June 6, 2015 - S.M.A.K. - Lili Dujourie, & at Mu.ZEE Ostend
June 6, 2015

Lili Dujourie, & at Mu.ZEE Ostend

Lili Dujourie, Untitled (red nude), 1983 & Untitled (blue nude), 1980. © Lili Dujourie. Courtesy Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Brussels.

Lili Dujourie
6 June–4 October 2015

S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art
Jan Hoetplein 1
B-9000 Ghent

Mu.ZEE Kunstmuseum aan zee
Romestraat 11
B-8400 Ostend

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S.M.A.K. and Mu.ZEE present a selective survey of work by Lili Dujourie (Roeselare, 1941), ranging from her debut to the most recent pieces. FOLDS IN TIME is a unique project conceived as one exhibition in two museums. To see the show as a whole one has to travel sixty kilometres in the wake of the artist, from the land to the sea or vice versa. This two-part exhibition format derives from Dujourie’s artistic practice, in which the notion of the ‘fragment’ is an essential element.

Since the late 1960s, Dujourie’s oeuvre has unfolded in the gap between painting and sculpture. After making her debut with steel and colour objects in the late 1960s and early 1970s, her practice shifted into still photography and video. In these new media she embraced not only painterly and sculptural questions, but also the gender and identity-related issues of that time. The duality of movement and standstill inherent to film fed her later three-dimensional work, in which she transformed the physically and culturally determined properties of materials. These include velvet, marble, plaster, lead and clay, all of which the artist explored in order to create sculptural forms for the passing of time, for presence disappearing into absence. 

Motifs from art, literature and music serve as key sources in Lili Dujourie’s artistic practice. She modifies our cultural foundations by appropriating fragments of them, often originating in her personal memories. Her velvet objects from the 1980s echo the legacy of the Flemish Primitives, but also emanate from the return of the image following the iconoclasms of Minimal and Conceptual Art. Dujourie’s eclecticism is characteristic of her generation of artists, which turned away from medium-specificity to focus on the attitude. She started in the 1960s amongst such artists as Daniel Buren, Hanne Darboven, Gilbert and George, Jef Geys or Guy Mees. Her work has always been redolent of the time when it was created, often forming an elegant resistance to any form of cultural dominance. One of Dujourie’s recent series, titled “Ballade” (2011), consists of imitations of the flowers of medicinal plants associated with the legacy of ancient medical knowledge. Their cultural origins remain a blind spot, since they have simply always been there.
S.M.A.K. was once a casino, and until the 1980s Mu.ZEE was a department store. The architecture of the two museums influences the way Lili Dujourie installs her works in their spaces. Whereas Folds in Time in Ghent is conceived as a walk through a number of traditional exhibition rooms, Mu.ZEE provides a setting with various directions of view, which reflects upon the idea of the white cube. S.M.A.K. and Mu.ZEE are taking up the challenge of this prototypical cooperation by putting their own identities aside in order to focus on Lili Dujourie’s oeuvre. 

As an extra intervention in a separate setting, Dujourie is presenting her first velvet work, Maagdendale (1982), in the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, which has lent a painting by the 17th-century master Jan Boeckhorst for display in the Ostend part of the show. Also Katinka Bock will enter the exhibition space in Ostend with a few artistic interventions, challenging Lili Dujourie’s work from a completely different perspective. To accompany the Ghent part of this exhibition, S.M.A.K. presents early pastel drawings by Lili Dujourie, embedded in its ongoing presentation related to Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing No.36. The other artists in this new chapter include Cady Noland, Blinky Palermo and Kitty Kraus.

To accompany this exhibition, S.M.A.K., Mu.ZEE and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König are publishing a catalogue devoted to Lili Dujourie’s work. It is in two parts: the first contains articles in Dutch by Philippe Van Cauteren, Phillip Van den Bossche, Sabine Folie, Martin Germann and Peter Verhelst and will be available in June. The second, more substantial, part will come out in September, with English versions of the articles and installation views of the exhibition.

For further information, please contact Annelies Vantyghem (Ghent): T +32 (0) 9 240 76 49 / annelies [​at​] smak.be or Colette Castermans (Ostend), T +32 (0) 59 56 45 89  / colette.castermans [​at​] west-vlaanderen.be


Lili Dujourie at S.M.A.K. Ghent & Mu.ZEE Ostend
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