Le Trogloxène at Deborah Bowmann

Artists: Thomas Ballouhey, Kevin Bray, Théo Demans, Carolin Gieszner, Sarah Montet, Erwan Sene

Exhibition title: Le Trogloxène

Curated by: Théo Demans

Venue: Deborah Bowmann, Brussels, Belgium

Date: September 5 – November 9, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Deborah Bowmann, Brussels

‘Le trogloxene’ is a collective exhibition that unites artwork from Kevin Bray, Sarah Montet, Theo Demans, Carolin Gieszner, Thomas Ballouhey, and Erwan Sene. The exhibition is pre-sented as an artificial cave and is a cross between paleontological reconstitution, office space, excavation site, and paradoxical architecture.

Trogloxenes are known as any species or individuals who rush underground at some point in their lives, either by desire or by necessity.

The ornate cave is, in essence, not only the essence of our contemporary gallery, but is also the archetypal form of the habitat, as well as one of the allegorical figures of the birth of huma-nity. It expresses and questions our primitive relationship with art and its place in the center of life since ancestral times. In the past, the cave was a protective refuge that was able to provide symbiotic ground between the spirituality of man and the expression of his imagination. The cave is a place of myth and is the story of magic and dreams. It is revered for its antiquity as a habitat for divinities and nymphs. The caves have assumed social, initiatory, and religious functions.

Later, the artificial cave and its ornamental vocabulary became the mystical emblem of pictu-resque gardens in European culture from the sixteenth to the eighteenth. Whether it is rustic, grotesque, or symbolist, it almost always appears as an ultimate figure of interiority, a mad-ness of the ‘inside’, and a superlative form of the intimate.

Paradoxically, whether natural or shaped, the cave is distinguished from the burrow that is deepened. This is an autonomous structure, stable, that we cover with this exhibition, altered and deserted, but that reaches and digs our own depth, like the museum or the art gallery. The exhibition thus appears as the vestige of a discontinuous occupation of space, where the language of each artist has its origins in periods far removed from the history of art, but yet, are all present. They are, then, occupying the scene in the light of their torches, for a time, by their works.

-Théo Demans