April 2, 2014 - Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen - Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Raymond Barion & Laure Prouvost
April 2, 2014

Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Raymond Barion & Laure Prouvost

Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Tradition Is Never Given, Always Constructed, 2012. Photograph. © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp.

Koenraad Dedobbeleer: The Desperate, Furiously Positive Striving of People Who Refuse to Be Dismissed
Raymond Barion: Of Lenses and Arenas
Laure Prouvost: Wantee and Grand Ma’s Dreams
5 April–25 May 2014

Opening: Friday 4 April, 19h

Extra City Kunsthal
Eikelstraat 25–31
2600 Antwerpen–Berchem


Extra City presents three artistic projects that look at ‘the real’ and its avatars, verisimilitude and artifice, proposing open-ended configurations of figures and grounds, actors and stages, movements and dei ex machina.

Koenraad Dedobbeleer: The Desperate, Furiously Positive Striving of People Who Refuse to Be Dismissed
The exhibition brings together new and existing works by Koenraad Dedobbeleer (b. 1975, Brussels), as well as works and reproductions of works by artists, designers or architects who have had a transformative role in the evolution of his practice. A striking scenography of podiums and prosthetic pedestals highlights the operations that articulate Dedobbeleer’s investigation, but also the points where the practice is anchored in art history – via affinity or difference, similarity or friction. The installation does not distinguish emphatically between constituents, between own work and that of another, or between work and document; rather, the interaction of these distinct objects proposes an imaginative engagement that goes beyond norms of attribution, authorship and museological decorum.

Which specificities constitute contemporary sculpture, and what is the threshold between material intervention, functionality and aesthetic value? Always present in Dedobbeleer’s work, these questions are brought to the fore and interwoven in an allegorical dialogue between objects, documents and spectators, maquettes and actual spaces, modes of making and un-making. This choreographed installation juxtaposes scales and regimes of value, things-in-themselves and things-as-proxies competing for significance, categories in disarray and a challenging exploration of artistic subjectivity: never autonomous, subjectivity is always enmeshed with the biographies of the objects that express and sustain it.

Exhibition co-produced with GAK – Gesellschaft fur aktuelle kunst, Bremen, where a version of the project will be presented in the second half of 2014. An edition project accompanying the exhibition is realized with support from Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp, Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich, and S.M.A.K., Ghent.

Raymond Barion: Of Lenses and Arenas
Raymond Barion’s (b. 1946, Valkenburg) intriguing paintings employ an idiosyncratic inventory of spatial perspectives, constructive elements and critical propositions. His meticulous, floodlit, depopulated architectures, and his atmospherically heavy interiors compose a particular history of seeing and being seen, of visibility and vulnerability: a history told without protagonists, but through threatening, uninhabitable abstractions. The artist’s research fuses references to Marcel Duchamp, Baroque architecture and military cartography. In the ecstatic environments Barion paints, space itself appears to exercise free will, obstruct passageways and camouflage fissures, attract and repel to equal extents—finally to create an illusion of radiant, functional seamlessness. A transparent sheet of emptiness seems to cover Barion’s mechanized landscapes, holding the eye at a distance from topographies without entry or exit.

The artist has a markedly political take on the spatial conditions of contemporary life, as mediated by recent architecture, neo-liberal public space policies and advancements in visual technologies. Focusing on work made in ’80s and ’90s, and including a recently completed painting, the presentation highlights the relevance of Barion’s work to current debates on multiplying social or political conflicts and the multiplying machines to document them visually. This aspect is reinforced in a critical re-evaluation of the artist’s pratice, via an essay commissioned to architectural theorist Stefaan Vervoort.

Presentation realized in collaboration with O.C.A.M. Exhibition architecture by Kris Kimpe.

Laure Prouvost: Wantee and Grand Ma’s Dreams
Film-maker and installation artist Laure Prouvost (b. 1978, Lille), winner of the 2013 Turner Prize, reimagines the configuration and function of Extra City’s cinema, creating a ‘dramaturgy’ of objects and images, moving or still, that disrupts the conventions of film screenings. The project will grow over the duration of Prouvost’s residence with AIR Antwerp, progressively accommodating voices, lights, props and sculptural interventions that complicate, disturb and enrich the experience of cinema. With these different means, the project foregrounds the artist’s interest in polymorphous narrative: stories told from different viewpoints, full of incident and reverie, incorporating errors and non-sequiturs, forgetting and improvisation.

Two recent films, Wantee and Grand Ma’s Dreams, pursue a narrative began with It, Heat, Hit, shown at Extra City in 2011. Exuberant, whispered or playfully pedagogic, Prouvost’s video work relies primarily on direct address, and at times engulfs viewers in sensory and psychological overload, at once seductive and perplexing. The artist looks for an emotional threshold where the ‘virtuality’ of film and the ‘reality’ that begins at the edges of the screen would become indistinguishable, and the signifier would be right next to the signified.

In collaboration with AIR Antwerpen, where Laure Prouvost will be resident in spring. Realized with the generous support of the Fernand Willame Foundation.

For more information, please contact Lotte De Voeght: lotte.de.voeght@extracity.org.


Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Raymond Barion & Laure Prouvost at Extra City
Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen
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