Friday, April 10, 2015

'Vergangkelijkheid' in Antwerp.

'Chapter 2' Koosterstraat 106, Antwerpen 

The Buddhist Pali term 'annica' often translated into English as impermanence would be  'vergangkelijkheid' in Dutch which means perishableness, transitoriness and instability. 

Riding down the Kloosterstraat in Antwerp on Friday I came across a temporary exhibition in a rented gallery space that captured my attention by both its strong visual and conceptual unity, creative economy of means and by its quality of  'Vergangkelijkheid'.  

The apparent fragility of the two and three dimensional materials and the seemingly bleached and faded quality of the colours with their luminous layered and transparent 'skins' evoked a similar feeling to the one I get when I see bones or shells. It was as if something living and human had shed its skin, leaving behind an outer layer, an implied presence, an impression or a stain which was both personal and impersonal, animate and inanimate at the same time. It seemed also as if something was simultaneously being created and dissolving and disappearing.

 As Gert Van Dessel, one of the three artists in the exhibition explained to me, this kind of work is not to every one's taste. For me it seemed to undermine the very idea of satisfying the constantly fuelled desire for the bright shiny, new and 'permanent' objects of our advertising driven consumer culture even while it appeared to conjure this context in a shop-like space.    

The exhibition runs from 4th April until 3rd June 2015 and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11-18 hrs. This Gert's website

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