meetsysteem at CIAP

Artists: Jacques Lizène, gerlach en koop, Nora Turato

Exhibition title: meetsysteem

Curated by: Bas Hendrikx

Venue: CIAP, Hasselt, Belgium

Date: September 23 – December 17, 2017

Photography: Kristof Vranken, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and CIAP, Hasselt

Dear visitor,

Welcome and many thanks for your visit to CIAP and the exhibition meetsysteem. The exhibition combines the work of three artists, albeit with different degrees of presence and visibility. All of them share an obstinate attitude and like to poke fun at conventions. For this reason, I titled the exhibition meetsysteem. I chose a palindrome – a word that can be read frontward and backward – in order to emphasise the artists’ shared interest in linguistic and visual mechanisms. It concerns Jacques Lizène, gerlach en koop, and Nora Turato.

I first encountered the work of Jacques Lizène through a friend who worked on the exhibition Le(s) Moi(s) de Lizène at M HKA in 2009. In the past few months, I met Jacques several times in the presence of Jean-Michel Botquin and Nadja Vilenne in Liège. He is an artist who for a long time has disregarded conventions, decency and classifications. He calls himself ‘le Petit Maître Liégeois de la médiocrité’, or ‘the Liège Minor Master of Mediocrity’. Irony is all but unknown to the Minor Master and humor is his most important tool. When selecting the videos for this exhibition, he occasionally had a good laugh over his own work.

Over the years, Jacques Lizène has worked extensively on the relationship between the center and the periphery, especially in his long-standing series Banlieue d’art. For CIAP, he proposed a work responding to the character of this former provincial house. Here, he shows a sculpture holding cleaning utensils. The work was imagined as an ode to the choreography that happens behind the scenes, namely the cleaning of the spaces outside opening hours. Lizène thus draws attention to the, often invisible, efforts to keep an exhibition running. What is more, it is wordplay on the French ballet d’entretien: a cleaning ballet where the words balai (the broom) and ballet (the dance) are phonetically fused.

The premise for the painting Art de Banlieue, Banlieue de l’art, Peinture Nulle is an essay on the Madonna of Rolin, the famous 1435 Jan van Eyck painting. It argues that the painting depicts the city of Liège in the background. In this new version, Lizène takes matters into his own hands, and gives center stage to Liège and its industrial character.

In order to gain insight into the attitude of gerlach en koop it is worth discussing a work that is not included in this exhibition, but that is indicative of the artists’ practice. It concerns a series titled slijten (2006 – 2012). During museum and gallery openings, various types of printed matter – such as labels and stationery – were garnered by the artists and saved inside their pockets, which brought wear and tear to the paper. The duration of the exhibition thus set the conditions for the creation of these modest poetic gestures. Slijten is located in an exhibition, but remains out of sight. On the occasion of this exhibition, I invited gerlach en koop to show a work departing from the context of Jacques Lizène’s presentation: a work that exists at the margins of Lizène’s. And just like Lizène considers the time of an exhibition, gerlach en koop’s work Per via di levare considers space.

Nora Turato is an artist who allegedly lives online, and whose work easily vacillates between on- and offline worlds. Language in all its facets forms the basis for her spoken-word performances. Having worked with Nora before, I was always surprised by her cadence and pronunciation. Her performances are comparable to an endless series of open tabs that lead to a myriad of interesting but miscellaneous web pages. Slogans follow societal reflections, salad is not a meal, it’s a mindset.
On October 26 at 19:30, Nora enacts a performance. Prior to Nora’s performance, I will give a guided tour through the exhibition.

Enjoy,

Bas Hendrikx
Curator

Exhibition view, Jacques Lizène: Arabesque (left), Sculpture Génétique Culturelle (right)

Jacques Lizène, Sculpture Génétique 1971, Sculpture Génétique Cultuelle, 2009, La Danse de Derrière le Décor (le ballet d’entretien des lieux d’expositions afin de faire reluire le lieu écrin de l’art séductif) 1975, remake 2010-2011, Acrylic on plaster, maintenance materials, 170 x 30 x 40 cm

Jacques Lizène, Sculpture Génétique 1971, Sculpture Génétique Cultuelle, 2009, La Danse de Derrière le Décor (le ballet d’entretien des lieux d’expositions afin de faire reluire le lieu écrin de l’art séductif) 1975, remake 2010-2011, Acrylic on plaster, maintenance materials, 170 x 30 x 40 cm

Jacques Lizène, Arabesque, sculpture génétique culturelle, 2003, three versions, looped, video, 5:47 min

Jacques Lizène, Arabesque, sculpture génétique culturelle, 2003, three versions, looped, video, 5:47 min

Exhibition view, Jacques Lizène: Sculpture Génétique Culturelle (left), Art de Banlieue, Banlieue de l’art, Peinture Nulle (centre), Sculpture nulle (right)

Jacques Lizène, Art de Banlieue, Banlieue de l’art, Peinture Nulle, 2017, Digital print on canvas, 80 x 87 cm

Exhibition view, Jacques Lizène: Art de Banlieue, Banlieue de l’art, Peinture Nulle (left), Sculpture nulle (right)

Jacques Lizène, Sculpture nulle 1980, remake 2011, Mixed media

Jacques Lizène, Sculpture nulle 1980, remake 2011, Mixed media

Jacques Lizène, Rapide Performance du Petit Maître, 1990, Video, 1:13 min

gerlach en koop, Per via di levare, 2015, crossbar from a new and unused bike which is stored in the depository of CIAP

gerlach en koop, Per via di levare, 2015, crossbar from a new and unused bike which is stored in the depository of CIAP

gerlach en koop, Per via di levare, 2015, crossbar from a new and unused bike which is stored in the depository of CIAP

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