijk), Netwerk (Aalst), GEMAK (Den Haag), Wing Tai Roof (Hong Kong) and Kurt De Munter.
TAKING OFF. HENRY MY NEIGHBOR
Taking Off is a real picture story of a failed marriage, sexual frustration and voyeurism. An extraordinary amount of photographs and cut-up collages comprise an archival vertigo of amateur nude art.
Through people she met on a journey through the United States, artist Mariken Wessels gained access to the studio and the entire archive of Henry, as well as full consent over its use. She started redacting the work and arranging it into an artist’s book, in which the audience will be invited to a journey into Henry’s life and his vision of his former wife and muse Martha.
Lotte Reimanns (DE, 1982) Jaunt is based on a collection of nude (self-) portraits of an elderly amateur photographers couple found on a picture sharing site. Other pictures from “random” sources on the Internet were added. Reimann re-photographed them all from a computer screen.
“Metal, steel, glass, leather, plastic, oil, and dirt – all agglomerated into one piece, which encloses me – blasting with tremendous speed through the landscape, is hugely exciting, arousing.” — Lotte Reimann
With the support of Stiftung Kunstfonds
“Perhaps it can be somewhat of a consolation to know that behind the secured doors things are not always much better. For when the general public does enter an embassy, it usually is to spend many hours in the consular section, waiting for one’s number to come up on the screen to present one’s visa application or start some other administrative procedure. Elisabeth Ida thus shows us the normality of the embassy: daily life on both sides of the gateway goes on in pretty much the same way.”
Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop
Ghent University & Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations (Brussels)
The Pattaya Sex Bubble
NUDE ANIMAL CIGAR
Paul Kooiker is among the most interesting conceptual photographers currently working in the Netherlands. Although his work consists entirely of photographic images, he is not so much a photographer as a sculptor and installation artist. His fascination with intriguing themes like voyeurism, innocence and clichés leads him to construct fictive collections of images that are of extremely uncertain origin, subject and significance. In his latest installation, Nude Animal Cigar, created at the invitation of the Hague Museum of Photography, Kooiker looks back over his twenty-year career in the visual arts. The result is a bewildering array of two hundred photographic works, in which images of nudes and of animals are interspersed with close-ups of the countless cigars he has smoked in his studio over the years.
Paul Kooiker (b. 1964) is not interested in creating the perfect photographic image. The value of his work lies not in his individual photographs (which are sometimes overexposed, blurred by camera movement or grainy), but in what he does with them postproduction – the subsequent process of selection and manipulation. In the initial phase of his creative process he is a deliberately ‘bad’ photographer, producing a mass of exploratory material that often runs to hundreds of images. He then approaches this material as a visual artist, creating ‘collections’ in the form of three-dimensional installations and photo books. These fictive collections look as if they have been found somewhere or have turned up in some ancient suitcase abandoned for decades in an attic. To ensure their credibility, Kooiker pays meticulous attention to internal consistency of form and style. This stands in sharp contrast to the contents of his series, which are often enigmatic and vaguely disturbing.
This publication coincides with the solo exhibition NUDE ANIMAL CIGAR at The Hague Museum of Photography, October 18, 2014 – January 18, 2015
Once a month during the renovation of De Garage, Kris Van Dessel collected a sample of rubble from the site. In the period from March 2013 to December 2014, he took 22 samples in total, each of which he carefully filtered and meticulously stored in chronological order in his atelier, their temporary resting place. These were preserved in transparent containers, which started to form a stacked representation of muted earth colours showing the geological strata of the renovation’s gradual progress. The resulting stack would not have looked out of place in an archaeological research facility. The artist’s subtle presence amid all the activity of the construction site must have appeared quite inconspicuous. This tightly rhythmic series of actions manifests itself in the solo exhibition Sampled History, in which the artist has transposed the samples to the exhibition space in one simple, geo-artistic gesture. He mixes every sample of material with a specific amount of water and applies these emulsions to the walls of the exhibition space, employing a syntax of consecutive, chronological layers.
Sampling means borrowing a characteristic piece of another creation with the intention of incorporating it in one’s own work. The principle was first observed in the mid-20th century in the French musical movement Musique Concrète, in which existing sounds were incorporated into sound collages. Something similar can be observed here in this context. Through the schematic, geological representation of the renovation process, the scars of former artistic productions are made visible in the epidermis of the exhibition space. The archaeology of cultural production in De Garage is gradually revealed by the artist. This intervention recalls a memory — albeit inverted — of Pierre Huyghe’s intervention piece ‘Timekeepers’. Here, the layer-after-layer exposure of erased presentations in the wall’s paintwork makes way for Van Dessel’s forensic detection of clues across the wall’s surface. The carefully-applied pigments are expertly brushed away after a certain amount of drying time has allowed the added water to evaporate. Characteristic of Van Dessel’s recent work is the recurring principle of completely returning the raw materials he has used in his artistic process to the earth. The substances are returned to their origin — like a field recording played back at the location where it was recorded.
