Koenraad Dedobbeleer

Koenraad Dedobbeleer

Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac

Koenraad Dedobbeleer, preparatory drawing to Tiny Boxes For Past Lives,” 2012. © Koenraad Dedobbeleer, courtesy C.L.E.A.R.I.N.G., New York.

January 14, 2013

Koenraad Dedobbeleer
Workmanship of Certainty

18 January–31 March 2013

Opening: Thursday, 17 January, 5–9pm

Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry –
le Crédac

La Manufacture des Œillets
25-29 rue Raspail
94200 Ivry-sur-Seine, France

T + 33 1 49 60 25 06
contact [​at​] credac.fr


“Dysfunctional Sculptures”
The sculptures of the Belgian artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer (b. 1975) work like simulacra of functional present-day objects. Because they are placed in an exhibition context and hence freed from their useful function, they exist as ambiguous supports that are made available for interpretation. Each piece is presented as both an everyday object, belonging to the domestic sphere (a piece of furniture, utensil, tool), and an esthetic object, corresponding to the criteria that obtain in design and sculpture. Tables or columns are excessively enlarged, for example, or taken apart and rebuilt differently.

This is the case for The Subject of Matter (For Ws), a piece that is something between a column and a fountain, both massive and portable, and doubly paradoxical; or Tradition is Never Given, Always Constructed, a monumental reproduction of the tubular feet of stools imbued with great banality, painted in delicate pink and off-white tones, like so many ironic shifts that make the pieces waver between the status of ornamental furniture and that of works of art. The warmth of a stove, the flame of a gas ring (Political Economy of the Commodified Sign, 2012), the water of a fountain, a shrub trimmed into a topiary, these suggest an appropriation of nature through pleasure, while manufactured objects are broken up to be converted to a wild state.

With a great heaping of irony, the artist’s objects seem undecided, provoking multiple associations of ideas; Dedobbeleer creates “dysfunctional sculptures,” snares laid for our perception that invite us to re-evaluate our own criteria for understanding forms and their cultural origins.

“Travaux pour amateurs”
Workmanship of Certainty is the second in a trilogy of shows that began in St. Gallen (and ends in Middelburg next April).* While the selection of works and their arrangement is specific to each venue, the project is in fact a global one whose common starting point is the artist’s book Œuvre sculpté, travaux pour amateurs (Roma Publications, 2012). A kind of nonchronological visual version of a word-chain game, this publication brings together images of artworks, furniture and architectural elements to form a sort of repertoire of historical references, a manual of practices and uses for day-to-day objects, which serve as keys for reading these three shows. (…)

The turn of phrase Workmanship of Certainty seems to draw an analogy between manual skill, which is necessary to achieve form, and knowledge. As the artist points out in an inscription on an earlier work, “Reflection is a manual activity and a concrete labour”; in other words, the production process is a mechanism of culture.

While reworking in a tragicomic vein the great concerns of modernism (the drive to unite functionality and esthetics), Koenraad Dedobbeleer’s works also display a materialist, antiheroic rereading of minimalist and conceptual sculpture. Rejecting any exclusive, unequivocal interpretation, the artist’s vocabulary, formal above all, examines the connections between an object, its aspect and its use, and in doing so scrutinizes the links between public, private and exhibition spaces.

(Excerpts from the press release)

Koenraad Dedobbeleer (born in Halle, Belgium, 1975; lives and works in Brussels) produces sculptures, installations, photographs and publications, and has regularly shown internationally since the late 1990s. Winner of the Mies van der Rohe Prize in 2009, he is also an exhibition curator and co-editor of the fanzine UP.

His many solo shows in art centers include the Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Lisbon (2010); the Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld (2009); the Frac Bourgogne, Dijon, the Kunsthalle Bern (with Rita McBride, 2008) and the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2007). 

Koenraad Dedobbeleer is represented by Galerie Micheline Szwajcer (Antwerp), ProjecteSD (Barcelona), Reception (Berlin), Mai 36 Galerie (Zürich) and Georg Kargl Fine Arts (Vienna).

*The current show was jointly conceived and planned with two other exhibitions, Formidable Savage Repressiveness, Lok/Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (8 September–11 November 2012; curator: Konrad Bitterli) and You Export Reality To Where It Is You Get Your Money From, SBKM/De Vleeshal, Middelburg, the Netherlands (April–June 2013; curator: Lorenzo Benedetti).

Visitor information:
Open every day (except Monday) 2–6pm, weekends 2–7pm. Free admission.
Press view 17 January, 5pm, with Koenraad Dedobbeleer and the show’s curator, Claire Le Restif.

Press information:
Axelle Blanc, ablanc.credac [​at​] ivry94.fr / T + 33 1 49 60 25 04

A member of the Tram and DCA network, Crédac enjoys the generous support of the City of Ivry-sur-Seine, the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs for Île-de-France (Ministry of Culture and Communication), the General Council of Val-de-Marne, and the Regional Council of Île-de-France.

Media partners: Mousse magazine and Kaleidoscope 


Koenraad Dedobbeleer at Centre d'art contemporain d'Ivry
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January 14, 2013

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