Opening: Saturday 21 April 2018 - 20:00
Falling, lovely and beautiful
Falling, lovely and beautiful is a new set of works by the French-Morrocan artist Latifa Echakhch (1974, living in Martigny, Switzerland) presented in KIOSK. An installation involving bronze bells, a performative video and a series of drawings in ink. For these works, the objects or texts have been stripped of their original meanings and contexts in order to make new interpretations possible. This method is typical for Echakhch's art practice. Driven by the necessity to counter certain prejudices, contradictions and stereotypes in our society, she isolates and questions materials that are symbolic for these phenomena. By giving them a new setting or a different space, new meanings or unexpected characteristics may arise.
Eckakhch appropriates, dismantles and re-represents daily materials and simple objects. Personal memories as well as shared history and cultural heritage like literature, philosophy and music serve as her sources. Her practice repeatedly questions preset notions about identity, nationality, religion and authenticity. She also examines her own fragmented, symbolically charged culture, using a language that is at the same time sensitive and powerful. Politics and poetry come together in installations and environments built up out of personal, historical and cultural references.
All this applies to the exposition Falling, lovely and beautiful as well, with the title freely referring to the Nick Cave song As I sat sadly by her side.
The monumental shattered bronze bells under the central dome, are exact replicas of the church bells from the destroyed church Lübeck, a German city bombed in 1942. While the church is now fully restored, the bells are left lying exactly where they hit the ground at the time.
While the pieces of fallen bells emphasise silence in terms of stilled notes or muted violence, in the side room piano notes resound amidst huge noise. For this video, Echakhch simultaneously evokes an act of creation and destruction by making someone play the piano while, at the same time, someone else splits the instrument to pieces with a sledgehammer.
In a similar way, Echakhch's series of ink drawings deconstructs Arabic poetry. On sheets of newspaper she ‘transcribed’ the original texts, but only copying the punctuation or vowels. Traditionally and linguistically though in Arabic poetry, exactly these 'auxiliary signs' essentially define the meaning for the whole sentence or the poem. Here, the sheets of newspaper are largely left blank, the signs as mere unreadable connotations. The text, in other words, becomes an abstract drawing, bearing within it the possibility of a whole new reading.
The exhibition is realized with the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Opening: Friday 16 February 2018 - 20:00
Film maker and installation artist Nida Sinnokrot (1971, USA) presents a series of sculptural and cinematic installations in the KIOSK rooms. Some of the works on display are new, others were reinterpreted for this particular context, but all of them speak of the history, representation or political potential of ‘machines’, like photographic or cinematographic devices. Brought together in a single exhibition space under the title Exquisite Rotation, they will combine into a new, synchronized gesture.
The works in the show shed light on a different way of looking in which the linear time and fixed perspective that we associate with the traditional big screen, the photographic lens or the projection screen are disrupted. Sinnokrot aims to transcend the mechanisms of mass media such as photography and film, countering them with an array of new, critical narrative strategies. One of these is his recurrent attempt to capture several layers of implicit meaning in a single powerful, abstract image or poetic experience.
His camera functions as a tool to speak about his native country, displacement and the relation between technology and colonialism. In this sense, his desire to liberate the cinematic machine as we know it, is also an expression of his own hybrid identity. Sinnokrot is currently based in Jerusalem but, as the son of Palestinian parents, he spent his childhood in Algeria and moved to the United States as a teenager.
The exhibition is focused around a central installation in the dome room where moving images are projected horizontally instead of vertically, and the projection speed is determined by the interaction with the viewers. With each step, the film registers scratches, starting an irreversible process of deterioration. Sinnokrot describes this ‘horizontal cinema’ as a tool to address the material reality of violence and its mediation, manipulation and circulation: “This violence is reflected in the machine itself and the relationship between trauma and perception is materialized in its clash of technologies and systems. It’s cinema and war. It’s the experience of dispossessed and displaced peoples.”
The exhibition is organized within the framework of Under Construction Festival in Ghent and Ramallah.
Opening: Friday 1 December 2017 - 20:00
Fragments, Particles and the Mechanisms of Growth
Nazgol Ansarinia presents the exhibition Fragments, Particles and the Mechanisms of Growth at KIOSK. Through drawings, collages, sculptures, murals and works in textile, Iranian artist Nazgol Ansarinia draws a portrait of everyday life in her native city of Tehran, and of her own position within that context. She grows along with a city that now counts almost 14 million residents and whose face is rapidly changing. As capitalism’s sway over contemporary Iranian society grows ever more pervasive, there is housing shortage, the real estate market booms, houses make way for towering new apartment buildings and shopping malls, which results in a vicious paradoxical cycle of construction and deconstruction.
