Horsfield works across media in video, photography, sound, drawing, performance and installation used as instruments in the radical rethinking of notions of relation, and of slow time and attention, which have been widely influential. Relation in this work concerns, first of all, the idea that being is generated ‘between’ individuals—simply that we bring each other into being—and secondly, that the taking place of ‘being’ is within each encounter, each meeting, each conversation. This is the sphere of relation as telling, and therefore of art.
The social projects, installations, photographs, films, prints and sound works are very closely linked and evolve out of each other. Whichever medium Horsfield works in, he is concerned above all with relation as both ‘being’ and ‘telling’.
Horsfield’s work has taken on a significantly new dimension with the jacquard tapestries, which the artist has been making over the last three years. Made in close cooperation with Flanders Tapestries, these large-scale weavings have come to be an important part of the regeneration of the thinking of tapestry in contemporary art and of a renaissance of Flemish tapestry at large.
The exhibition includes key tapestries in the development of this new thinking: Above the Road East toward Taibique, El Hierro. 15 minutes. February 2002 (2008), an impressive cloud-filled sky—the two dates indicate the time difference between making the film on which it is based and making the tapestry; The Tree at the Edge of the World, Sabinar. La Dehesa, El Hierro. 38 minutes, just before dark, March 2002 (2008); and Zoo, Oxford. January 1990 (2008), a diptych of two rhinoceros on panels totalling 12 metres.
Horsfield has also created new tapestries for this exhibition. Several works are based on pictures made at the Moscow Circus during the Barcelona Conversation (1996), and others present a preview of his most recent and ambitious project to date made with Moonbow the Neapolitan production group he helped to found: the Naples Conversation (2007-2010). These tapestries feature a mass of people at a concert in a community centre in Naples via Gianturco, Naples. September, 2008 (2010), the Easter procession in Sorrento Arciconfraternita di Santa Monica Chiesa della SS. Annunziata, via Fuoro. 2010 (2010) , fireworks over the bay of Naples North West Towards the Bay of Naples from via Partenope. September 2008 (2010) , with two details taken from it, which cover the entire wall of the round room at the M HKA. In combination with these tapestries, Horsfield is also showing prints.
Just like his other work, Horsfield’s tapestries are always about the subject of time, an important theme in his work, and particularly the concept of slow time. The tapestries, the production of which extends over a long period, encompass a whole time span. But these tapestries also bring together past and present, being both a decorative medium that has a very long history and also the product of a highly technological process. We see in them an expression of the notion of relation, about which Horsfield wrote in his 2006 publication Relation: “No self is conceivable in isolation and consciousness is born in relation.” The tapestries, whose coloured threads are meaningless individually, but which together, in confluence, form an image, can be seen as a metaphor for a social world; but not only this – Horsfield does not consider them to be simply his own work, but the result of intensive cooperation between himself, the print designer, the weaving designer as well as the weavers at the weaving factory themselves.
There will also be an installation of the Antwerp Soundwork 6.1, which is structured with 24 loudspeakers throughout the exhibition space. As the work seems to decelerate time, again slow time is an important element. Horsfield has made the piece for Antwerp in cooperation with the sound engineer and composer Reinier Rietveld, with whom the artist has worked for 20 years. They have created numerous sound works in the past, including installations for the Ravenstein Gallery, as part of Brussels 2000, the Vleeshal in Middelburg (2002), Documenta XI (2002), and for the MCA Sydney (2007).
Craigie Horsfield regularly participates in international exhibitions in major institutions and has recently completed a number of solo projects, among others, in Jeu de Paume (Paris, 2006), Centro de Arte Moderna – Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon, 2006), Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney, 2007), Museo di Capodimonte, (Naples, 2008); he was invited to documenta X and XI (Kassel, 1998, 2002) and the Whitney Biennial (New York, 2004). His work is in numerous museum collections in Europe and America (including the Whitney Museum, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Gallery, London; Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam) and in many private collections worldwide. In 1996 Craigie Horsfield was nominated for the Turner Prize. It is the first time that an exhibition of this size on Craigie Horsfield will be shown in Belgium.
Reinier Rietveld is a sound engineer and musician.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication, with 100 images from the tapestry work, the majority of which are new and have never been published. The book will be published by Ludion.
CRAIGIE HORSFIELD Schering en inslag / Confluence and consequence in collaboration with Roland Dekeukelaere, Christian Dekeukelaere, Marcos Ludueña-Segre, Moonbow, Reinier Rietveld, André Van Wassenhove.
In a collaboration between the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp (UCSIA), the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Saint-Lucas Antwerp, the University of Antwerp and the M HKA, a number of lectures and workshops will be organised on Craigie Horsfield and the themes of his work:
Wed. 20.10.2010, 18:00-20:00
Art as Relation and Art’s Social Working
Panel discussion between Craigie Horsfield, architect Paul Robbrecht, art sociologist Pascal Gielen and art historian Hans De Wolf on the importance and the limitations of social artistic theory and practice.
Location: Promotiezaal Grauwzusters, Stadscampus Universiteit Antwerpen, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, Antwerpen
Wed. 08.12.2010, 20:30-22:00
The Work of Art’s Working, the Conception of Art as a Verb
In relation to his exhibition in M HKA Craigie Horsfield will give a lecture on his work and his artistic approach. There will be an opportunity to ask questions afterwards.
Location: Cinema Zuid, Lakenstraat 14, Antwerpen
The lectures are free of charge, but registration is required via UCSIA, FAO Marijke Celis, firstname.lastname@example.org, T 03 265 49 60
Wed. 20.10 and 27.10.2010 from 14:00-17:00
Wed. 01.12 and 08.12.2010 from 14:00-17:00
Private workshop in 4 sessions by Craigie Horsfield with 25 master students of the university colleges for visual arts, Saint-Lucas Antwerp (Karel de Grote university college) the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (Artesis university college)