The work of Kris Van Dessel is not to be categorised as a series of manufactured artefacts bound to or positioned in an exhibition space. His work would better be described as offering cross-sections of discoveries made tangible — the results of poetic-artistic research, presented here as food for thought for the observer. In addition to the renovation works that have fundamentally changed the architecture of the spaces, Kris Van Dessel has, with the utmost discretion, created a parallel space that breaks through the established time-space continuum. It’s wonderful to get lost in his work, that is, once you’ve wormed your through the formal, syntactic trail of consecutive, chronological, two-dimensional layers; reaching the light at the end of the wormhole, you are free to reflect on what has been and what could be in the future of the safe haven that is art — now surely more essential than ever.
‘(…) In other words, to perceive the whole is to leave the fragments displaced.’ Robert Smithson
So Many Dark Gifts
S&D#024 are: Adorno, Amen Dunes, Amenra, Aske, Aidan Baker, Aussitot Mort, Beau Navire, Laura Bergans, Beyt, Al Tapes, Birth, Mykki Blanco, Timo Bonneure, Boomtown, Anniek Brattinga, Broodmes, Jelle Bryon, Tim Bryon, Burning Bright, Michaël Bussaer, Natalie Buyse, Anne Callahan, Lize Chielens, Bieke Criel, Grégory Dapra, Guy De Bièvre, Pauwel De Buck, Rutger de Vries, Lydia Debeer, Deceiver, Dries Demoen, Hein Devos, Divorce, Liesbeth Doornbosch, Dracula Lewis, Filip Dujardin, Thais Dupont, Eagulls, Beatrijs Eemans, Paul Elliman, Faceneck, Stefano Faoro, Forced Collapse, Lars Fisher, Chris Fitzpatrick, Yana Foqué, Daniel Frota, Roland Frueh, Stedelijke Jeugddienst Gent, SO Gent, City of Ghent, Ilke Gers, Koen Gisen, Valentijn Goethals, Patrick Goethals, Olivier Goethals, Steve Gunn, Bardhi Haliti, Ward Heirweg, Gerard Herman, Bosco Hernandez, Hessian, Edward Hollis, Floris Hoorelbeke, Huerco S., Bert Huyghe, Ignatz, Karysun, Bjorn Kerckhof, Roel Kerkhofs, Kingdom, Lisa Kinoo, Daria Kiseleva, Mathew Kneebone, Maxine Kopsa, Menelaos Kouroudis, Kraak, Wim Lambrecht, Wendy Leplae, Les Morts Vont Bien, Chielens Lize, Johan Lootens, Tomas Lootens, Lower, Maan, Alexander Maekelberg, Jurgen Maelfeyt, Simon Marius, Karel Martens, Nicolas Matranga, Margarita Maximova, Jack McGrath, Mark McGuire, Ine Meganck, Bénédicte Mertens, Meurtr, Armand Mevis, Niko Mihaljevic, Quenton Miller, Mittland Och Leo, Maureen Mooren, Koen Mortier, Jeroen Mylle, Corina Neuenschwander, Michael Neyt, Phill Niblock, Kimiyuki Nishita, Nonrem, Christof Nüssli, Oathbreaker, Katrien Oosterlinck, Jan Opdekamp, Ane Østrem, Palmistry, Papaya, Laura Pappa, Fabrice Parent, Patten, Mauro Pawlowski, Julie Peeters, Ruben Persoons, Pieces Of Quiet, Melissa Pilon, Ping Pong Tactics, Possessed Factory, Christine Pogatchnik, Erica Preli, Herlinde Raeman, Kasper-Jan Raeman, Räpe Blossoms, Ratzinger, Patrick Ronse, Sofie De Rous, Greta Sabbe, Robert Schulze, Lotte Schroder, Seila Chiara, Mathieu Serruys, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Helen Simpson, Slobster, Olivier Smets, Dean Allen Spunt, Matthew Stadler, Markus Steinkellner, Subbacultcha, Syndrome, TBHR, Illias Teirlinck, Stefaan Temmerman, Temple Solaire, Terminal Hz, ThisQuietArmy, TG Gondard, Trailblazer, Treha Sektori, U.S. Girls, Pieter Uyttenhove, V.Vale, Danny van Dungen, Tom Van Imschoot, Stefanie Vancoillie, Kobe Vandenberghe, Sang Vandenbosch, Johan Vandermaelen, Colin H. Van Eeckhout, Yves Van Eeghem, Arnaud Vanrafelghem, Sam Velghe, Noah Venezia, Esther Venrooij, Emeriek Verhoye, Giacomo Vernada, Stephen Verstraete, Mia Verstraete, Vom grill, Patricia Walkers, Weird Dust, Mathew Whittington, Gary Wilson, Jens Wijnendaele, Yin Yin Wong, Manuel Zenner,…
parole (French): speech, utterance, voice, tone, language, word, sentence, saying; word of honour
tenir sa parole: to keep one’s word Hana Miletić explores the experimental potential of poetry and hip hop through an ongoing collaboration with a collective of young rappers from Brussels, La Frénétick (age 17 and 18 years). Miletić has been working with La Frénétick since 2012 when she met the rappers during photographic workshops that she organized together with the non-profit organization Foyer in Molenbeek, Brussels.