Each individual is a link in this process of ‘growth’ and is, like the city itself, subject to certain underlying codes and dynamics. It is the tension between her personal experience and public, regulated life in Tehran that always surfaces in Ansarinia’s work: “I have so many layers of memory from each corner of this city. Every part of this city is associated with memories from different stages in my life. I think that’s what makes this fast speed of construction so destructive in a way. It’s taking away our collective memory and individual memory with it. Neighbourhoods are changing so fast that they are unrecognizable. You feel lost when you can’t relate to a space.” (from “The Artist and their City”, The Guardian / Tate, 2016).
The artist turns a social system, an urban development or set of rules inside-out, dissects and interrogates them in order to reveal a collective consciousness or feeling in their reconstruction. In her exhibition at KIOSK, for instance, she films and analyses the demolition of a building in Tehran and incorporates the ‘traces’ of the process as video and sculpture. The video work Fragment 1, Demolishing buildings, buying waste registers how the building was torn down with shovel and pickaxe in 16 days. It is an attempt to capture the moment in between demolition and creation, and it illustrates the notion that for each new building there is an equal amount of material that is being shoved aside.
The rubble that is carried away in the video is symbolically reinstated as a new building brick at KIOSK. The rubble is laid open, sorted and reconstructed into new plaster and ceramic sculptures. Alongside these, the artist also presents a series of collages in which she weaves together articles on politics or economics from different Iranian newspapers into mosaics. The connecting thread that runs through all works in the show can be summed up with Ansarinia’s underlying thought that “I’m a deconstructionist who reconstructs the torn apart elements that show something new about something so banal that has gone unnoticed, so repetitive that it became part of routine life.” This is her way to get a handle on the innumerable mechanisms of growth that currently define this city, and to give them form.
Opening: Friday 22 September 2017 - 20:00
C O CO
Austrian artist Christoph Meier (1980, based in Vienna) conceived his show C O CO as a search for potential forms of interplay between his work, the visitor, and the KIOSK exhibition spaces. Inspired by the particular architecture and history of the location, Meier presents new architectural and social spaces based on a bamboo grid structure, new and existing sculptures and a video piece.
The exhibition is a further step in the collaboration between the artist and three institutions; C O CO was developed from C & O, the show Meier presented at Kunstverein Hamburg last year, and will in turn become the blueprint for another exhibition at Casino Luxembourg next year. For each successive location, the specific space is the basis on which new byroads temporarily cross.
Meier’s practice investigates the exhibition context as a space for social interaction, and the way in which it produces and presents contemporary art. He searches for intermediate forms that accentuate the space but also, simultaneously, question it. This often results in invasive or absurdist interventions that create a tension between the existing institutional space and the architectural and/or sculptural work that the artist confronts it with.
Against the dominant central dome room of KIOSK – a former anatomical auditorium – Meier positions a seemingly light, primitive structure that cannot be surveyed in a single glance and that is every bit as peculiar and theatrical as the surrounding architecture. Bamboo sticks ostentatiously take over the space. Sticking to a rigorously fixed modular structure, they uncompromisingly and repetitively penetrate the architecture – regardless of brick or glass. Interior and exterior become interconnected. The grid imposed upon the existing space restricts the visitor’s movements but it also expands the field of vision. It adds a new frame within which we can project an infinite number of imaginary spaces.
The sculptures surrounding the bamboo piece are made of found or repurposed materials that carry associations mainly of craft, industry and technology. The container-shapes of folded or perforated metal sheets waver between open and closed, unique and serial, distant and immersive, functional and dysfunctional, minimalist and complex. This game of opposites, repetition, performance and deconstruction keeps the objects in constant motion, refusing univocal interpretations. Meier hopes to see his ‘social forms’ uncouple from what they are to go on a search, together with the visitor, for what they might be. This makes them into a stage, a plinth or table; that is, carriers of meaning open to dialogue.
On the occasion of the exhibition, a monograph, a co-production with Kunstverein Hamburg and Casino Luxembourg, is published by Mousse Publishing. This publication will be presented at KIOSK, Thursday, October 12th.
