A glittering ruin sucked upwards is HISK laureates exhibition 2022 at HISK’s Gosset Site in Molenbeek (Brussels, BE). Curated by Yann Chateigné Tytelman, it includes works, live performances and other activities by and with the participation of Wim De Pauw, Ian De Weerdt, Manu Engelen, Antoine Goossens, Zhixin Angus Liao, Linda Jasmin Mayer, Felipe Muhr, Noemi Osselaer, Edouard Pagant, Juan Pablo Plazas, Stephanie Rizaj, Pei-Hsuan Wang & several guests. More information can be found in an ongoing Text assembled by the participants (whose biographies and statements can be read in the Participants zone. This website also offers a view on what is happening on site through a shared Calendar, updated in real time by the artists. The show, and the events are documented in an online Documents section. A collective Publication accompanying the exhibition is being composed and printed in the space itself.
Named after a mountaineer whose book his mother couldn’t remember.
1996 (MCMXCVI) the 996th year of the 2nd millennium, the 96th year of the 20th century was a leap year starting on Monday.
Donnybrook Fair, a notoriously disorderly event, is part of the axial skeleton. (from Greek κάθαρσις, katharsis, meaning “purification”, “cleansing”, or “clarification”)
Vibration should not be confused with the serpent twitching in order to attract its prey. Vibration is a common behaviour whereby the serpent vibrates quickly as a defence response to a potential predator. A fallacy is logically invalid reasoning or one that undermines the logical validity of an argument. All forms of human communication can contain fallacies.
1. Is a natural a.m. type (although he has difficulty accepting it).
2. Loves the letters ‘o’ and ‘y’.
3. Wonders what would happen if there would be a wordwide strike.
4. Is teaching – and being taught by – architecture students at Sint-Lucas.
5. Feels most secure when speaking French.
6. Has a collection of objects, notes,… entitled ‘Thisappearance’, that tackle absence or a former presence.
7. Is the founder of The Letter Space Department and co-founder of Lesage.
8. Would like to organise a show with the doors and The Doors.
9. Likes the number 33.
10. Admires Anne Carson and Lisa Robertson.
11. Has attempted to translate walls several times without success… to this day.
12. Developed an interest in the interweaving of text and textiles.
13. Loves minor models of resistance.
(Based on a press release by James Lee Byars [A short biography]).
My name is Manu Engelen and I was born on 4 June 1984 in Leuven (Flanders, Belgium). I grew up in Geel in Antwerp’s Kempen region.
I obtained a master’s degree in painting from the Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg, Hasselt (now PXL MAD) in 2010. After graduating, I lived and worked in Antwerp until 2016, when I enrolled on a one-year course at the Kunstacademie Münster, Germany. I then moved to Brussels, where I lived and worked as a professional artist before enrolling at HISK (Higher Institute of Fine Arts) as a postgraduate student in 2021. I am about to graduate from HISK and will remain active in Brussels.
The Flemish Community purchased one of my artworks in 2020, which is currently in storage at SMAK (Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art) in Ghent. That same year, I presented my second solo exhibition at Callewaert & Vanlangendonck. I joined the Ponti gallery in Antwerp in 2022. After recently rediscovering my passion for music, I joined a percussionist friend for a joint performance at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp. We played for 10 minutes, surrounded by six of my paintings. These were illuminated in accordance with the rhythm of the percussion piece.
My field of interest has its roots in my early childhood, which was filled with scale models of conveyances and vehicles. I also saw many life-sized models of spaceships, planes and helicopters. I’m interested in man-made constructions and their various manifestations. This translates into studying architecture (e.g., city development, urbanisation), conveyances (vehicles of all kinds), infrastructure, design, aerodynamics and so on. More recently, I have been looking beyond the earth and at what humans could manage in space, and how we – as non-scientists or non-astronomers – utilise our imaginations in this respect. Since joining HISK, I have spent an increasing amount of time studying science fiction films and literature. I translate these themes, often in a geometrically abstract way, into variously sized paintings. A recent example is an octagonal work entitled BP Love, which hovers between a circular radar beam and the logo of the BP oil company.
Although primarily a painter, I occasionally make sculptures. I also make casual drawings as part of my practice.
b. 1992 in Brussels, Belgium.
Antoine Goossens is a painter. He is currently finishing his residency at HISK (Gent).
She received an MFA from the Time and Space Arts study programme of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki in 2014 and a BFA in Sculpture Studies from the Brera Academy in Milan in 2010. She studied at the School of Media Arts of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen in 2014 and 2015. In 2018, she participated in the ISP of Maumaus in Lisbon. Currently, she is a resident of HISK’s Practice-based Research in Visual Arts programme in Gent.
