Seven Belgian-based artists to keep on your radar (Part 3)

In the last few years, Belgium – and Brussels more specifically – has grown into a global artistic hub. Galleries, collectors, museums, non-profits, private collections and artist-run spaces have all, it seems, converged to create one of the most exiting and dynamic contemporary art eco-systems in a while. As a result, there’s never been a better time to be an artist in the country. Here are seven that have spiked our interest (part 1 here and part 2 here).

The full feature can be found in the April-May edition of the magazine.

Rachel Monosov

Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Rachel lives and works in Brussels.

The word Rachel Monosov

Pink Village (Chapter I), HDV, 16min, 2016.

How would you describe your practice, and your approach? 

I work with photography, video and sculpture. While my mediums are diverse, when you see the works together, a common thread passes through them, tying them together. I always love that moment, the congruence.  There is constant repetition of topics like cultural notions of alienation and territorial belonging. Typically, I start exploring subjects from my personal connection, and then move beyond my lens and go out to do research in the outside world, focusing on the more theoretical side of what I’m dealing with. The personal to the universal is a path I often follow. I want, and recently need, the freedom to use many mediums and conceptual approaches, to satisfy, and maybe symbolize the diverse points of understanding possible.  Traveling is also very important to my creative process.

What inspires you? 

The desert.

What recent work of yours best exemplifies what you do? 

I do a lot of different things so it is a difficult question for me. I can tell you about the work I recently exhibited in Ghent, which has a lot of the elements I am working with. The piece titled Freedom in the clouds is HDV, 14min. I shot footage in Germany, in the vacation resort Tropical Islands, which is a place that closely imitates a natural Thai island and confines it underneath the giant dome of the former Brand-Briesen Airfield in Krausnick, Germany. A second location shown in the work is a botanical garden in Jerusalem, Israel. Through imaging procedures in the daily routines of a cleaning lady and a botanist, I theatrically depict their environment and their acts, both of which alter between the real and the surreal. There are so many threads I want to tie here for the viewer, between the two locations, between the natural and the synthetic, between the past and the future, but none of it is explicit.

If you had one message for art students, what would it be? 

Explore as much as you can and don’t look for style just try to be honest to yourself.

Tine Guns

Tine lives and works in Ghent, Belgium.

7. A Vertigo Kiss. 2015.Tine Guns

A Vertigo Kiss, 2015.

How would you describe your practice, and your approach? 

In keywords: transformation and perception. I’m interested in the constant metamorphosis that we experience as human beings and the inability to capture the fleeting reality. So I try to make work with changeable interpretations. Fragments of stories that can be built and rebuild. I don’t like to freeze things. I don’t like to write either. Since that’s very solid. I like things to be fluïd, with room for chemistry

I play with the parameters of cinema and visual storytelling.

What inspires you? 

Cinema, music and feelings

What recent work of yours best exemplifies what you do? 

I think a combination of all of my works together best exemplifies me, since they’re quite diverse. But if I have to choose I think ‘Amoureux Solitaire’ , which is my first solo self-published book. The dummy gained some attention from gallerists in Arles during the portfolio reviews and since then my work has picked up in the photography world. For me as an artist, it’s a very significant book in my oeuvre since for the first time I explore the editing methods of experimental cinema in the medium book. A domain I’m planning to explore more in the future.