Sunday, March 17, 2013

MONOPOLIS / Antwerpen

‘Televator’ etc, with Building Transmissions, Kris Delacourt, Nico Dockx & Peter Verwimp, 
MONOPOLIS / Antwerpen
curated by MuHKA, Extra City & Objectif Exhibitions, Witte de With CHK, Rotterdam

Witte de With presents Monopolis – Antwerp, an exhibition organised in collaboration with three contemporary art centers in Antwerp: MuHKA, Extra City en objectif_exhibitions.
Friday 9 September 2005: debate at 3:00 PM, opening from 5:30 PM, with performance by Building Transmissions at 7:00 PM
Antwerp and Rotterdam are both port cities, in a manner of speaking within walking distance of each other, sharing the same language and a social and political context that displays close similarities. That context imposes increasingly exacting demands on the production and presentation of culture. Should culture pay due attention to the multiethnicity and multiformity of society, or should it primarily affirm the historic and the local? What place might artistic offerings have in a society that with regard to essential points continues to be a unitary whole, even though we always perceive it as having crumbled, as existing in fragments, and this also being how we usually think about it.
The exhibition Monopolis – Antwerp strives first and foremost to demonstrate artistic engagement. Works of art have a right to be ambiguous and to remain open to a diversity of interpretations. Dissension deserves a place alongside consensus. An even greater number of seats for the popular Vlaams Belang party (‘Flemish Interest,’ which strives for Flemish independence and campaigns on an anti-immigration platform) at the next municipal elections might not mean an immediate bombshell, but it could signal the final curtain for that shared, communal space in Antwerp.
Monopolis – Antwerp is the work of three organizations – Extra City,MuHKA and objectif_exhibitions– which, in collaboration with Witte de With, want to show how dialogue and exchange are the fountainhead of an artistic project that is simultaneously socially engaged. The exhibition is a case study about art and the ways in which it embeds itself in the social fabric of Antwerp, not only as a city but also as a metropolis. Though the exhibition presents work by many of the city’s prominent artists, it is not the intention to provide a representative overview of all the developments in Antwerp, and nor is it the intention to provide direct commentary on the political situation. The exhibition’s curators were intent on presenting a broad spectrum of work and the varying alliances within it, which sometimes highlights new possibilities and at other times lays bare limitations.
100 posters
The exhibition is complemented by hundred posters in the city, which sketch a profile of the city by means of moments from the twentieth century. This dynamic picture of Antwerp is the initial impetus for the exhibition.
The exhibition presents work by: Francis Alÿs, Carla Arocha, Charif Benhelima, Fred Bervoets, Guillaume Bijl, Building Transmissions, David Claerbout, Club Moral, Vaast Colson, Jef Cornelis, Cel Crabeels/Anne Daems/Jan Kempenaers, Els Dietvorst, Niels Donckers, Bruna Hautman, Jozef Legrand, Corey McCorkle, Guy Mees, Vanessa Van Obberghen, Ria Pacquée, Gert Robijns, Narcisse Tordoir, Luc Tuymans and Jörgen Voordeckers.
A free magazine is being published to accompany the exhibition, with texts by Geert Buelens, Vivian Liska, Ramsey Nasr, and Jeroen Olyslaegers.
Debate: September 9, 3.00 p.m.
Opening: 5.30 p.m.

The opening of Monopolis – Antwerp on Friday September 9 will be held within the framework of ‘The World of Witte de With’.
On the day of the opening, from 3.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m., speakers from both cities will take part in a debate about what art can do for the socio-political climate in the two cities.
At 7.00 p.m. there is a performance by Building Transmissions.
Venue for both events: auditorium, TENT./Witte de With.
Special thanks to September in Rotterdam, the Flemish Community of Belgium, and The city of Antwerp

Abeele, Michael van den
Alÿs, Francis
Arocha, Carla
Baere, Bart De
Benhelima, Charif
Bervoets, Fred
Bijl, Guillaume
Building Transmissions
Claerbout, David
Club Moral
Colson, Vaast
Cornelis, Jef
Crabeels, Cel
Daems, Anne
Denkens, Marie
Dietvorst, Els
Donckers, Niels
Hautman, Bruna
Kempenaers, Jan
Legrand, Jozef
McCorkle, Corey
Mees, Guy
Obberghen, Vanessa van
Pacquée, Ria
Peeters, Wim
Robijns, Gert
Tordoir, Narcisse
Tuymans, Luc
Voordeckers, Jörgen



Cel Crabeels (°1958, Antwerp) examines the concept of “emptiness” as significant environment generating multiple interpretations. His work unfolds spatially, providing the visitor with visual images reduced to their essential qualities, linked with the physical experience of space. ‘Landing’ (2006) consists of video and sound recordings Crabeels made during a stay in Iceland. The desolate volcanic landscapes and geysers take on abstract and aesthetic qualities while, at the same time, appearing unearthly, like some sort of unformed lunar craters. With a minimum of intervention, in this series of images combined with sound fragments and spatial elaboration, Crabeels provides a profound experience. ‘Landing’, initially exhibited in the ‘Panoramic’ exhibition in BE-PART (Waregem), is currently on show at a new exhibition at the Dagmar De Pooter Gallery. Eva Wittocx (translation Dutch to English: Michael Laird)

Cel Crabeels was artist/researcher at the Fine Art department of the Jan van Eyck Academie , post-academic institute for research and production in the fields of fine art, design, and theory from 1997 to 1999. He is PhD candidate (Doctoraat in de Kunsten) at the University of Leuven Belgium. He is a member of INTERFACE[1], an academic platform that investigates the interfaces between art and science. It aims to define, confirm and extend the creative undercurrents and critical content involved. His artwork is been exhibited in many museums, art venue’s and galleries throughout Europe (Museum Ludwig-Forum Fur Internationale Kunst, Aachen, MuHKA, Antwerp, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Witte De With, Rotterdam, MIT visual arts center, Boston). Crabeels has lectured at Leeds Metropolitan University, Academy of the Arts, Reykjavik, Sint-Lukas Academie, Brussels, HISK Antwerp and Post Sint Joost, Breda.

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