The outcomes of these workshops led to the previously released LP The Molem Collective, (APE#026, 2013).
The title of the brand new publication, Tenir Paroles (APE#046, 2014), considers the artistic and political potential of poetry. Departing from a background in documentary photography, Miletić started wondering whether words could also act as images. And what could the role of poetry be then in this world of appearances? The artist recalls Hannah Arendt’s thinking: that words are increasingly not just the medium in which we think, but the medium in which we live. Miletić believes that poetry can be an ally, or “a barking dog to a revolutionary reconfiguration of human society – a revolution which would destroy all social roles, that of the poet included” (quoted from a lecture by Marina Vishmidt, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, April 2014).
In close readings of La Frénétick’s lyrics, Miletić discovered multiple poetic moments. In addition to their textual sensibility, the songs often reference a figure which can be understood as the classic cursed poet (‘le poète maudit’), the artist who lives outside of society as an outcast, such as Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rimbaud or Verlaine.
Until recently La Frénétick had never performed live. All of the rappers’ activity happened almost exclusively online, on YouTube and Facebook. As a way of representing La Frénétick’s writing in physical form and of expanding the reading beyond a merely online temporality, Miletić started editing the original raps into a collection of poetry. Simply by bringing parts of the rappers’ lyrics to the surface, the fragments began to function as aphorisms and short poems. The editing process was done in close consultation with a co-editor, Ibrahim Khayar, who was also enrolled in the Foyer workshops and had been part of the Molem group. The poetry book Tenir Paroles, is the fruit of all of these multiple, long-term relationships.
‘Le Jonathan’ was a club in Brussels in the eighties and the meeting point for extreme right political figures like Francis Dossogne and Jean Bultot (in the images). These people were linked to terrorist organisations like ‘Bende van Nijvel’. In the video they are having a ‘jam’ bath with prostitutes. The parties are often referred to as ‘The pink ballets’.
Contributions by Elvia Wilk, Graham Harman and Adrian Mackenzie
In 1959, the American engineer Paul Baran was charged by the RAND Corporation with the task of designing a telecommunications network resilient enough to survive a nuclear attack. A year later Baran published his proposed solution: a network of distributed nodes without a centralized core. He argued that a distributed network would be indestructible because the connections between its nodes were redundant; multiple connections safeguard a system from total destruction if individual nodes are damaged. A decade later, Baran’s distributed relay node architecture formed the conceptual framework for the first system of inter-networked computers, which would become the basis for today’s decentralized wireless internet.
Still lifes, scenes and landscapes of a primeval location in Finland. During her several stays at the Art Residency Mustarinda between 2010 and 2013, Debby Huysmans found herself surrounded by and brought into contact with the old-growth forests. Late Spring shows how she uses the stories of different locals to explore this magical place, the northern nature and its meanings. Each person has his own strategy, his own dream, philosophy or opinion, but all of them are engaged with these mystical surroundings. Walking, beholding, observing, telling and collecting, are just some of the methods used to clarify the mystery of this ancient woodland and the fables related to them. This book is a complex, yet poetical narrative photographic interpretation about an ambiguous environment where nature, research and the spirits meet.
