Launched in 2019, “Concerns of Concern | Materials for Bandages” is the third chapter of the program of the curator Guillaume Desanges at La Verrire in Brussels. Following the “gestures of thought” and “ballistic poetry”, this chakra develops around a particular focus placed on matter. Borrowing its title from the thinker Bruno Latour, it highlights a variety of perspectives, investing material with spiritual, social, symbolic, therapeutic or magical concerns. From exhibition to exhibition, the attention to new relationships between art and living things, objects and elements is evident. An open exploration is about “healing” the material as much as understanding its transformative power.
The inaugural exhibition weaves new relationships between works and objects of the present and the past, according to an approach that transcends traditional categories and hierarchies, from craftsmanship to art, by incorporating magical or therapeutic practices: artisans celebrating Mamadou. From stained glass, Roubaix’s healer, to Anna Halpin’s catharsis and healing dances; From the feminist dolls of Raymonde Arcier to the symbolic and organic dress of Aline Ribier, passing through the embarrassing mannequins of Harald Thies and José de Gruiter, and more. It is common for most creators to reconsider the use of substances and methods of production according to the regime of attention, care that most of the creators collected. A step away from their thoughts and gestures, the possibility of a re-attraction of the world emerges.
In the cycle’s inaugural exhibition, one can see models of pieces signed by Camille Blatrix: a contrasting choice for a visual artist who claims not to show the mark of labor nor gesture. Thus pierced the spirit that ran through the personal exhibition”barriers of antiquity“- whose title summons the unsurpassed qualities of the craftsmen of the old-fashioned – presented by Guillaume Desanges as part of the cycle from September 5, 2019 in La Verrier” Concern | Dressing material”. Born in Paris in 1984, Camille Blatix explores her ambiguous relationship with craftsmanship in a labyrinthine installation punctuated by objects, marketery and drawings, where the hand of the artist’s father, the painter then the marine carpenter, also surface . Filled with wisdom in its quest for perfection, the work on display invites an unexpected spirit into restraint.
After Camille Blatrix’s sanity is followed by Baby Badalov. Materials for the costume presented as part of “Cases of Concern” at the second personal exhibition La Verriere”, “soul mobilization“Reveals with intensity and eclecticism in the exhibition space. His obsessive calligraphy, which shapes his poetic relationship with language, follows this artist’s transition from Russia to France, born in Azerbaijan in 1959, to France, where he created a political refugee in 2011. Citizens of the world, Babi Badalov provides in essence a universal task, understandable to all, the economy of which contributes to the strengthening of the committed tone. All volute and In Arabic, sometimes drawn directly on the wall, the work, whose comprehensiveness is inversely proportional to the simplicity of its content, provides a welcome piece of material for La Verrire visitors to heal as they face the sufferings of our world. does.
Invited by the third artist Guillaume Desanges, Minia Biabiani is part of the cycle “Cases of Anxiety | Materials to Heal” with the exhibitionMoses Knight“: A reflection on the sexuality of Guadeloupeian and Caribbean women today and the way it is inextricably marked by history. In the Brussels space, the visual artist proposes a sensual and allegorical journey to this end, featuring handicrafts, sculptures Or even a banana flower (also known as “Moses”) participates in the reactivation of a repressed memory. Born in Guadeloupe (France) in 1988, Minia Biabiani exhibits as a ritual which allows her to approach the question of identity in a way that is as poetic as it is committed.
Social and political issues also reside in the work of Barbara Chase-Ribaud, who took over La Verrire Space with the exhibition in September 2020.AvatarsAmerican artists living in Paris since the 1960s present a selection of monumental sculptures, paintings, collages and small-format installations, whose choice of title – always a posteriori and instinctively attributed – suggests that the form How the work ultimately relates to the tragic history of the African diaspora, from the transatlantic slave trade to the civil rights struggle in the United States. Thus, between old pieces and new productions, the exhibition reveals the power of a recognized work but then also remains on the margins of a major conceptual art. Because of Barbara Chase-Ribaud’s total commitment, both physical and sensitive, in her work with matter, this fourth proposal by Guillaume Desanges clearly belongs to the cycle of “matters of concern”. Expands. Materials for wearing clothes”.
This continues in early 2021 with an exhibition dedicated to Gianni Petena, a leading figure in Radical Architecture, a movement that worked in the 60s against the dominant normative character of creation in this domain. An architect, therefore, but also an artist, designer, critic, architectural historian, curator and teacher, this Italian born in 1940 is also a pioneer in the ever-present attention to nature. In La Verriere, the exhibition “forgiven by natureOut of the shackles reflects the transversality of a complete free practice, which favors humble content and sees the progress of the world with clarity. On the occasion of this ambitious exhibition, La Verrire presents several works as well as a number of documents, while the collective display resulting in a monumental installation is accessible within the Higher Institute for the Study of Language Plastics (ISELP) located a few steps away . , This exhibition in two venues, placed under the direction of Guillaume Desanges, allows a wider audience to immerse themselves – literally – in the visionary vision of the man who defined himself as an “anaarchitect”, in order to better delineate the boundaries between subjects.
