Opening: Friday 20 September 2019 - 20:00
Cuban artist Susana Pilar (1984, Havana) focuses on social and historical issues of gender and race by taking her own personal experiences and family history and relating them to contemporary concerns such as migration and violence against women. Her own body often takes a central place in her practice.
For the exhibition Body Present, Pilar creates a new performance that links Belgian colonial history to her own childhood, the particular demographics of her homeland, and her Afro- Cuban descent from slaves from Sierra Leone and Congo. The piece is presented alongside a series of photographs, videos and drawings. All of these works are based in performance and present the assertive, black female body.
Opening: Friday 26 April 2019 - 20:00
With the Family Nexus exhibition, artist Sophie Nys and KIOSK will be working together for the second time. KIOSK invited Nys in 2008, when still located in the outdoor pavilion. For that occasion, Nys purchased a metal time capsule, put the history of the exhibition space into the capsule and buried it underground. That capsule is still there, invisible, but at the same time, also permanent and unmistakably an intervention. It was also an example of the way in which Sophie Nys works with the specific history and architecture of a given place. This is once again true of her new exhibition at KIOSK, in which she attempts to unite a number of both minimal and monumental interventions, unique and serial objects, personal acquaintances and obscure figures from 16th-century prints, rural landscapes close to home and urban monuments, all under a single denominator.
Sophie Nys already intrigued us by giving her exhibition at KIOSK the title Family Nexus, together with an introductory image of chewing gum sticking to a knee and an invitation that she has transformed into a little book. That card in book form tells the story of four people, called Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
It is with such personal gestures that Sophie Nys introduces us to the interrelated works that she has brought together for this exhibition. Once we have entered KIOSK, we walk into a web that she has created from intrigues, connected and unconnected, where no position at all is neutral. Nys is interested in the relationships that evolve between her works, as well as in relation to the space and the visitor, and draws a parallel with a praxis or a household in which a set of unspoken rules and roles determine the dynamics. The title, Family Nexus, is understood in psychology to mean a vision that is shared by the majority of family members, often unconsciously and for several generations long, and is upheld in the context of events both within the family and in its relationship to the world.
Who is it who is playing the role of Nobody, the household’s so-called ‘identified patient’, or the scapegoat, and which pots and pans has slipped through this character’s fingers? Although all of these characters belong to the same family, the Family Nexus, they all seem to be pointing the finger at one another. The one is more someone, more or less unique, or dependent, or leaves a larger or smaller imprint of his or her presence, than the other. The smallest of the community, made by hand, supports the largest, industrially produced element. The others try to get a foothold somewhere in between these caricatured extremes.
Adapted to a new context and scale, existing furniture designs or industrial objects become expressions of a personal thought, characters in Sophie Nys’ own story. This game of observing, rehashing and deduplicating is characteristic of Nys’ oeuvre, and in the course of time, as does every individual family, this collection of related works displays a conscious or unconscious nexus. The arrangement that results is her (self-)critical and humorous way of telling something about her own artistic practice, the relations that we undertake with one another, as well as about institutional mechanisms.
Opening: Friday 8 February 2019 - 20:00
Great moment of transport, / body to body / boat on my dunes / boat on your back / hands on our waves / it's beautiful both / ocean flow (…)
Julien Creuzet invites us along for a meandering narrative in which sounds — like the phrases from the exhibition title — resound and echo in the form of songs, poetry, performances, videos and installations. In the gallery, an almost hypnotic and sensuous stream of words and images comes alive that is rooted in the artist’s native island of Martinique.
Creuzet’s works refer to Martinique’s literary, cultural and geographic identity, and in particular to Édouard Glissant, the poet and writer who was also born on the Antillean island. According to Glissant, despite French dominance, Caribbean (cultural) identity is neither French, nor African, but Creole; a mix of different linguistic influences. In his writings, he develops and deploys the concepts of creolization and decentralization in opposition to globalization and universality. Creuzet follows suit, with an anti-colonial discourse and techniques of assemblage, collage and cultural appropriation as tools to re-fashion exoticism into something new.
Organic growth and the ‘rhythm’ of the Caribbean are the foundation for the central installation in KIOSK’s dome room: the base for the structure was constructed in 2018 in cooperation with Les Ateliers de Rennes, and is expanded with new extensions here. The work behaves much like a complex mangrove ecosystem from Martinique, with an expansive network of horizontal roots. The structure covered with pieces of cloth and screens echoes this theme, as do the man and woman from the video Lova Lova, Safari Go. The different sound tracks and textures, protagonists and identities are attracted, clash and are distorted. Like the mangrove’s aerial roots, they become part of a networked, living and breathing landscape.
The exhibition stands as a single visual and acoustic collage of complementary memories, both personal and collective, a mix of organic, synthetic and technological materials, French and Creole, high and low culture, with occasional political subtexts. Creuzet visualizes the encounter with the Other, which Glissant described in a way that resonates with this pluriform installation: “Rhizomatic thought is the principle behind what I call the Poetics of Relation, in which each and every identity is extended through a relationship with the Other.”
