Celebrating the second edition of Gent Soirees, a wide number of Ghentian art galleries and off-spaces are opening their doors for exclusive late-night visits. Stroll through the picturesque streets of Ghent and immerse yourself in the city’s contemporary art extravaganza during this after-hours gallery walk.
Text by Isaline Raes
Photos by Sybren Vanoverberghe, shot at 019
The exhibition ‘REPLAY’ pays homage to the exhibition poster as a full-fledged art object. Ghent-based artist Nikolaas Demoen invited 14 graphic designers to design a ‘post-facto’ poster with memorabilia from his exhibitions, book presentations and residencies of the past 7 years. By exhibiting these posters Demoen not only hits the replay button of his career, he also highlights the artistic autonomy of a printed poster. And as all of the works were created by Belgian graphic designers, the exhibition can also be read as a snapshot of the contemporary graphic design scene in Belgium. Participating designers are: Kim Beirnaert, Michaël Bussaer, Casier/Fieuws, Lisa De Brouwere, Luc Derycke, Jan & Randoald, Inge Ketelers, Joris Kritis, Gestalte, Julie Peeters, Ruttens-Wille, Pauline Scharmann, Stien Stessens and Roger Willems.
KIOSK presents ‘Falling, lovely and beautiful’ by the French-Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch, the newborn master of appropriation. By stripping objects and texts from their original contexts, Echakhch makes room for new, unexpected interpretations. Doing so she questions preset notions about identity, nationality, religion and authenticity. Her installation consists of monumental bronze bells — replicas of the ones out of a restored German church bombed during World War II — that she crushed and muted for eternity, a performative video of someone who’s playing the piano amidst the huge noise of the same instrument being shattered into pieces by a sledgehammer, and a series of ink drawings wherein Echakhch deconstructs Arabic poems by turning them into unreadable abstractions, bearing within it the possibility of a whole new reading.
20 flags and 1 billboard outside 019, Ghent. New York-based artist Tauba Auerbach was invited to dress up the row of flagpoles hanging above the building’s entrance, resulting in 19 flags titled ‘OoO’ especially made for 019. On the big mast flies ‘Intermission’, a monumental flag designed by Fiona Banner AKA The Vanity Press. The flag refers to Banner’s days in art college where she made a short film consisting only of the word INTERMISSION. According to Banner a flag is like a movie because it’s rectangular and animated by the weather conditions. Often used as patriotic symbols, flags are reminders of heroism. However, opposite to ‘mission’ the word on Banner’s flag ‘inter-mission’ suggests something unheroic, an interlude of unfilled time, a void between content. The 50 square meters billboard outside 019 hosts ‘When The Ocean Sounds’ by LA-based artist David Horvitz. The poster shows a score made by Horvitz for a human voice intended to mimic the sound of an ocean wave as heard on the beach of Palos Verdes. Hanging adjacent to the river, the billboard is waiting for the seawater of the wave transcribed in LA at the beginning of 2018 to reach the old harbour of Ghent.
It seems like we kind of lost the guts to disobey the system. Or don’t we? In De Ruimte figured that it doesn’t harm to shake up our minds and (re)awake the disobedient civilian in each of us. Expect an investigation of destructive and utopian visions and everything in between, a quest to unravel the grey zone where artistic ambition meets civil activism. On view are works of Sam Gunst, Eddy Joseph De Buf, Karel de Kleijne and Ontroerend Goed among others, who all try to answer the dilemma whether artists are able or not to remodel our current social, political and economical space.
With works by Audrey Cottin, Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office, Marijke De Roover, Anneke Eussen, Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver, Clive Hodgson, Vicky Lema & Dapper Bruce Lafitte, Mike Pratt, Michael Pybus, Dieter Ravyts, Michael Ross, Derek Sullivan, Philippe Van Snick & Lisa Vlaemminck.
Gent Soirees – 25 May 2018 – 18:00 until 22:00