The exhibition is realized in collaboration with Kunstverein Hamburg & Casino Luxembourgh - Forum d’art contemporain. With the support of Bundeskanzleramt Österreich. I
Show Me Your Archive and I Will Tell You Who is in Power
Opening: Friday 28 April 2017 - 20:00
Show Me Your Archive and I Will Tell You Who is in Power combines an exhibition with a public program of lectures, panel discussions, performances and screenings to present stories from the history of feminist struggle. Issues of race, gender and class are covered from a so-called intersectional perspective, an approach that works to bring to the fore the combinations of discriminatory practices and the dynamics they engender. The project’s title refers to the 2009 lecture of the same name by Gloria Wekker, renowned Surinamese-Dutch scholar with an established reputation within the transnational and Black European feminist discourse.
Show Me Your Archive and I Will Tell You Who is in Power wishes to extend its scope beyond Western, white feminism and to trace the beginnings of a transnational and intersectional perspective in Belgian feminism and beyond. The project’s starting point was the Ghent Royal Academy of Fine Arts and its first (and thus far sole) female head Chantal De Smet, who held the position from 1989 to 1996. In the early 1970s, De Smet was a central character in the Ghent Dolle Minas, one of the first initiatives of the second feminist wave in Flanders. She was also one of the driving forces behind the Belgian Angela Davis Committee.
It was the second feminist wave that pushed the United Nations to taking measures to improve the position of women, resulting in the UN declaring the period 1976-1985 the decade of the woman and the organisation of women’s conferences in Mexico City (1975), Copenhagen (1980) and Nairobi (1985). FORUM ’85, the alternative conference of women’s movements and non-governmental organizations taking place alongside the official UN conference in Nairobi was a key moment in the history of transnational feminism. Attended by 14,000 women, activists and feminists from mainly non-Western countries, it was the first occasion of that scale to stage worldwide encounters and exchanges of ideas.
Documents from public archives that provide insight in these historical and local contexts make up the backbone of the exhibition. In addition, visual artists Marwa Arsanios, Saddie Choua, Amandine Gay, Kapwani Kiwanga, Ato Malinda, Eva Olthof and collective Study Group for Solidarity and TransActions were invited to make new work, connecting with these archives and themes and approach them from a postcolonial, transnational or politically emancipatory context. They offer new critical perspectives on history and in turn help to shape the guise of another new wave of feminism.
The public program wishes to think about how feminism can radically rethink notions such as class, gender and race from a postcolonial perspective. The program starts with a screening of Françoise Dasques’ film La conférence des femmes – Naïrobi (1985) about FORUM ’85, followed by a conversation between Paola Bacchetta (professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of California, Berkeley) and French political scientist Françoise Vergès.
Show Me Your Archive and I Will Tell You Who is in Power is organized by KIOSK and KASK / School of Arts Ghent in the context of The Uses of Art – The Legacy of 1848 and 1989, a project initiated by the museum confederation L’Internationale with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union. The project is curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Wim Waelput and assistant curator Rachelle Dufour.
In cooperation with Amsab-
ISG, AVG-Carhif and Sophia asbl/vzw.
Opening: Friday 10 February 2017 - 20:00
Indian artist Shilpa Gupta presents the solo exhibition Drawing in the Dark. The title refers to the clandestine movements and practices in borderlands, and to the metaphor of the line or threshold that links several of the works on display here. The show is part of Gupta’s ongoing investigation into interrelations between structures, specifically those of the state and the individual, and their rescaling as encountered at, what is both frontier and periphery. Continuing her six years of ongoing research – specifically in the borderlands of India and Bangladesh – this new series of works is an extension of the My East is Your West project she developed for the 2015 Venice Biennale. In late 2016 Gupta returned to parts around the border fence that India is building, encircling its neighbor Bangladesh, and that is notorious for being the world’s longest separation barrier under construction between two nation states. However, says the artist, “daily life in the borderland belies state intentions and the flows of people and goods continue, prompted by historical and social affinities, geographical continuity and economic imperative.”
Accompanying the central sculpture 24:00:01 (motion flapboard, 2010-2012) is a series of new pieces that can be seen as a collection of clandestine stories. The drawings, photos and sculptures draw a picture of the subversive, illegal and informal stream of goods, people and desires. An object wound with a shredded Dhakai Jamdani saree (traditional clothing), drawings made with marijuana and photo collages with spare motor parts carry narratives of unlisted journeys over a meandering map line.
What Gupta’s work aims to provoke in the visitor, rather than a passive aesthetic experience, are questions. She initiates a dialogue on the perception and construction of identity, and on those notions that exercise an influence over these processes: nationality, technology, religion, borders, conflicts, control or censorship: “I am interested in perception and therefore, with how definitions get stretched or trespassed, be it by gender, beliefs, or the notion of a nation. There exists a chasm between the larger construct which seeks singularity, and its own fragment which may not. Markings and measuring, seemingly logical acts, may not necessarily provide solutions” (Shilpa Gupta in Indian Express, 2016).