Opening: Friday 30 November 2018 - 20:00
For Assembly (KIOSK), Agency makes a selection from its list of controversies based on the question: What if common things would get mutually included within art practices? Intellectual property includes copyright, which protects “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression”. However, copyright law hasn’t defined originality. Under the copyright framework, two elements are put forward in relation to originality. One, a work must be “the product of independent creation” and, two, must “exhibit at least some minimal degree of distinguishable variation”. This means that a “slavish copy” does not comply and that the work of authorship is seen as the author’s internal creative processes. The legal framework excludes the influence of external factors. But often it is difficult to distinguish internal from external factors during creative processes of making replicas. Courts have interpreted differently what originality requires. Some courts have granted protection for labour, skill, and investment on the “sweat of the brow” principle. This series of controversies will convene an assembly at KIOSK in order to bear witness.
Agency will organize the following two gatherings at KIOSK:
On December 9th, 2018, Agency will invoke the controversy Thing 001928 (Give up yer aul’ sins). It concerns a conflict between Pauline Gormley and EMI around the Give Up Yer Aul’ Sins, a tape of bible stories told by children from Dublin. During the court case, Pauline Gormley v. EMI on November 17, 1998, judge Barron at the Irish Supreme Court had to decide if Pauline Gormley’s recounting of the bible story And then there were twelve as a child was sufficiently original to be protected as a work of art.
And on January 27, 2019, the controversy Thing 002304 (carpets) will be presented. The conflict is between the textile companies Artessuto and B&T Textilia about drawings of townscapes which are used in tapestries and cushions. During the case, Artessuto v. B&T Textilia on January 26, 2012, the Belgian Supreme Court had to decide if Artessuto’s woven carpets were sufficiently original to qualify for copyright protection as a work of art.
For these gatherings, Agency invites a diverse group of concerned guests to respond to the controversy in question. The invited respondents come from different practices that are entangled in the case under discussion. The gathering will take place inside the exhibition and will last for approximately two hours. The purpose of the assembly is to re-invoke the moment of hesitation during the court case. This is meant not as much as a re-enactment of the judgment than as a "palaver" that prolongs the doubt during this case.
“Agency” is an international initiative that was founded in 1992 by Kobe Matthys and has office in Brussels. Agency constitutes a growing “list of things” that resist the radical split between the classifications of nature and culture. This list of things is mostly derived from juridical cases and controversies involving intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc.) in various territories around the world.
The concept of intellectual property relies upon the fundamental assumption of the split between culture and nature and consequently between expressions and ideas, creations and facts, subjects and objects, humans and non-humans, originality and tradition, individuals and collectives, mind and body, etc. Each “thing” or controversy included on the list bears witness to a hesitation in terms of these divisions.
Open Design Course for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Opening: Friday 23 November 2018 - 15:00
Open Design Course voor vluchtelingen en asielzoekers
Mirra Markhaeva, Ayman Nasser, Kinda Ghannoum, Reza Panahi, Kelechi Johnbosco Ahunanya, Dessalegn Yared Yilma, Mohammed Tawfiq, Seyed, Mohamad Bayan Jilo, Marcus Bergner, Fatma Osman, Asaad Merza, Mohamed Rida Mahir, Elli Vassalou, Liselotte Van Daele, Elias Heuninck, Wendy van Wynsberghe, Sawsan Maher, Samer Alagha, Jerry Galle, Hala Elias Poles, Jozefien Mombaerts, Hendrik Leper en Wim Waelput.
Veel vluchtelingen hebben heel wat competenties om verder te studeren of te werken binnen een professionele sector maar de weg daarnaar toe is niet gemakkelijk. De Open Design opleiding voor Vluchtelingen en Asielzoekers is een co-creatie-platform waar leren, onderzoeken, en samenwerken centraal staan. De studenten hebben een boeiende acht weken achter de rug waar zij in contact kwamen met digitale expressie en open design vanuit tal van perspectieven. Binnen deze opleiding hebben zij elk een persoonlijk traject afgelegd met een eigen onderzoek. Dat resultaat, hun work in progress, wordt gepresenteerd in KIOSK op 23, 24 en 25 november.
De studenten zullen tijdens de opening aanwezig zijn om in gesprek te gaan over hun werk en proces. We verwelkomen u graag met een drankje tijdens de Openingsreceptie op 23 november 2018 om 15uur in KIOSK, Louis Pasteurlaan 2, 9000 Gent.
De opleiding werd georganiseerd door VZW Kunstensite (KIOSK) in samenwerking met KASK, School of Arts en ontstond vanuit de noodzaak om een constructief antwoord te bieden op de toestroom van vluchtelingen in 2016.
Daniel García Andújar
Opening: Friday 21 September 2018 - 19:00
Daniel García Andújar (1966, Spain) is a central figure in the Spanish internet art scene. Since the late 80s he has been starting up internet projects, he is a founding member of the irational.org web collective, and developed Technologies To The People® (TTTP), a non-profit organization that provides people who lack the means with access to new technologies. These collectives hack and appropriate material from contemporary culture with the aim of revealing the often problematic politics or absurd logic of the internet. With open source and collective methods of production, they undermine the notion of material or intellectual property, or the newly acquired power of digital technology.
In a next phase, Andújar looks for ways to take these issues from their virtual server environments and translate them to posters, slideshows, sculptures, publications or interventions in public space. For his solo show at KIOSK, titled Plus ultra, he will bring several stories together in one of these multi-media installations. One topic he focuses on is a bit of shared history: Emperor Charles V, born in Ghent in 1500 and crowned King of Spain at age sixteen. It was Charles V who gave Spain its motto Plus ultra (Latin for ‘further beyond’). Andújar follows the emperor’s lead to historical moments of public display of power in Ghent, to frame these from his own perspective.
With the support of the Spanish Embassy in Belgium.
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