IN SITU: art on display in windows
Between the 8th may and August 28th 2020, KANAL- Centre Pompidou, in collaboration with the new platform #windowmuseum, will present the exhibition IN SITU. This first exhibition to emerge in the context of the current crisis seeks to answer the question: ‘How can we continue to exhibit artworks today?’ IN SITU will be part of a series of exhibitions curated by #windowmuseum at three venues: KANAL-Centre-Pompidou in Brussels, the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles in Paris, and BPS 22 in Charleroi.
IN SITU, curated by the new platform #windowmuseum, proposes a first answer to this question. The health crisis is also a social crisis, one that has highlighted inequalities and imposed a reassessment. It also reminds us of how important contact, touch and closeness are to us, to our bodies, to our environment. Our contacts with society and with art cannot remain merely virtual.
Lola Meotti, curator of the IN SITU exhibition, will take over six windows of the Kanal-Centre Pompidou Showroom in order to exhibit works on the surface of the windows so that they are visible to passers-by. The size and location of the building mean that the exhibition will be seen both from a distance and from close up. For the scenography, Gabriel Tapia, tattoo artist, offers a specific creation for the exhibition, in gigantic proportions.
The IN SITU programme brings together three artists: Hicham Berrada, Hervé Charles and Claude Cattelain, who each question, in their own way, our relationship to, respectively, the body, to the territory and to danger, themes that are eminently topical.
Lives and works in Brussels and Valenciennes
A ‘builder artist’ who is also a bit of a stuntman, Claude Cattelain is a video artist, performance artist, draughtsman, and designer of installations and photographs. His development has been quite atypical: in succession, he has dismantled the stretchers of his canvases (in 1999 already), built unstable constructions (in 2000), and bought a camera to film his failures, footage that he would later develop in his practice as a performance artist. Creaking, breathing, the sound of footsteps, scrap metal, banging or rubbing noises, but also repetitions: these are all words that resonate in the artist’s approach.
Through various experiments – such as holding planks up against a wall by means of heavy steel bars, raising his body between the walls of a corridor using cleats, hanging in space, spinning like a whirling dervish, sweeping the waves, walking on the spot for many hours to create drawings or videos in which he sinks into the sand until his feet become eroded – Claude Cattelain tests his body and materials in order to question their limits and identify their breaking points and their inscription in the space. He practises three types of actions, all of which take shape over a certain length of time: those that are performed in the presence of the public, those that allow him to build a structure that he will leave in the space, and those that he films.
Nancy Suarez (excerpt)
Lives and works in Brussels.
Hervé Charles explores the ambiguity of photographic representation, mainly through landscapes, and in particular through natural landscapes undergoing a brutal transformation. His current work focuses on two types of natural disasters: mega forest fires and floods. His concerns being both photographic and ecological, these themes are approached in a way that is both dreamlike and captivating. His large-format pictures play on the viewer’s immersion in these devastated places, a magnificence of these areas of desolation that nevertheless contain the possibility of a renewal or else that contain pockets of resistance: awareness of the anticipated disaster without being a manifesto. The original pictures were taken up close, the artist being unafraid of confrontation and advocating the experience of shots in direct relation to the referent: ecstatic field photography.
b. 1986. Lives and works in Paris
Born in 1986 in Casablanca, Morocco, Hicham Berrada lives and works in Paris and Roubaix, France. His work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He has had several residencies, among others at the Villa Medici in Rome and at the Pinault Collection in Lens. Hicham Berrada was nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize 2020. His work combines intuition and knowledge, science and poetry. In it he explores scientific protocols that closely imitate different natural processes and/or climatic conditions. ‘I try to master the phenomena that I use like a painter masters his pigments and brushes. My brushes and pigments are heat, coldness, magnetism, light.’
b. 1980 in Quito (Ecuador). Lives and works in Brussels
Gabriel Tapia holds a bachelor’s in painting and engraving from the Central University of Ecuador and a master’s in visual and spatial arts from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels. In recent years, Gabriel Tapia has turned his attention to the art of tattooing. He opened his MUE shop in Brussels in 2017, where he developed a specific style and a particular philosophy inspired by the Gothic movement and ancient painting. Each tattoo emerges as part of a rich and in-depth dialogue between him and his clients.
Lola Meotti (b. 1986) graduated from ISBA Besançon and ENSAV La Cambre (master’s in photography and master’s in sculpture). An independent curator, performer, visual artist and teacher, she questions the notion of transversality in the art world. In 2018 she founded La Réserve, a platform for itinerant artistic organization. Over the past six years she has participated in exhibitions and residencies in Belgium and abroad (France, Germany, Hong Kong, Congo, etc.). She has been an executive curator at La Cambre, Brussels, since 2014.
#windowmuseum is an independent but participative platform. Its objective is to bring together, encourage or produce concrete art projects in response to the current health crisis that is also a political and social crisis. The platform aims to endure and also to evolve with the reopening. The cultural model was already showing its limits before the pandemic. Indeed, the pandemic has only exacerbated problems in the sector, the first victims being the artists. We propose to create a way of operating tied to the current curatorial lockdown by making art once more accessible to the public through the public space. We wish to invent new ways of presenting artistic production outside of the conventions of the museum structure and its display conditions and beyond the virtual sphere by rethinking the issue and the stakes involved in the traditional exhibition model. We first propose to work with the main cultural venues and to use their buildings as they have never been used before in order to exhibit works that can be seen from outside the building. This type of action could then extend to other venues seeking to highlight the work of artists by making it visible outside of the traditional networks and towards news spaces to be colonized artistically.