Kasper Bosmans at Witte de With

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Artist: Kasper Bosmans

Exhibition title: Decorations

Curated by: Samuel Saelemakers

Venue: Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Date: May 7 – December 31, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Witte de With

As Witte de With confronts its collection of traces from past decades of exhibition-making, the center hosts a series of artistic and curatorial approaches to source materials from institutional and personal archives. The commissions in the series of WDW25+ variously deconstruct and engage with canonical moments in Witte de With’s history and provide a platform for previously unacknowledged cultural histories and figures whose presentation will loop back into and supplement its archive.

An intuitive researcher and playful gatherer of art historical references and folkloric anecdotes, Kasper Bosmans (1990, BE) reimagines past Witte de With projects through a series of new works, including large-scale murals, sculptures, painterly interventions in select archival boxes, and an artist publication.

For the murals on view, Bosmans distills a number of overarching themes from Witte de With’s program. These recurrent subjects – sexuality, urbanism, ecology, migration and domesticity – represent a subjective reading of what is often perceived as a canonical chain of exhibitions. Here, mythological narratives or stories seemingly made up of indubitable facts are edited through a personal filter. In addition, Bosmans extends his series of ‘legend’ paintings – visual sediments of conducted research – by painting new legends accompanying select projects from the institution’s program. Prompted by the absence of folk art in Witte de With’s exhibition history, Decorations also features documents taken from artist Asger Jorn’s photographic archive 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art, a project part of his Scandinavian Institute for Comparative Vandalism, founded in 1961 as an interdisciplinary institute aimed at ‘vandalizing’ art history.

Kasper Bosmans began his research for Decorations with a close reading of 20+ Years Witte de With, an anthology published by the institution in 2012 that lists all exhibitions and other projects at Witte de With between 1990 and 2011. Bosmans made numerous annotations, footnotes, scribbles and sketches in the margins across the 357 pages. Adding his own remarks and critical notes, and inserting photographs from Asger Jorn’s 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art collection, he opens up this well-edited historiography to new interpretations.

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Page from the 20+ Years Witte de With publication annotated by Kasper Bosmans

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Page from the 20+ Years Witte de With publication annotated by Kasper Bosmans

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations (Guillaume), 2016
Gouache and pencil on paper, 21 x 28cm

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations (Barrada), 2016
Gouache and pencil on paper, 21 x 28cm

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations, 2016
Gouache and pencil on poplar panel, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations, 2016
Gouache and pencil on poplar panel, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations, 2016
Gouache and pencil on poplar panel, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations, 2016
Gouache and pencil on poplar panel, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations, 2016
Gouache and pencil on poplar panel, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations, 2016
Gouache and pencil on poplar panel, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations, 2016
Gouache and pencil on poplar panel, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Decorations, 2016
Gouache and pencil on poplar panel, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Migration (Ceuta), 2016
Gouache on wall, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Migration (Ceuta), 2016
Gouache on wall, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Dwarf Parade Dog (Lemon Nipples), 2016, marble, permanent marker and lemons; WDW25+ Mural: Migration (Ceuta), 2016, gouache on wall, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Dwarf Parade Dog (Lemon Nipples), 2016
Marble, permanent marker and lemons, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Urbanism, 2016, gouache on wall; WDW25+ Mural: Migration (Gibraltar), 2016, gouache on wall; installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Urbanism, 2016, gouache on wall; WDW25+ Mural: Migration (Gibraltar), 2016, gouache on wall; installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Migration (Gibraltar), 2016, gouache on wall; Bronze Legend, 2016, bronze, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, Bronze Legend, 2016
Bronze, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Migration (Gibraltar), 2016, gouache on wall; photographs from Asger Jorn’s 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art, photographic prints, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Vermiculated Rustication, 2016, gouache on wall; photographs from Asger Jorn’s 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art, photographic prints, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Vermiculated Rustication, 2016; WDW25+ Mural: Ecology, 2016, gouache on wall, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Ecology, 2016
Gouache on wall, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Images from Asger Jorn’s photographic archive 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art selected by Kasper Bosmans, photographic prints, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Images from Asger Jorn’s photographic archive 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art selected by Kasper Bosmans, photographic prints, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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Kasper Bosmans, WDW25+ Mural: Domesticity, 2016, gouache on wall; WDW25+ Mural: Sexuality, 2016, gouache on wall; Kasper Bosmans & Marthe Ramm Fortun, Strand of Pearls 2, 2016, pearls, installation view Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, photo by Aad Hoogendoorn

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