“In June 2004, I was officially declared by the government of Belgium a vreemdeling – a stranger, an alien, a foreigner. I remember when I was in the fifth grade, we were encouraged to share with the class what we wanted to become when we grow up. Though it seemed like a simple question, we took our time. So by the end of the lesson, we had produced a long list of “occupations” – a baseball player, a comic drawer, a scientist, a businessman or a journalist. It kept going on and on. Anything children at that age could think of, we possibly wrote them all down. On the day I became a foreigner I tried to recall the list, and foreigner was not on it. I guess none of us thought of becoming one. For my residency at Be-Part, I have decided to work on a novel, or rather, a form of a novel. To me, as a visual artist, it is a stretched reality, translated from visual memories, that lives on paper. Brown is a work of fiction and at the same time an autobiographical collage that depicts a potential future self. Despite the immigrant background, Brown is not about racism. It’s about how people define and call a place home, and how people struggle when they’re socially disabled. If you are away from home, if you are going to be away from home, if you had been away from home, then Brown is a book for you.” Hou Chien Cheng
In collaboration with Be-Part Waregem.
Is today really everything so dreadfully the same, or, on Hana Miletić’s fascination with Stilinović’s Hairdressers (Frizeri)
To understand Hana Miletić’s artist’s book Coif Mode it is necessary to take a look at the specific art practice and work of Mladen Stilinović in the so-called New Art Practice. It embraces innovations which appeared on the Croatian and Yugoslavian art scene of the 1970s and which are, in the local context, usually related to conceptual art. Although it is hard to find a unique common denominator for the many phenomena that lead to the concretization of ideas, these complex activities are characterized, among other things, by the dematerialization of the art object and by the appearance of the artist in public space.
Sandra Križić Roban
Aaron McElroy (b. 1978, Daytona, FL) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He started with photography in 2005. Shortly after he was accepted at the New England School of Photography, graduating in 2007. He most recently had solo shows at Horton Gallery NY, NY, and at Ampersand Gallery, Portland, OR.. His work was part of group exhibitions at FOAM Photography Museum, Amsterdam, NL, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY, Chelsea Art Museum, NY, NY, and Noorderlicht gallery Groningen, NL, among others. In 2013, two monographs were published: “Aaron McElroy: SPBN”, with Self Publish Be Happy, and “After Wake”, with Ampersand Gallery. As part of the collective AM projects, he was included in Nocturnes, a limited edition six person box set, designed and published by dienacht Publishing. Nocturnes was selected for “The books we loved” in 2012 by Time Magazine, and was part of the exhibit ICP Triennial, International Center for Photography, NY, NY. Most recently he featured in the book Nudity Today: edited by Jesse Pearson and published by Picture Box.
New ways of photographing the New Masai
The Masais are always photographed the same: jumping in nature while wearing traditional outfits and jewelry, almost like a group of animals. But more and more Masai start to live in towns and buy their first Nikes and put mobile phones in their stretched ears. Together with seven urban Masai I tried to find a new way to photograph the new Masai.
under the city lies a sea
Dhondt’s method of working is intensive and comprises various stages of documentation. Via Google Maps she marks places where she leaves her sculptures in public spaces. The locations of both her creations and her photography can be traced through the coordinates via internet and physical maps. Her consistent and methodical way of working, along with the creative process that takes place exclusively in the outdoor space as well as the documenting of that process is firmly rooted in movements such as Land Art and conceptual art of the 1960s and 70s. Dhondt’s work is a kind of monument to temporariness. The constructions are based on the dimensions of personal space. These spatial demarcations and primary sculptures become altered into nomadic symbols, so to speak, and function as poetic podia for resistance. Dhondt is resisting the current financial and, above all, moral crisis with a call for humaneness and a search for meaning. Lara Dhondt (Turnhout, 1979) lives in Antwerp and works with the urban landscape. She makes use of various media in her work, such as photography, installation, video, typography and performance.
The hill that wasn't
A pile of dirt on a farmer’s land. That’s all it was, really. I drove by it and I saw it. I cannot recall the exact day, except that it was somewhere in the fall. Time passed by, the seasons changed. During the winter it was bare, though there were days when it was covered in a blanket of snow. I would still occasionally drive by it and see it. In the spring it woke gently to the warmth of the sun. I would drive by it. And I would see it. Then came the summer, and it grew lush and full. One Sunday morning, while in a sentimental mood, I didn’t simply drive by it. I stopped, I walked onto the land and approached it. And then I photographed it. Two weeks later I drove by the farmer’s land again. To my surprise the pile of dirt was gone.
Two years later I read a thirty year old essay by Japanese photographer Yutaka Takanashi, The “Landscape” Appears. In it he discusses a haiku by the poet Matsuo Basho, using it as a metaphor for landscape photography. ‘What is up to the photographer to do with the “landscape”‘, Takanashi writes, ‘is to encounter it, destroy it, rebuild it, and then release it.’ Therein lies the pursuit of a new “landscape”, the landscape of the photograph, the landscape of the haiku. One that not only relates an experience, but is an experience. Like Basho’s haiku. Maybe that is what The hill that wasn’t is about. I had seen the landscape many times, but it was not until that summer morning that I encountered it. And by photographing it and turning it into this book, I destroyed it, rebuilt it and released it.
Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty
Incredibly small photobooks
For several years, Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels have organized evenings for friends in which they share the strangest photo books in their collections. The books shown are rarely available in regular shops, but are picked up in thrift stores and from antiquaries. The group’s fascination for these pictorial non-fiction books comes from the need to find images that exist on the fringe of regular commercial photo books. It’s only in this area that it’s possible to find images with an uncontrived quality. This constant tension makes the books interesting. It’s also worth noting that these tomes all fall within certain categories: the medical, instructional, scientific, sex, humour or propaganda. Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels have made a selection of their finest books from within this questionable new genre. Incredibly small photobooks is the second volume (after Terribly awesome photobooks) showing this amazing collection.
Vermeersch’s drawings and paintings are reminiscent of a long tradition of Northern European painting inspired by masters like Breughel and Bosch. Drawing sensitively on dreams, rituals and impressions of life the artist creates meticulously crafted compositions. ”I like seeing my work as fragments and hints of lost epic times and vernacular societies, as parts or details ripped out of a larger context”, the artist says, referring to himself as a archeologist of sorts who is “in search for the story between the few scattered remains I have collected and inventoried”. The viewer is invited to be part of this search and to put together the pieces of their own story for which Tinus Vermeersch provides his finds and fragments.
Tinus Vermeersch studied Painting at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Gent, 1994-96 and Sculpture at the Hoger Instituut voor Beeldende Kunsten, Sint-Lucas, Gent 1996-99. Vermeersch’s work are in many private collections and in public collections as the MuZee, Oostende, Broelmuseum Kortrijk, MUba Tourcoing France, The Franks–Suss Collection London, Vlaams Parlement Brussel, Stad Harelbeke and the Provincie West-Vlaanderen.
With the support of Be-Part and Hopstreet Gallery
Art and architecture project alongside the N16 route. With projects by Tractor (Peter Aerts, Denis Dujardin, Honoré d’O, Lore Perneel, Luc Reuse, Frank Vande Veire, Hugo Vanneste, Dirk Zoete), Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu, Sarah & Charles, Office Kersten Geers en David Van Severen , Michaël Vanden Abeele, Uaps, Wesley Meuris, Architecten Robbrecht en Daem, Valérie Mannaerts, Philippe Vander Maren, Richard Venlet, Ann Veronica Janssens.
Text contributions by Joeri de Bruyn, Maarten Van Acker, Jeroen Boomgaard, Isabelle Makay and Oscar Van den Boogaard. Photograpy by Geert Goiris and Kristien Daem. Initiated by the cities Bornem, Puurs, Willebroek and Mechelen in collaboration with VAi, vlaamsarchitectuurinstituut.
The Molem Collective
The Molem Collective gathers a collection of hip hop sneakers of the young Morocco-born Zakaria Haddou aka Zak from Molem. He was commissioned by the Croatian-Belgian artist Hana Miletić to portray his collection of 24 pairs of sneakers, bought during the last eighteen months. The succession of different sneakers can be regarded as a short historiography of the hip hop subculture.
The bold aesthetics, reflecting a rather objective approach, is very close to Miletić’s own artistic practice. Haddou is holding up every shoe against a slightly different background which consists of different walls of his bedroom; every close-up is shot from the same side angle.
A record of rap songs, selected by the youngster, reveals more about the remarkable collection and his owner. Here the rigour of the photographic series is played out against the personal tone of the project. Against the background of his favourite songs, Zak shares stories related to his collection that introduce the audience to some landmarks of the hip hop culture. But along the lines of dress codes and status symbols, a more personal story is told, related to the boy’s experience of ‘coming of age’.
The Molem Collective is released as a limited edition LP record (Art Paper Editions #026, 2013). The yellow record sleeve and the blue vinyl label refer to the flag colours of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, better known as ‘Molem’ in slang, the multi-ethnic neighbourhood the young man inhabits.
