Refections on decolonisation and sauvage curatorship in the current BOZAR exhibition
Lisa Vlaemminck is a painter based in Brussels. Her atelier overlooks the Botanical Garden, which can easily be seen as a source of inspiration in her work. Vlaemminck works with a lot of organic forms and unconventional colours resulting in bizarre yet attractive scenes.
She’s now represented by galerie Tatjana Pieters where she’s working on an exhibition of collages called ‘Paper Works’. Additionally, Vlaemminck’s work features in another exhibition at the gallery together with Mike Pratt. If you’ve been to the Hugo Claus ‘Con Amore’ exhibition you might recognise her work; her painting ‘zoetwatervis/aquarythmics #2’ is hanging there. With some really good things going on at the moment Vlaemminck prefers to stay out of the public eye, she doesn’t believe in showing up frequently at vernissages or having a lot of social media presence. A little hidden gem!
I think people have to know your work before they get to know your face – and not the other way around
What’s your specialty?
What are you working on?
I’m working on collages for the exhibition ‘Paper Works’ at Gallery Tatjana Pieters, at the end of May. It’s a group exhibition with the artists of the gallery. In September I’m featured in a bigger exhibition together with artist Mike Pratt, also at Gallery Tatjana Pieters.
Do you have an exhibition soon?
I show ‘zoetwatervis/aquarythmics #2’ at ‘Con amore‘ in BOZAR, an exhibition dedicated to writer Hugo Claus. You can check it out until 22 July.
Do you think it’s important to have a good social entourage?
I have a handful of people who I trust and invite quite regularly into my studio. They have a good critical gaze. But I don’t believe in showing up frequently at vernissages or having a lot of social media presence. It definitely can help, but that doesn’t make or break your career. I think people have to know your work before they get to know your face, and not the other way around. But I’m not too romantic about it either; you have to keep your eyes open and sometimes take decisions that can relate to a businessman. It also depends how you want to position yourself as an artist and how visible you want to be.
How did peers influence your life?
To reflect back: when you’re a teenager you’re the most vulnerable, you want to match the rest. The playground is a very divided place, very black and white. As an adolescent you feel strongly about everything and exaggeration is everywhere. So in a way it’s really clear what you have to do to mismatch the rest. Not that I was a big rebel, but I felt a lot of times ‘reversed’. From there I kind of liked this idea of cultivating being different. In my work I still find it important to be cautious with trends, or you have to go so far that it’s interesting again. Seemingly tasteful is less fascinating than in-your-face, honest vulgarity. Now it is evident to seek people who share the same thoughts and things. It simply makes life easier. But that doesn’t mean I only have artist friends.
If so, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned from it?
That you can’t escape relating to others.
Who has most influenced you in life?
It’s hard not to say my mom, so I would say: my mom, Carine Bille.
Do you experience peers more like a positive or a negative phenomenon?More in a negative way, I tend to distrust peers/norm. But when you’re dealing with images you always start from what you know and what there is. Thereafter you manipulate and appropriate. I’m a very serious spongebob.
Do you feel the need to conform to those around you?
I like the idea of fighting the enemy with his own weapons. Like René Magritte disguises himself as a little civil male with his bowler hat and the boring suit. So, instead of shouting really hard, you just talk in an eloquent voice and say that you don’t agree. But I’m not sure if that’s the answer to conformism.
Do you regret any time you’ve given in to peer pressure?
Probably. I bought a sansevieria when sansevierias became cool but I don’t regret it.
Is there anyone in your scene who needs more attention?
Veronika Bezdenejnykh: http://bezdenejnykh.blogspot.be/p/about.html One of the best artists I know.