January 11, 2018 - WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels - Sophie Podolski : Le pays où tout est permis
January 11, 2018

WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels

Sophie Podolski, Untitled, ca. 1970–72. Ink on paper, 27 x 36 cm. Courtesy of Joëlle de La Casinière, Brussels.

Sophie Podolski
Le pays où tout est permis
January 20–April 1, 2018

Conversation: February 7, 7pm, Joëlle de La Casinière, Olimpia Hruska, Caroline Dumalin & Lecture-performance: Jean-Philippe Convert
Look Who’s Talking: February 21, 7pm, Guided tour by curator Caroline Dumalin (Dutch)
Lecture Lars Bang Larsen: February 28, 7pm, "Infernal Rodeos"
Lecture Erik Thys : March 21, 7pm, "Sophie Podolski: Cutting-Edge Outsider"

www.wiels.org
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Sophie Podolski
Le pays où tout est permis
January 20–April 1, 2018

Conversation: February 7, 7pm, Joëlle de La Casinière, Olimpia Hruska, Caroline Dumalin & Lecture-performance: Jean-Philippe Convert
Look Who’s Talking: February 21, 7pm, Guided tour by curator Caroline Dumalin (Dutch)
Lecture Lars Bang Larsen: February 28, 7pm, "Infernal Rodeos"
Lecture Erik Thys : March 21, 7pm, "Sophie Podolski: Cutting-Edge Outsider"

www.wiels.org
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

WIELS presents the first exhibition ever dedicated to the Belgian artist Sophie Podolski, whose remarkable body of graphic work has remained dormant in a private archive for the past 40 years. Her visionary oeuvre is emblematic of a time marked by sexual liberation, anti-authoritarianism and social change. In the brief period from 1968 until 1974—when she took her own life at the age of 21—Podolski produced over 200 works on paper, and one book titled Le pays où tout est permis [The Country Where Everything Is Permitted].

While writing and drawing were inextricably intertwined for Podolski, during her lifetime she was mostly seen as a poet. The exhibition at WIELS places an emphasis on her visual practice and highly personal iconography, bringing this singular work out of obscurity. It includes her drawings made with ink, pastels or coloured pencil, as well as the etchings that are among her earliest works and the original manuscript of her handwritten book. The characters that populate her personal mythology range from fantastic hybrids—between human, animal and machine—or erotic cartoons to portraits of her entourage. Her psychedelic style follows an associative dream logic, in which figures and landscapes flow into one another, creating a bizarre and wonderful imagery.

Podolski believed in speed as a guiding principle, referring both to the revelatory method of automatic writing and the so-named drug. Whilst her visual poetry at first glance may seem to offer a delirious stream of thought, it is ruled by a musical, subjective and compelling language that embodies her total commitment to transgression. Her influences range from the rock music of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa to Situationism and Eastern religions. This eclectic mix characterized the counterculture of a youth that once again foregrounded expression, experimentation and the exploration of the subconscious.

Sophie Podolski was born in Brussels in 1953, where she died in 1974. The exhibition is followed by a book featuring contributions by Lars Bang Larsen, Jean-Philippe Convert, Caroline Dumalin, Chris Kraus and Erik Thys. Designed by Salome Schmuki.

Curator: Caroline Dumalin

In collaboration with Bétonsalon - Centre d’art et de recherche & Villa Vassilieff, Paris

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