Group exhibition at Valerie Traan, Antwerp
Fringes and Teeth
HOTSPOT #1 PAINTING is a visual report of the research into what it is exactly painting can still accomplish in these times. It is a subjective, idiosyncratic, erratic yet refutable answer to the question what meaning painting can still aspire to in an era wherein we are bombarded with more and more images. Because even though painting seems to no longer occupy the center of our visual culture, its new position could perhaps lead to new and much-needed possibilities.
The majority of images we are force-fed daily, can easily be categorized as propaganda. Be it out of economic or political intentions, these images always try to sell us something. An ideology, an idea, a way of life, a washing machine. This abundance with which we are confronted deliberately hurts us in our vision. In hopes of obstructing our capability to think, we are overwhelmed by images that impose an unequivocal and simplistic reading. Ideally, we are not granted the time to wonder what it is we are looking at, what exactly is being put on display here.
The works gathered in HOTSPOT #1 PAINTING, are paintings that are trying to tell us something about themselves albeit in a much more ambiguous fashion. Instead of superficial clarity they opt for complexity, instead of an enforced reading they cultivate a playfulness that would like to invite us to consider how to see anew. Images with fringes and teeth. Look, what you see is not what you get. The visual report, which is being presented to us here, celebrates adventure, openness, freedom and a critical reflection in regards to our sensory perception. What are we really looking at and how exactly do we do this?
As tenderly as vexedly these paintings nudge their audience towards active participation. No formatted and flattening reductions here but composition, depth, a pictorial spaciousness wherein we let ourselves loose. That is, if we dare to meet these paintings on their own terms; open ourselves up to whatever it is they are showing us.
HOTSPOT #1 PAINTING is the first iteration of what should become a multi-tier project. Because this visual report demands an answer, an expansion, a rebuttal even perhaps. In new cities, with new images from new and different perspectives. The only thing this report dares telling us with certainty is that this exhibition is only the beginning.
Painting is constantly on the move, searching for ways to make the world look anew.
Michael Van Remoortere