For the seventh installment of “Concerns”. Matières panser”, La Verrire welcomes a pair of French artists who have been living and working in Brussels since 2015. For their first exhibition in the Belgian capital, two visual artists create new productions according to a visual principle. are proposing that takes into account the peculiarities of the place: height, light and cubic geometry of space. His pieces, whose hybrid nature deliberately creates illusions, transitional situations to end up with strange creations of wild beauty and favors unfinished forms. However, between altered materials and organic pieces, the elements resulting from sophisticated manual work create an unprecedented tension, which also contributes to the presence of paintings, films and texts distributed throughout the space. Through with a poetic title, “primitive breathing clues”, the pair of climbers invite the public to take a unique look at man’s place within living and inaction.
This is another poem that comes to the fore with the exhibition”A Stitch in the TimesDedicated to the delicate work of Majd Abdel Hamid. A change of scale accompanied the presentation of small-format embroideries, often abstract and colourful, regarded by Guillaume Desanges as “sculptures of the time more than virtuoso repertoire of the Enlightenment”. This work, point-by-point, allows the artist to draw distance from time: away from reaction, a Palestinian citizen born in exile in Syria, living between Beirut and Ramallah, for a long time, supporting the repetition of the gesture. and the gradual rise of the form. This subtle graphic work, delicate in nature, then employs a paradoxical force to face the upheaval of the world. If resilience is necessarily exposed in such an exercise—which in fact places it within the framework of “cases of concern material to heal”—this whole work also manifests as an act of resistance. , whose apparent humility in no way alters the poetic determination of gesture.
Finally, La Verrire is replaced with a massive trompe-l’le orchestrated by Lucy McKenzie, which extends over all its walls. By exploring the personal exhibition “buildings in belgium, buildings in oil, buildings in silk”, the visitor is immersed in the heart of a historic frieze dedicated to the history of fashion and the development of the perception of the female body. The Scottish visual artist, herself active in the field of fashion, thus shares an original perspective on a creative field in which she develops transversely with her artistic practice. Manually executed, the landscape features historical personalities of fashion and figures of modernity in a depth of aesthetic contexts that automatically invite contemplation, but also decryption. With this sentiment throughout, Lucy Mackenzie comes to close the cycle of “worry matters” launched in the spring of 2019 by Guillaume Desanges to highlight artists whose creative process is based on substance. An ecological practice in service of a concern for and a profound attention to the world.This sophisticated pictorial work of vast dimensions is the ultimate display of it.
, The exhibition presented by Lucy McKenzie at LaVerrière can be considered under several aspects: mise en abyme, historical panorama, critical representation. Boasting historical fashion figures and modernity figures in abundance of aesthetic references, this monumental piece plays its decorative role perfectly, thanks to a sense of detail that invites the most attentive observation. LaVerrière’s walls are thus erased under a composition that paradoxically opens the space to a world in itself: like a large-format historical fresco, it is a true trompe-l’oeil that visitors Appears with sophistication all around. , With this custom-designed piece, British visual artist Lucy Mackenzie, born in 1977, signs here, if not her great work, then at least a powerful manifesto of her practice. This achievement responds to the ambitions of the “Create” pillar, through which the Fondation d’Entreprise Herms supports artists in the production of original pieces, guided by a desire to experiment with new forms, outside of established patterns. “Buildings in Belgium, Buildings in Oil, Buildings in Silk”, Lucy Mackenzie’s exhibition, is indeed part of a radical creative approach, seeing LaVerrier’s installation as a great support of her creation. Activating himself in the fashion and design realms outside the traditional categories of production and distribution, this multidisciplinary visual artist mischievously creates the ambiguity of his own practice. This distance with this creative field allows her to adopt an original look, staged here in a very honest way, on the history of fashion and the development of the perception of the female body through this prism. Voluntarily flirting with craftsmanship, this pictorial result was executed manually – and in this vast – thus provides a sociological interpretation of clothing as an object, which is characterized by its social, aesthetic, creative, conservative and Caught in the liberation ceremony.,
This illustrated tour de force by Lucy Mackenzie concludes the cycle developed by Guillaume Desanges, “Cases of Anxiety | Matters to Bandage”, which highlights artists whose creative process bears testimony to a concern for the material, an ecological Practice through deep meditation on the world, ,
Laurent Pejoux, Director of the Herms Corporate Foundation
exhibition Lucy McKenzie, « Buildings in Belgium, Buildings in Oil, Buildings in Silk», du 21/01/2022 AU 26/03/2022 La Verrire 50, Boulevard de Waterloo – 1000 Brussels
Free admission from 12 noon to 6 pm from Tuesday to Saturday.
header image : work by Lucy Mackenzie “Buildings in Belgium, Buildings in oil, Buildings in silk”, 2021, detail and preliminary drawing, courtesy of the artist © Lucy Mackenzie
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