Built in 1928 by Victor Bourgeois for his sculptor friend Oscar Jespers, the workshop operated until Oscar’s death in 1970.
At the end of the 1920s, this space, which occupies over 400 m2, was a prime meeting place for Europe’s artistic avant-garde.
Parcours off Art Brussels 2018
TWIST IN TIME
Curated by Benjamin Loyauté
19/04 – From 11 am to 5 pm
20/04 - From 11 am to 6 pm
21/04 – from 11 am to 10 pm (late night with drinks)
22/04 - from 11 am to 6 pm
From 22/04 till 30/04 by appointment only
We don’t know how to look anymore. The glossy pages of our magazines very often offer the same decor as an example. Contemporary people are in a hurry and place their trust in others’ taste. As for these tastemakers, they go into quasi-Pavlovian raptures before the canons of authorised good taste. The recipe consumed today assumes a mixture of brand furniture, a touch of signature conceptual audacity, and a few artists’ pieces, canonised through their visual transmissibility. In the homothetic palaces of contemporary art enthusiasts, the styles, genres, periods, and signatures must be easily recognisable in order to best impress the guests. The artwork and the object are, more than ever, social litmus tests. Art history is sometimes arbitrary, but it remains indelible. It founds fame and we are also unable to reproach its media choices, but we must steer clear of simplifications. It awakens minds just as it sometimes standardises and freezes the eye, conforms taste, and does away with our judgement.
The spotlights sometimes dazzle more than they enlighten and above all the grey areas, which separate them, hide our ignorance and a constant propensity to forget the diversity of artistic creation. Faced with the normative drive of a visual ideology ad the cult of images, the dénouement, playful and redeeming, is found here in old artworks that do not allow themselves to be either dated or locked away in the vaults of time.
Here, Benjamin Loyauté draws on our visual memory and our contemporary references. Through the staging and installation of 18 historical artworks, he embarks on a mission of revalorisation of literary and artistic heritage and highlights their “contemporary state” that plays with our perception and reception – “Is it a Bridget Riley? – No, it’s Raoul Dufy!” – “It looks like a Richard Prince but it’s a Russian Artist from the fifties.” – “It reminds me of a Basquiat and that one of a Jeff Koons...” These are the kinds of comments that will resonate with visitors. The idea here is not to perform an artistic confrontation, but to formulate the necessity to take a fresh look at the role given to historical creations in our contemporary world. When contemporary art is exhibited, the walls are often white, the floors paved in grey cement. All of the codes inherent to its enhancement are applied according to the yardstick of specifications formatted by the cultural customs that outline and decide the rules of its presentation. This is what Brian O’Doherty studies in his essay Inside the White Cube. When contemporary art communicates about its image, it does so with a marketing-style flair that nobody can dismiss. Since the neutral world of galleries and art centres is favourable to a proper reading of the artworks on display. So, what happens when old artworks are exhibited? In today’s art world, the image is more powerful than text. It imposes and codifies the gazes of all those who believe they master it and even of those who continually ignore it. The image creates and destroys; it establishes. Why not then use its power and impact to enlighten the creations of the past, which have survived history and weathered time. Here, I wanted to question the rules, invite the viewer to an experience of awareness through assimilation. I am giving rise here to an assemblage of artworks created according to contemporary codes. It is a kind of hacking of the linear contemporary logic that authorises a different potential reading of historical creations. I am giving these works the possibility of obtaining the power of aesthetic and literary contemporaneity. This exhibition showcases a form of art history that cannot be so easily compartmentalised as a number of media manuals claim. Texts and images align to show that another perspective is possible. The idea is to engage a different interpretation. The artworks here scramble meanings, centuries, and styles, allowing our present and our past to be seen differently. They have an explicit narrative existence and contemporary aesthetic.
Espace Niemeyer Paris – FCK « Tokonoma Project »
03/05 from 4 pm till 10 pm (opening)
04/05 till 13/05 from 12 am till 6:00 pm
Closed on 08/05 & 10/05
« Tokonoma project » is the 7th in situ of ceramist and performer Frédérick Gautier (aka FCK) and the 4th shutter of a collaboration with Jean-François Declercq of the Atelier Jespers (Brussels).
It lies within the scope of “Itinérance” a series of exhibitions out the walls.
FCK has been seizing since 8 months the Niemeyer space, headquarters of the French Communist party.
It’s important to use the verb “to seize” rather than « to invest » as much he is plastically involved in it. He has been striding the place methodically tracking the simple forms which defined the formal frame of his body of works. In situ and inspired, its production consist in fragments of architecture transposed into ceramics which are always usual objects.
The textures of his clay and his enamels vary systematically producing at the same time serial but single objects. Its mobile workshop looks like a microfactory in which saving intools and actions are restraint.
From his automatised movements and their repetition emerge meditative gestures. Objects are produced with speed and agility, they are then numbered and inventoried. FCK multiplies his series of objects as a “human machine” and in that sense echoes to his Masters in architecture.
His micro architectures are powerful and brutalists and their limited ornamentation always refers to the spaces he settles in.
« After the Barge Le Corbusier, the Bauhaus streets of Tel Aviv, the river of Los Angeles, the BETC General Stores in Pantin, this residence gives me the chance of a new exercise.
This undulating flag building designed by Oscar Niemeyer, disciple of Corbusier and also pionnier in the used of concrete, forces me to work on the cohabitation between right angles - inflexible lines and curves from the inside and outside. Thus was born the Tokonoma project ». Tokonoma: essential decoration component of the traditional Japanese interior. Formal space considered as out of time used to host simple but valuable objects allowing mental escape from the daily life.
© Atelier Jespers - Erfprinslaan 149 Avenue du Prince Héritier - Brussel 1200 Bruxelles
Contact : Jean-Francois Declercq +32 475 64 95 81- Elsa Sarfati +33 6 10 84 27 48 - firstname.lastname@example.org