Linda Jasmin Mayer’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Italy, Spain, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Belgium, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Russia, and India.
Her graduation piece How to Break the Ice was awarded the Kuvataideakatemian Ystävät prize in 2013. Her video piece Snowcats was screened at the Trento Film Festival in 2014 in a showing curated by MART/Italy. In 2016, she participated at the Colombo Art Biennale in Sri Lanka. In 2018, her film Parallel Worlds was screened at the 35. Kasseler Dokumentar und Video Fest. In 2020, she participated with her work Dove fermarsi? at the exhibition unlearning categories at the Museion, Museum of Contemporary Art Bolzano. Her works are part of private and public collections.
Her work mostly advances through video art and installation, habitually with sculptural and participatory aspects. She explores topics of social alienation and the interplay between humanity and nature.
In her video work, she captures aspects of the real world that return a sense of magic or illusion. This sense is frequently visible due to the absence of light, the alternation of light and darkness, or the presence of masks.
Felipe Muhr (1986) is a visual artist from Santiago (CL). His work incorporates painting, comics, publications, and installations. Felipe holds a degree in Art from PUC (CL), an MFA in Illustration from FIT, State University of NY (US), and an Advanced Master’s in Artistic Research at Sint Lucas School of Arts, Antwerp (BE). For the past ten years, Felipe has also worked as an illustrator, drawing for newspapers, magazines, educational textbooks, and public museums. He lives in Ghent (BE) with his family.
My work explores the apparition, disappearance, and eventual resurgence of images. I want to know how (seemingly) extinct visual strategies of representation in printed media contaminate and haunt our understanding of non-human living beings. I am driven by the way in which a network of pictures embodies a way of looking and inhabiting the world, while also becoming an act of world-building.
Through research based on an expanded notion of narrative drawing, I look for common sensibilities in academic visions of nature proficiently crafted in picture books, collectible chromos, encyclopaedias, comics, and other high-circulation material. I am looking for their echoes in current modes of production, dissemination, and consumption of knowledge. This approach is driven by the suspicion that museums and textbooks are not only places where fantasy, drama, and humour thrive, but that the western tradition of displaying dead beings and living objects through a rational lens express –better than anything else – ideas about ghosts, resurrection and the afterlife.
I understand drawing – either by means of appropriation or through involuntary recall – as an immediate means of communication, a form of knowledge, and an open territory to speculate about hidden ways of seeing, bearing witness to their survival.
During her two-year residency at HISK, Noemi Osselaer began making a fictional city project entitled City Garden. As the creator of this metropolis, she wanted to find a solution to a latent danger, namely that many urbanites are losing touch with nature.
To this end, Osselaer not only searches within the discernible materiality, but also at the intangible level of the subconscious. She has created a series of designs in which subliminal natural processes make an appearance within the city: forests that bring us into closer contact with memories, a meditation train that people can take after a hard day’s work, or even a compost park in which the decay process has a harmonious effect on the subconscious.
Although her drawings exude a utopian and dreamlike character, they are eminently realisable.
My first encounter with art was through theatre and the second through graffiti. At one point, these two practices were so prevalent in everyday life that I had the feeling of being split in two, or even more if I add the characters that I was playing. I then studied visual arts, as I tried to understand the ways in which I could develop my own practice in the wake of the two experiences I could not connect. After a few years, I realized that theatre had taught me to tell stories with words and bodies in action in a black box, while graffiti had taught me to interfere visually in public space, engaging my body to write a single word, one that wasn’t mine, a fictitious word. While it was clear that I was interested in stories, fiction, words, bodies, action and space, visual arts helped me to broaden the mediums of my pieces.
If telling a story means organising links and connecting elements in space and time to create a viewpoint on a subject, the elements of the story are not always verbally and linearly organised in my work. Moreover, the viewpoints are often manifold, and hence, there is no hierarchy in my choice of subjects. I am often interested in things that lie in the margins, lurking in the shadows and that, once they are brought to light, reveal questions and conflicts broader than originally thought. Small stories inside immensity.
b. 1987 in Bogotá, Colombia.
How do you see yourself?
This is the perfect question for someone who either stands before a mirror or practices astral projection. I’m interested in both activities, but, like many other things, I haven’t yet studied them in depth. I would rather introduce myself as an artist because it is the area that I studied most and a fundamental part of what I do every day. I describe my activities as a sequence of fortuitous encounters that make sense through a narrative that seems to be written by itself. Hence, I’m constantly looking for the unexpected within the outwardly obvious, the blatant certainty of the misunderstood, and the wrong answers to the questions no one ever asks. I’m particularly attracted to coincidences, which I see as a thread that guides the projects on which I work, as the only proof that “something” ties this world together. To successfully use coincidences, I create strategies to make myself available to them. I use these same strategies to make sculptures, performances, installations, videos, audio pieces, photographs, drawings, or any other medium required by the circumstances of a project.