The Molem Collective is part of a larger socio-artistic research project by Miletić, Molem (www.molem.be). This versatile project has an organic structure where meetings and experiences can lead to a further exploration of this contested Brussels area. Resulting in an interactive archive consisting of digital photographs and videos made by a multicultural group of young individuals from Brussels, Molem is a very generous project, on the part of the artist as well as of the participating youngsters. (Tanja Boon)
2 Steps aside
Together with the landscape-architect Stefan Vidts, Stijn Cole went on a journey from the flat isle of Texel (NL) to the ancient woods of Bialowieza (Pl). Two extremes in the European landscape. The book “2 steps aside” tells the story of that trip and shows 6 pencil-drawings. As the base for these drawings, Cole took a picture at Branitz, a landscape-park in the geographical and conceptual middle of the traject, moved two steps aside and took a second picture of the same subject. The book has a “Concertina” format so the original movement of 180cm is kept.
With text contributions by Patrick Ronse and Stefan Vidts.
Terribly awesome photobooks
For several years, Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels have organized evenings for friends in which they share the strangest photo books in their collections. The books shown are rarely available in regular shops, but are picked up in thrift stores and from antiquaries. The group’s fascination for these pictorial non-fiction books comes from the need to find images that exist on the fringe of regular commercial photo books. It’s only in this area that it’s possible to find images with an uncontrived quality. What’s noticeable from these publications is that there’s a thin line between being terrible and being awesome. This constant tension makes the books interesting. It’s also worth noting that these tomes all fall within certain categories: the medical, instructional, scientific, sex, humour or propaganda. Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels have made a selection of their finest books from within this questionable new genre.
Me and My Models
Jan Hoek fotografeert amateur-modellen, psychisch gestoorde daklozen in Afrika die eruitzien als koningen, een meisje zonder armen en benen die constant gefotografeerd wil worden, heroïne-verslaafden met een modellendroom of mensen die hij vindt via een advertentie op Marktplaats. Tijdens de fotoshoots gebeurt nooit wat hij verwacht, model en fotograaf hebben altijd andere verwachtingen. De ene keer wil het model eigenlijk seks, terwijl hij liever het hondje van het model wil fotograferen. Het model probeert zo glamorous mogelijk op de foto te staan, terwijl het Jan gaat om de verloedering. Fotograferen gaat niet enkel om de foto maar ook om de gevoelens van de fotograaf en die van het model. Hoe ver mag je als fotograaf gaan met je modellen? ‘Me & My Models’ gaat over de nare, grappige, pijnlijke of ontroerende dingen die gebeuren rondom het fotograferen van mensen.
Since the mid-70s, Daniel Dewaele (Knokke, 1950) has followed a consistent course comprising numerous socially-engaged and -inspired art projects. On the basis of descriptions and illustrations of 43 projects, Daniel Dewaele, Selected Projects provides an almost complete survey of his work. Which makes this publication the standard work on this artist. In addition, the book offers a thorough insight into the conceptual tendencies that presented themselves in art as from the mid-70s. This unique book was created in close cooperation with the artist and appears on the occasion of an exhibition of the same name at Be-Part, Platform for Contemporary Art, in Waregem. The authors, Johan Pas and Pascal Gielen, each interpret the artist’s oeuvre on the basis of their own background, an artist who has always continued to ask how social participation could be achieved from an artistic position which by definition lies on the fringes of society. Published in collaboration with Be-Part, Waregem (B).
Class of 2008
Class of 2008 collects the graduation portraits of the 26 students who attended the Islamic High School in Zagreb during the academic year of 2007-2008. The publication title generically indicates an unnamed class at a specific moment in time. We rely on the image, and, above all, the sitters’ culture-specific attire, to roughly locate the setting. What makes these images so singular is the fact that the depicted adolescents were enrolled in the only high school for Muslims in the pre-dominantly Christian Croatian society. Most likely due to financial reasons, no other graduating class was ever officially documented up to this date. Miletić consciously favoured the Risograph technique, which is commonly used for high-volume digital printing, photocopying and distribution, and therefore a timely medium to voice and spread ideas on issues of politics, religion and identity. While the inside pages are coated in timeless and objective black-and-white shades, the cover adopts the color green for its centuries-long symbolic association with Islam. Enclosed with the yearbook is a blank envelope containing the current self-portraits of the same persons, which were selected and submitted by the subjects themselves. Printed on high-gloss photo paper and cut in various dimensions, these highly personal, casual and amateurish portraits reveal the degree of formality which determined the memory of the Class of 2008. In a striking contrast, the young women wore, without exception, the traditional hijab for their public image, while most chose to present and represent themselves veilless in the private sphere. (Caroline Dumalin)
Hana Miletić (b.1982) is a Croatian-born photographer and video artist based in Brussels, Belgium. Her work documents, gathers and questions distinctive contemporary phenomena related to cultural identities, often located in the margins of European capitals. Miletić studied art history and archaeology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. She currently researches and lectures in photography at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels.
