Artists: Various Artists (Bernard Leroy, Intrudor, Armin Turing, Innumerat Roselare, Jo- hannes Korstjens, Lima Drib, n.e.b.u.s.i., Digi_Shelf, Délia Sheehy, Willy Depoortere, Aude Thensiau, Christl & Martn Coppens, Martaque, Vali, Jamila and Fala Al Khawarizm, Steina Zooeydóttir, Trudo Engels, Valereson da Silva, Omar, Ana and Nada Omandichana, Cindy Janssens, Freddy Grant, Robert Ingelbreć, Diederick Dewaere, Mar- cella.B, Morice de Lisle, Sufferice, Albert Savereys, Hélène Thensiau, Mumei)
Exhibition title: Don’t Worry About Us
Venue: Nevan Contempo, Prague, The Czech Republic
Date: September 8 – October 26, 2018
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Nevan Contempo, Prague
Don’t Worry About Us is the first exhibition of Brussels based arts collective Various Artists in the Czech republic. The exhibition in Nevan Contempo comprises site-specific installations addressing current environmental and social issues. The arts collective with 24 fictional members focused around artists and founder Trudeau Engels is a Gesamtkunstwerk where all research topics and artistic practices of its members come together in collaborative installations or projects.Number of works and installations are part of the project Água com Gas.
This on going research since 2015 is a poetic study on a number of water-related subjects such as the privatization of water supply, pollution, the exhaustion and salination of water sources. During a trip through Southern Europe Various Artists were confronted with scenes of completely changed landscapes caused by the construction of hydroelectric dams. Such large projects subsidized by the E.U. are a way to generate energy and to ensure water supply for industrial agriculture at the expense of the original flora, fauna and culture of an ancient landscape. A variety of concepts and realizations are generated by different Various Artists through this research.
List of works
This second version of toxiThrope-rgb that premiered on the Rotterdam Art Fair 2018, researches new lighting conditions. The work is reminiscent of a time where chemical processes continuously change the state of nature, where the almost extra-terrestrial nature has become toxic, and where man is no longer involved. Its aesthetics conceal the fragility and the amount of energy these works require to be kept ‘alive’. The chemical colour palette of the aquariums evokes an apocalyptic vision.
Urticina, the EYETV, 2018
A harmonious field of anemone like wax objects ranging from pink to light blue contradicts the hostile sexist behaviour between women and men. This fragile installation honours a natural and balanced connection between male and female. As there is no brusque division between the sexes but an infinite gradient.
Corporate Support, 2018
In the eighties, Coca-Cola switched from sugar to high-fructose corn syrup to sweeten their Classic Coke. While the concept of super-sizing caught on, American population (followed by the rest of the world) increasingly suffered from obesity. Yet, Coca Cola kept on pushing its products via schools, product placements and an enormous advertising budget until these days the world is saturated. At the same time, the Coca-Cola Company is buying water sources all over the world, depriving people from a fundamental human right, access to drinkable water.
De Fontein van Hamelen, 2018
“De Fontein van Hamelen” (Fountain of Hamlin) is an installation that consists of a reworked chocolate fountain where the molten chocolate has been replaced by condensed Classic Coke. The work is placed outside where the sticky syrup will attract and catch a myriad of insects. Any similarity with the rat catcher of Hamelin luring the children of the city with Multinationals attracting young children into drinking their liquid candy is pure intentional.
About Various Artists
The origins of the collective go back to 1993 when visual artist Trudo Engels (*1962) started to spread his (fragmented) artistic practice over several fictional characters. Over a period of almost 15 years, literally behind the scenes of an experimental arts laboratory based in Brussels, he developed an international collective, known today as Various Artists or VA. The collective members are: Bernard Leroy, Intrudor, Armin Turing, Innumerat Roselare, Jo- hannes Korstjens, Lima Drib, n.e.b.u.s.i., Digi_Shelf, Délia Sheehy, Willy Depoortere, Aude Thensiau, Christl & Martn Coppens, Martaque, Vali (†1994), Jamila and Fala Al Khawarizm, Steina Zooeydóttir, Late Trudo Engels (†2009), Valereson da Silva, Omar, Ana and Nada Omandichana, Cindy Janssens, Freddy Grant, Robert Ingelbreć, Diederick Dewaere, Mar- cella.B, Morice de Lisle, Sufferice, Albert Savereys, Hélène Thensiau, Mumei. Some installations and performances by VA include: Lettres d’Ixelles (2011, nadine, Brussels), Le Château (2012, Galeria Luisa Strina, Sao Paulo), Human Mathematics (2014, Museo Textil, Oaxaca), Q and A (2015, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano), Saudade de Europa (2016, Pixelache Festi- val, Helsinki).