What makes two events, ideas, people, or situations fall in the same spot?
They meet in corners stemming from the same old road: language. Regardless of the language, my aim consists in going down that road and making all the stops possible.
I’m an artist who has lived in Brussels since 2012. I describe my activities as a form of fortuitous ethnography that unveils itself through the manners of art practice. In 2011, I simultaneously graduated from Anthropology and Art at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. In 2013, I graduated from the master’s program at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels. My work has been shown at the Bureau des Réalités in Brussels, Belgium (2016), SMAK, Gent, Belgium (2017), Chauffeur, Sydney, Australia (2018), Besme 105 in Brussels, Belgium (2018), Mieke van Schaijk Galerie in ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands (2018), and is currently on show at La Centrale Brussels (2021 – 2022). I am part of the Self Luminous Society and the 76.4 project in Saint Gilles, Brussels. In 2019 and 2021, I had an artist residency at Pilar, Brussels and today, I am a resident at HISK, Gent, Belgium.
Stephanie Rizaj is a visual artist who splits her time between Brussels and Vienna. Ranging from performative sculptures to site-specific installations and videos, her practice focuses on the socio-political construction of identities by exploring familiar stories on the impact of migration in the context of feminism and reflecting on the relations between body, labour, and architecture. Having trained as an architect, designer, and artist, Stephanie Rizaj holds several degrees from different institutions including the Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam (NL), and the University of Applied Arts Vienna (AT). Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in various exhibitions and festivals, including Manifesta 13 Marseille (FR), Loop Barcelona, (ES), Stedelijk Museum (NL), Diagonale (AT) or Dokufest (XK). Amongst other prizes, she has been awarded the Theodor Körner Prize (AT) and is a winner of the Startpoint Prize (EU).
Wang’s solo exhibition Ghost Eat Mud is currently on view at Kunsthal Gent, Ghent. She has exhibited work at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, and the National Gallery of Indonesia, among others. Recent solo exhibitions include I’ve Left My Body to Occupy Others at Good Weather, Chicago (2020), For Iris at Gallery 456, New York (2020), and You Are My Sunshine at Taipei Contemporary Art Center (2019).
Using media spanning sculpture, installation, drawing, and video, Pei-Hsuan Wang’s practice enquires into personal insecurities by navigating between “East” and “West”, two cultural and geographical delineations that shaped her upbringing. Drawing from trauma, memory, family history, and aspirations, Wang’s work delves into the vulnerabilities, contradictions and beauty that reside in the formation of an identity as an Asian woman in diaspora.
The artist’s recent projects pay tribute and homage to her kinship. Her 12-year-old niece Iris, a White and East Asian mixed-heritage, first-generation Taiwanese American, inspired a body of work that visualises racial and cultural hybridity alongside various archetypes in nature and in myths. Animal presences become forms of guardians and portals, embodying the inner experience and opening up to narratives empowering the visceral and the imaginative.
b. 1990 in Guangzhou, China.
I use multi-disciplinary practices to draw attention to the inaccuracies between individual experiences and situations, concepts and materials. Producing and mimicking things is not just a consequence of thinking, but a physical process that allows room for something else to happen afterward, like the last exhibition, With Permission From The Officer (Amsterdam, 2021). I am looking for the interval separating perception and site-specific contexts (e.g., situational, political, metaphorical) based on various field studies where misunderstanding and obscurity are unintentional albeit inevitable factors. Moreover, I focus on abstracting the conceptual structures of social formation and counter-pose them with ethical issues. In recent years, I have been fascinated by my status as a migrant in Europe, and I use this experience of displacement to reconstruct the relevancy of surrounding events, historical archives, and different bureaus.
With Permission From The Officer (PuntWG Amsterdam, 2021).
Yann Chateigné Tytelman is a brussels-based curator and writer. His interests span from minor histories and counterculture to sciences of the mind and the politics of obscurity. He is currently exploring the ways in which an exhibition can take the form of a novel, while simultaneously researching the subject of the Night. Often working in cooperation, his projects navigate the intersections of curating, publishing, performance and education. He is a guest curator at Country SALTS in Bennwil, Switzerland, and a member of the artistic advisory board of MORPHO artists residency, Antwerp. In addition, he is curator at HISK, the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Gent. Since 2018, he has acted as a PhD Supervisor at the Royal Academy of the Arts in Oslo.