Belgian artists' books from Verheyen until today
EURO Cars is a collection of photographs of Mercedes-Benz brand cars with a no longer acceptable production date with regard to permitted European Union emission limits, better known as the EURO norm stages. With the directives and laws becoming stricter vehicles not meeting criteria can no longer be sold or imported into the Union. The series was photographed both in and outside the EU, in the Belgian and Croatian capital city suburban neighbourhoods of Brussels (EU) and Zagreb (non-EU). The images of discarded cars set a number of open questions about contemporary ecology, sociology and urban planning policy, and possible intercultural exchanges within these contexts.
Hana Miletić is a Croatian born artist living in Brussels, Belgium, working in the media of photography and video. Her work always exists of a creative research on various contemporary phenomena related to cultural identities, often within European capitals. Miletić studied Art History and Archaeology and Visual Arts, Photography, and currently lectures photography.
the world above ground is unstable
Gideon Kiefer is an artist for our era. He borrows ordinary images, adapts them, puts a tag on them and returns them to a larger whole. All these seemingly trivial snapshots together form his personal network. The person at work here is meticulously mapping out his world. A collector who indulges his obsession with considerable love. A seismograph recording the vibrations of our hectic existence. But also a commentator who carefully chooses his arguments and does not shy away from harsh conclusions. Modern European art has always had this cerebral element, also in a negative sense. As a result, the urge to understand has sometimes become an excuse for creating a new world, more as a way out than to put the seal on creative freedom. Kiefer tackles things in a completely different way. (Harold Polis)
Some of the work of Gideon Kiefer is published in major Belgian and Dutch newspapers and magazines, such as Humo, Trends, Vrij Nederland, Het Parool, DS Weekblad, De Groene Amsterdammer, etc. Published in collaboration with Be-Part, Waregem (B).
S.P.A.M. Office looks like a traditional modernist office setting; uniform office furniture made up of cheap, low quality – spam – materials, and a coffee machine and all its obligatory accessories being present. Nylon tie-wraps are holding the mocha colored, cheap structural furniture panels together, being an ultimate representation of the volatility of spam. The spam officers – hired by the exhibiting organization – check e-mails, detect spam, print and prepare for a proofread and finally archive the letters. They become performers, wearing the uniform and logo of the ‘firm’, taking turns in a monotonous disarmament process to which spam is subjected. Of course this company mainly develops nonsensical operations, poetically supported by the decorum of bureaucracy. The messages are stripped of their corrupt, commercial deployment.
The release of this book coincides with the performance ‘S.P.A.M OFFICE’ of Pieterjan Ginckels organized by Be-Part Center for Contemporary Art, Waregem, Belgium, (May 7th till May 15th 2011). Published in collaboration with Be-Part, Waregem (B).
Curated by Devrim Bayar
For about three years, Brussels-based French painters Jean-Baptiste Bernadet and Xavier Noiret-Thomé have engaged in a sort of game which consists of buying interesting paintings for less than €5 at flea markets. The artists separately purchase works according to their own findings and then share their discoveries with each other. Once acquired, these paintings find their way into the homes of Jean-Baptiste and Xavier, where they are hung alongside works by established artists without any hierarchy. If price is the only rule of this otherwise very informal game, quality determines the purchase. In this price range, choice is obviously very limited but it’s precisely because they often push back the limits of good taste that these “odd” works are interesting for both artists, whose production they reexamine. Sometimes, those “cheap” images also manifest an intense sincerity and a necessity which compels artists to express themselves. Jean-Baptiste and Xavier’s game reminds us of the Thrift Store Paintings by Jim Shaw whom, from 1974 to 2000, collected paintings from flea markets. However, it was in fact inspired by a game invented by Danish artists Asger Jorn, also co-founder of the Cobra movement, and Per Kirkeby, in the 1970s whose goal it was to transform bad paintings found in flea markets into “successful” ones. Beyond the inexhaustible resource which flea markets constitute for artists, they also represent a possible fate. Without any context, critical support, or control by the artist and his or her gallery, any artwork could potentially wind up being picked up for less than 5€ on the Place du Jeu de Balle.
walk on by
The shelter as a blueprint of the stable house. The nomadic before the sedentary. The interest of Lara Dhondt is directed towards a fast, minimal, and vital human need to appropriate a personal space; conquering one’s own place in the world. An important element within the artist´s work is the installing of these demarcations in the urban landscape. She works as fast as possible, with (waste)materials she gathers right on the spot. The photographic representation becomes a monumental document of an ephemeral action in public space. These constructions can generate and feed ‘daydreaming’. They function as primitive, primary sculptures: based on human measurements. The artist refers to the installations she leaves behind in the periphery of the city, as to public sculptures. They are her traces of daydreaming, and the catalysts of a poetic resistance.
