Filip Vervaet at CINNNAMON

Artist: Filip Vervaet

Exhibition title: Where do we come from? Where are we going? 

Venue: CINNNAMON, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Date: October 29 – December 9, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and CINNNAMON, Rotterdam

CINNNAMON is pleased to present the exhibition Where do we come from? Where are we going? by the Belgian artist Filip Vervaet. This is the first show by the artist at the gallery.

Over the years, Vervaet has developed a visual language in which he combines elements into a personal universe. Art historical references, allusions to science fiction, and psychedelic influences come together in sculptures that arise in the twilight zone between past and future, while testing the boundaries of the medium. The tension between tangible and supernatural, natural and artificial, is therefore always present.

That’s no different at his current exhibition at Cinnnamon. The title of the expo refers to the last painting by Paul Gauguin (D’où venons-nous? / Que sommes-nous? / Où allons-nous?) with which the artist raised a number of existential questions. With his work Vervaet presents a number of similar questions about the contrast between past and present, life and death, nature and culture. Like Gauguin, he works around an exotic representation of nature.

At the heart of the first room is Paradisio #5, an artificial plant for which the artist has taken elements of various plants from the the winter garden in the Antwerp Zoo and merged them into a new species. The sculpture refers to the makeability of nature, a recurring theme in Vervaets practice. The ‘plant’ is embraced by a curved dichroic glass sheet that changes color according to the viewer’s position. The dispositive not only causes confusion between the inside and outside, but also changes the viewer’s perspective, which makes the room different.

The phantasmagorical representation of nature continues with Dubai revisited, based on the stereotypical image of paradise: the palm tree. The work is made of aluminum and is behind dichroic glass that changes color according to the perspective of the spectator. It is the fourth work of a series based on the same drawing. For this series, the artist each time uses a template to make a new work. This way he is increasingly revealing the process of his work and embracing the notion of coincidence.

For the third work in the first space, Trace, he works (as the title suggests) around the notion of traces, in the form of a line that he seems to have drawn in the wall as far as he could reach.

At the center of the second room is Silver Screen, a three-dimensional aluminum screen shutter that is rear-facing. If you walk around work, you’ll see a bass relief of imaginative, exotic plants. The traces of the fingers of the artist are still clearly visible. In this way, the work refers to both the exotic plant world of Paradisio, and to the direct act of tracing found in Trace.

In the second room he also presents the intermediate steps of the making process as autonomous work. This time his point of departure is a fragment from Silver Screen, from which he uses the negative of the template for new work. Sarcophagus shows the negative of a support template behind dichroic glass. In Topology of a Dream, to sum it up, a support template seems to have transformed into a game board, or the beginning of a network structure, the wooden and aluminum pins to be read as nodes.

Sam Steverlynck, October 2017
Translation: PD

Filip Vervaet (°1977, Mechelen, Belgium, lives and works in Antwerp) studied at Sint-Lucas, Brussels and the HISK in Ghent. Solo/duo exhibitions include: Hollow Earth Sculpture Show, Annie Gentils Gallery, Antwerp, 2014 / Horror Vacui, Filip Vervaet and Renato Nicolodi, 38CC, Delft, 2015 / Ignorance is strength, A collaboration with Sharon Van Overmeiren, curated by Damien & The Love Guru, Hunting at Collecting, Brussels, 2014.

Group shows include: Connexions, Martha Museum, Herford, 2006 / Just a four-letter show, Museum Dhondt-Daens, 2007 / Over the Hedge, Verbeke Foundation, Kemzeke, 2008 / Antwerp Sculpture Show, Antwerp, 2008 / The Last Session, De Brakke Grond Amsterdam, 2009 / The Hands of art, S.M.A.K., Gent, 2008 / Paradise Lost, Base-Alpha Gallery, Antwerpen, 2016.

Filip Vervaet, Paradisio V, aluminium, glass, dichroic film, 196 x 111 cm

Filip Vervaet, Paradisio V, aluminium, glass, dichroic film, 196 x 111 cm

Filip Vervaet, Where do we come from? Where are we going?, 2017, exhibition view, CINNNAMON, Rotterdam

Filip Vervaet, Dubai revisited, aluminium, dichroic glass, 48,5 x 38,5 x 6 cm, 3 ex. + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Trace, aluminium, h 217 cm, 3 ex + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Trace, aluminium, h 217 cm, 3 ex + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Where do we come from? Where are we going?, 2017, exhibition view, CINNNAMON, Rotterdam

Filip Vervaet, Silver screen, aluminium, 172 x 155 cm, 1 ex. + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Silver screen, aluminium, 172 x 155 cm, 1 ex. + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Silver screen, aluminium, 172 x 155 cm, 1 ex. + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Where do we come from? Where are we going?, 2017, exhibition view, CINNNAMON, Rotterdam

Filip Vervaet, Sarcophagus, plaster, glass, dichroic film, 175 x 56 x 5,5 cm, 1 ex. + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Sarcophagus, plaster, glass, dichroic film, 175 x 56 x 5,5 cm, 1 ex. + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Where do we come from? Where are we going?, 2017, exhibition view, CINNNAMON, Rotterdam

Filip Vervaet, Topology of a dream, Plaster, wood, aluminium, 76 x 54 cm, 1 ex. + 1 A.P.

Filip Vervaet, Topology of a dream, Plaster, wood, aluminium, 76 x 54 cm, 1 ex. + 1 A.P.

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