Lest you don’t know why we can’t get enough of WIELS, we previewed, and indulged in, the third edition of Un-Scene. With an astutely hand picked line up of 13 emerging artists based in or from Belgium, this matrix of heterogeneous talent showcases varying approaches, techniques and media too, as the introduction to the exhibition’s catalogue states, “present a slice of a scene, a scan of a particular moment.” And the venerable Brussels institution, quickly establishing itself as an international institution to be reckoned with, couldn’t have gotten it any righter. Here are our highlights.
Leen Voet’s struck us with imposing canvasses of piercing colors, enhancing the architectural dimensions of the depicted post-war church interiors. The use of perspective distortion added to their particular palette transform the interiors in a way that, as curator Zoë Gray puts it, it’s like “van Eyck meets Hockney.” We were then met by Freek Wambacq’s sculptures conjuring cinematic sounds through a set of playful slime laden tables. Progressing towards the uncanny, Julien Meert’s evocative paintings of digitally manipulated selfies give off an alienating stare, and somewhat of an eerie panopticon feel. There is also Sébastien Bonin, no stranger to The Word, marking his presence with a set of five chromogenic prints. Reminiscent of Navajo carpet designs, his work attests to a conscientious and clever workmanship employing unconventional photographic techniques that result in somewhat psychedelic and vivid photograms. Moving on, we could not help but be mesmerized by Kasper Bosmans’ canvases inspired by Native American fish smoking practices (odor included). Their delicate color comes from the different materials used to create the smoke. Un-Scene III boasts these and other, no less interesting, works by Béatrice Balcou, whose live performance you can catch twice this month, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Erika Hock, Hedwig Houben, Stephanie Kiwitt, Yuki Okumura, Marina Pinsky and Marnie Slater. With Belgium as a tableau, in one way or another cementing these works, WIELS once again shows its commitment to staging the local art scene and lend it some weight, some credibility.
Leen Voet, Sint-Rita, 2012-2013. Series of 5 paintings on wooden tripods, oil on unstretched canvas, 219 x 168 cm. Courtesy the artist.
Freek Wambacq, Such-and-such, which I call so-and-so: soundso oft, 2015. Table, artificial slime, 78 x 100 x 200cm. Courtesy the artist.
Sébastien Bonin, Navajo composition NO.2, 2015. Courtesy the artist.
Julien Meert, Untitled, 2014. Courtesy the artist. Photo © Hugard & Vanoverschelde.
Erika Hock, Elbows & Knees, installation view, 2015. Courtesy COSAR HMT, Düsseldorf. Photography: Achim Kukulies.
Stephanie Kiwitt, CHOCO CHOCO, Splodge #1, 2015. Courtesy Galerie Weingrüll, Karlsruhe.
Kasper Bosmans, Smoke, 2012–, 51.5x58cm/each, cotton, wood. Courtesy the artist.
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Untitled (Plate 006), glazed ceramic, diam. 28 cm, 2014. Courtesy Valentin, Paris and Almine Rech, Brussels.
Hedwig Houben, The Good The Bad The Happy The Sad, 2014, video still. Courtesy Galerie Fons Welters.
Béatrice Balcou, Computer Performance.b, video, 6’, 2011. Courtesy the artist.
Yuki Okumura, Measuring Roman Ondák, 2015. Courtesy the artist and MISAKO & ROSEN, Tokyo.
Marina Pinsky, Untitled [studio photo], 2013. Courtesy the artist and C L E A R I N G, Brussels – New York.Un-Scene III Runs until 9th August 2015 wiels.org