In the borderlands Gupta evokes with Drawing in the Dark, our apparently rigorous laws reveal themselves as in constant motion and subject to debate. The fringe area is shown as a stretch of no man’s land where practices and narratives develop ‘in the dark’, or as a parallel circuit of goods that operates ‘invisibly’ before the authorities’ eyes. The ‘law’ of each identity is replaced here by a set of conditional rules, freeing up mental and experimental space in which to question ourselves.
The exhibition is a joint production by KIOSK, Bielefelder Kunstverein and Le centre d’art contemporain – la synagogue de Delme.
Opening: Friday 2 December 2016 - 20:00
Lineage of Love
KIOSK presents Lineage of Love, the first Belgian solo exhibition by Dorothy Iannone (°1933, Boston, USA). A self-taught artist focusing on issues of emancipation, sexuality, politics and spiritual awakening, Iannone has been developing a singular body of work for over half a century. From 1967 she lived with Swiss-German artist Dieter Roth for a number of years, starting a thorough intertwining of her personal (and amorous) life with her artistic work. This emphatic autobiographical and narrative aspect of her work is expressed in paintings, drawings, graphic novels, sculptures, artist’s books, text-based works, collages and photographic works.
The great diversity of all of these media is showcased in Lineage of Love, where earlier works are presented alongside Iannone’s more recent practice. A number of key works, such as the sculpture I Was Thinking of You and the two series of drawings An Icelandic Saga and The Story of Bern, are combined with less familiar works ranging from an early abstract painting, over a series of collages with Japanese paper and gold leaf, to a self-portrait in the shape of a polaroid, and a cooking diary from 1969. With this approach, the exhibition aims to paint the portrait of a versatile artist who has continually been on the move, looking for a symbiosis between art and her personal narratives, encounters, and passions.
In the 1960s, Iannone produced abstract expressionist works, yet from the 1970s onwards, she has developed in a more figurative direction with herself, her partner, and what she calls ‘ecstatic unity’ as central subjects. Iannone’s body, depicted as an ornately bejewelled divine Matriarch, becomes entangled with that of her Muse, Dieter Roth. Black lines and colour fields define overwhelming mosaics and two-dimensional tableaus of copulating couples whose male and female parts become interchangeable in the higher union of spiritual oneness. Confident women break free of all restraint and figure in a tale of love, sex, treason and power. The sexual act is emphasized and celebrated, much as it was in Antiquity. The artist’s many travels in Asia and Europe also left traces in her techniques and motifs. The perspectiveless compositions are reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints, Greek vases or Middle-Eastern erotic paintings; her colourful mosaics and mandala-shapes recall Buddhist, Byzantine or 17th-century Baroque traditions.
Iannone’s work has often been subjected to censorship and has long been neglected. With the turn of the millennium, however, this has gradually changed and she has since exhibited solo shows in such venues as Air de Paris, Paris (2015); Peres Projects, Berlin (2014); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2014); Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2014); New Museum, New York (2009) and Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2006).
Opening: Friday 23 September 2016 - 19:34
With ‘Kamp Kataloog’, KIOSK presents the first Belgian solo exhibition of Swiss artist and author Jérémie Gindre. The exhibition takes in changing settings and was conceived in a series of three episodes: the first of these took place in the summer of 2015 at the Centre d’art contemporain La Criée in Rennes, the second ‘campsite’ was erected in the spring of 2016 at La Kunsthalle in Mulhouse, and this fall, the series concludes with episode three at KIOSK. Like a panoramic landscape, these temporary ‘camps’ evolve with the seasons to develop numerous new stories along the way. Depending on the exhibition space and the season, the shows bring together a different combination of sculptures, drawings, and texts. In line with that concept, Gindre has rendered the title of the exhibition and book project, ‘Camp Catalogue’, in a Dutch-language version.
The show starts from our contact with nature and the way in which we attempt to shape, comprehend, and limit it. Gindre presents us with a poetic yet systematic study of the formal language of camping sites and their surroundings — fences, rivers, birds and beehives, but also that which takes place in the ground below. This results in a catalogue of landscape types that is not exhaustive or scientific in nature, but is primarily aimed at stirring the reader’s memory and imagination.
Coinciding with the exhibition is the publication of Jérémie Gindre’s artist’s book ‘Camp Catalogue’. The book includes the drawings and texts from the exhibitions, and is published by Lendroit éditions in cooperation with La Criée, Rennes, La Kunsthalle, Mulhouse and KIOSK, Ghent.