Yann Chateigné Tytelman previously held the positions of Chief curator at Bordeaux’ CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art (2007–09) and Head of the Visual Arts Department at Geneva School of Art and Design (2009–17). As an independent critic, he has contributed to several books, catalogues and arts periodicals including Mousse Magazine, Spike Art Magazine and Frieze. He has taught at various schools and universities, including the Ecole du Louvre, Paris, HEAD – Geneva and the Erg, Brussels.
In lieu of an exhibition catalogue, the publication that accompanies A glittering ruin sucked upwards is conceived as collective book that is composed, designed and printed on site, during the exhibitin, in the space itself. Designed by Atelier Brenda, it features visual interventions by the artists, in dialogue with a specifically commsioned photographic series by Lola Pertsowsky, a “reader” arranging fragments of shared reference texts and a series of new essays written by a constellation of authors including Roel Arkesteijn, Claire Contamine, Simon Delobel, Ory Dessau, Adrian Gouet, Antoinette Jattiau, Frank Maes, Vanessa Joan Müller and Joanna Zielinska.
What if we worked to produce an exhibition not based on the sharing of space between artists, but rather, the allocation of time? The floorplan would merge with — or would be replaced by — a calendar. Each artist, each piece, and each event would be marked on it. Sometimes at different times, sometimes superimposing, and sometimes creating space between the moments when time is filled.
Initially, the interface with the outside world would be a schedule showing how each participant decided to use their time. Behind this graphic, a seemingly rational way to divide time as a quantified “resource”, the actual exhibition space in a 1930s former cigarette factory in Molenbeek (Brussels) would play host to the spatial result of this experiment in reversibility.
The apparent chaos, the heterogeneous occupation of the 1000m2 floor, and the formal arrangement of interventions, presentation rooms, to-be-activated zones, workspaces and storage areas would voluntarily remain dissonant, (dis)functional, and achieved in a plethora of different manners.
A glittering ruin sucked upwards is an exhibition constructed within dialogue, through conversations and experiments, assessments and exchanges. A show being imagined, composed and produced with regular meetings held in a kitchen around a shared meal at its heart. The purpose-built kitchen stands at the centre of the exhibition space. It is mobile. But it will stay there for the entire duration of the exhibition. It is the beating heart, the breathing lung of the project. It is also a place where one can read, rest, or do nothing.
This project acts as a response to our situation, echoing a multidimensional, (post-) pandemic, exponential and disastrous crisis and the colossal waves of visible or invisible violence and destruction, precarity and uncertainty, rising individualism and intolerance, the hate and silence that it pervasively generates potentially at all times, everywhere. It is simultaneously dramatic and sad. It also stands as an invitation to self-organize, assemble, and act together.
The intimacy that has been permissible between us, and the all-central freedom tackled here are so many ways of learning from one another. They also provide the means to create networks, alliances and circles, and experiment, generating new forms without being declarative or manifest. The project is like an evolving large semi-collective studio or heterogeneous landscape.
Ultimately, we imagine our group exhibit as less of a sophisticated presentation than a project featuring each one of us who, akin to tectonic plates or landmasses, touch, and un-touch as we create a (metaphorical) seism together. While the factor of temporality remains relevant insofar as this project formally begins when we start to inhabit Gosset and “opens” when the first public program is launched, we regard our project as a process to a wider extent than as a usual laureates or graduation “show”.
The format of something protracted, fluctuating, fluid and process-based makes sense as a response to the deeply ingrained sensation that we need time. We need time in the sense that time has been stolen from us for a long time. We need more time to deepen our understanding, perceptions, and our relationships. We need the “long” time, the time of immersion, meditation and organic growth. But we don’t only need more time. We also need — perhaps more importantly — another time. Another form of time.
And we will not have enough time to plan… which somewhat epitomizes the identity of our show. Why not leave some of these aspects open for the time being and set up a structure — a sort of method and device — and engage in it as a sort of machine that would eventually generate connections and ideas of its own accord? A machine that would eventually let things percolate and come to life. We believe that this is where the sincerity lies in our process. But has this process already started? When will it end?
A publication will be produced to pursue this conversation and translate it into another language, another dimension, while we are still occupied, dispersed, trying to combine the need to focus on production, composition, and space, and are desperately attempting to feel the urge to set more distance and open new perspectives, create connections and deeper exchange.
(Excerpts from a collective text assembled by the participants)
* A glittering ruin sucked upwards is a line excerpted from Early Education, a poem from Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip, first published by Coach House Books, Toronto, 2009. Used with the kind permission of the author.