claiming the right to daydream
The shelter as a blueprint of the stable house. The nomadic before the sedentary. The interest of Lara Dhondt is directed towards a fast, minimal, and vital human need to appropriate a personal space; conquering one’s own place in the world. An important element within the artist´s work is the installing of these demarcations in the urban landscape. She works as fast as possible, with (waste)materials she gathers right on the spot. The photographic representation becomes a monumental document of an ephemeral action in public space. These constructions can generate and feed ‘daydreaming’. They function as primitive, primary sculptures: based on human measurements. The artist refers to the installations she leaves behind in the periphery of the city, as to public sculptures. They are her traces of daydreaming, and the catalysts of a poetic resistance.
From here into oblivion
In From here into oblivion, a title based on a quote by Oscar Wilde, the focus is on consciousness. From here into oblivion is about giving meaning to one’s personal environment. It is a naive attempt at defining one’s place in this world.
Masashi Echigo earned his degree in architecture at Musashino Art University, Tokyo, and has lived and spent lengthy periods of time in numerous European cities, participating in collective shows over the past few years. Each experience in each place is represented by individual installations that are spatially and emotionally tied to their context. Each installation, even though conceived independently, necessarily enters into a dialogue with the others, constructing a unique narrative landscape that is in the process of evolution, serving as evidence of his voyage. Like the storyboard for a film, this allows for an unfolding of important events in the relationship between Masashi and the history, inhabitants and culture of, and dominant issues and objects in his host locations.
Hans Martens: “Masashi Echigo’s work is always about physical and mental space. Or rather, the tensions, contradictions and synergy between the material and the immaterial, between the visible and the invisible, the absent and the present, the literal and what is only suggested.”
Published in collaboration with Be-Part, Waregem (B).
Artistic interventions in architecture at specific sites or in public spaces are problematic exercises that regularly exceed the concepts of adornment, distraction or embellishment. Be-Part in Waregem is an arts centre located in a former spacious architecturally eclectic villa. Transformations and modernisations behind existing (banal) facades have become a general trend since contemporary art took over the “standard habitus of social distinction” from “antique and typical Flemish interiors”. This was especially the case in the eighties, when our country was suddenly caught up in the swirl of the post-chambres d’amis era when the Ghent museum director Jan Hoet was appointed curator of Documenta IX (1992) in Kassel. This instantly made contemporary art socially acceptable for the upper wider layers of the population. As a centre for contemporary visual art, Be-Part radiates the peace of urban mainstream on the outside; the stately conventional façade and the walled garden with its monumental entrance do not immediately create the impression of drastic ‘modern’ renovations carried out with an eye to running a private gallery. The utopian idea that art can provide the living environment with (permanent) interventions capable of improving the quality of society is even an institutionalised and accepted fact today through the Art Cell of the Flemish Government Architect’s team. Artists see public tenders as a new challenge and source of income. Certain schools such as “La Cambre” in Brussels even organise specialised educational programmes that study art in public spaces in depth. The fact that a permanent assignment granted to Pieter and Robin Vermeersch does not result in the addition of a new image, but in a new interpretation of an existing situation, namely the gate providing access to the Be-Part garden, is a relevant point of departure and enables art to maintain the double status of visual and functional object. Published in collaboration with Be-Part, Waregem (B).
Artists: Anne Collier (USA), Brian Clifton (USA), Hanne Darboven (D), Masashi Echigo (JP), Jef Geys (B), On Kawara (JP), Elizabeth McAlpine (UK), Matt Mullican (USA), Bruce Nauman (USA), Cady Noland (USA), Tony Oursler (USA), Philippe Parreno (F), Laurie Parsons (USA), Raymond Pettibon (USA), Sean Raspet (USA), Gerhard Richter (D) and Will Rogan (USA).
The Morning News attempts to convey the sense of anxiety that an unsure economy and world state contribute to; a calculated exposure to information which leaves the average cultural consumer with a sense that things are out of balance. This is not a show explicitly about the economic crisis; it is about the state of the society when communication is king, when the news at the top of the hour creates an ambience for your daily life, allowing for a quotidian dose of negativity. More than ever, and at an increasingly fast pace, we are exposed to information from a variety of reliable, partisan and objective sources. We can seek out as much or as little as we want; but by the turning on the radio, computer, or television, we are instantly under the influence and effects of current events and how the lens of the media transforms them. curators: Patrick Ronse and Lumi Tan.
All work and no play