Jérémie Gindre is the author of about twelve books, including novels, short stories, essays, diaries, visual books, and more. These books deal with history, geography, conceptual art, neuro science, archaeology, and tourism, and the author playfully blends all of these disciplines. Gindre’s work has been exhibited at Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz (Switzerland); Kunstmuseum Thun (Switzerland); Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Kunsthalle Fri-Art, Fribourg (Switzerland); La Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes (France) and La Kunsthalle, Mulhouse (France).
Opening: Friday 22 April 2016 - 20:00
Peter Wächtler (1979, Hannover) illustrates, writes, makes sculptures and creates sound, animation and video art. Wächtler sets narrative techniques into play: his texts set the tone and function as a framework for his diverse body of work. The complex, fantastical storylines create an atmosphere filled with humor, satire and alienation, and his scenarios take the shape of book illustrations, simple animations, prose, voiceovers or storyboards. Wächtler plays with the language and imagery of pop culture, such as that typically encountered in bestsellers, page-turners, tearjerkers and blockbusters. He adapts these genres’ formal characteristics, while simultaneously undermining them in their initial educational, entertaining or empathic functions.
Wächtler’s stories are first-person narratives, but he never divulges whether and in what measure his characters are based on pure fiction, actual memories or everyday anecdotes. To a certain extent we can identify ourselves with the figures he so poetically gives life to. At the same time, however, their eccentricity, excessive liveliness and deadpan humor keep us at a safe distance. Their communication is limited and they feel vulnerable or undervalued. They behave obstructively, passively or outlandish.
Following the strategy of negation, Wächtler’s exhibition at KIOSK is entitled 9. For this installation he went in search of a unique way to occupy the exhibition space, a way that is not in the least concerned with adhering to current museological and architectural codes.
Peter Wächtler lives and works in Brussels and Berlin. He has exhibited solo at, among others, The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2016); Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster (2014); Reena Spaulings, New York (2014); dépendance gallery, Brussels (2013); Kunstverein Hildesheim (2013); Ludlow 38, New York (2013); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2013). Wächtler took part in recent group exhibitions such as: 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York (2015); the Liverpool Biennial (2014); Meanwhile…Suddenly and Then, Lyon Biennale (2013); Pride Goes Before a Fall – Beware of a Holy Whore, Artists Space, New York (2013); Un-Scene II, Wiels, Brussels (2012); Melanchotopia, Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2011). Sternberg Press published a collection of Wächtler’s texts in 2013, entitled Come On.
Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel
Opening: Friday 12 February 2016 - 16:15
At KIOSK, British-French artist duo Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel bring together several new series of sculptures under the title Digitalis.
In their sculptural practice, the artists use a wide array of techniques, including woodcarving, weaving, ceramics and stone dressing. They employ this autodidactic knowledge of traditional methods of production in the creation of unique, handcrafted objects. This means that a sculpture on display is often the result of a long and labour-intensive process in which the material is carefully selected, researched and manipulated.
This is also the case for the sculptures that are created for Digitalis. The exhibition’s title uses the botanical name for foxgloves; ‘digitalis’ meaning ‘of the finger’, a reference to the flower’s shape. Both the title and the works on display are concerned with the concept of the touch, or stroke; in the shape of a unique fingerprint or as a digital, serial gesture. The purple Digitalis flower, for instance, reappears as a floral motif in the details of a new series of benches hand-made by the artists from cypress wood. The cushions for the seats are adorned with digital embroidery.
Dewar and Gicquel’s choice for obsolete manual techniques should not, however, be interpreted as a nostalgic reflex concerning forgotten traditions, or as a critical stand on standardization and uniformity in an industrialized world. Techniques and media are not a work’s final goals. On the contrary, most often they function as starting points for an investigation of the narrative potential, as references for the subject to freely revolve around.
The diminished relevance or anachronistic nature of, in this case, embroidery and the use of a chisel and mechanic wood cutter is seen by the artists themselves as sculptural surplus value. A block of wood starts with the potential to take on any narrative and sculptural form, but it is simultaneously inherent in the creative process that this starting material will only lead to a single sculptural ‘appearance’. Dewar and Gicquel take great pleasure in the journey towards this appearance, in manipulating techniques or setting a particular material in motion and, curiously yet patiently, watching the emergence of a sculptural image. Their take on traditional techniques does not require the rules to be followed strictly; no, new rules are invented along the way. This idea is strikingly embodied in the sofa-pieces: they do not function as perfectly finished practical objects, but as a series of unique sculptures with delicate nuances in material, colour, and size.