Echolalia. The exhibition offers an exhaustive survey of her works from the last five years, which until now had mostly been shown abroad, and sometimes had been executed for specific contexts.
Curated by Dirk Snauwaert
Under the title Echolalia Ana Torfs is showing for the first time in her Brussels base a broad selection of the work that she has been developing since the early 1990s. This exhibition offers an exhaustive survey of her works from the last five years, which until now had mostly been shown abroad, and sometimes had been executed for specific contexts — such as the former coal mine in Waterschei or the trading port in Sharjah. What’s more, with the installation The Parrot & the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria, WIELS is presenting a world première.
Torfs always starts from existing texts and images, whether it is the classic Rossellini film Journey to Italy, the nomenclature of flowers and plants or the travel journals of Christopher Columbus. Moreover, the range of reproducible media to which she has recourse, going all the way from sound, video, photographs and slide projections to prints, silkscreens and tapestries, is remarkably broad. In the end we only hear echoes of the original source: playful transpositions and translations from language to image and vice versa, rendering displacements of meaning and interpretation. Thus photographs of the oldest botanical garden on Cuba become partners to a sign interpreter who mimes in sign language Columbus’s first encounter with an entirely unknown continent and a ‘new world’.
The English word echolalia here refers to both the compulsive and playful repetition of the same word. Torfs thereby points not only to the limits of our imaginative powers, but to how meaning and knowledge are based on reproduction, repetition and translation. In her series of tapestries TXT (Engine of Wandering Words) an image slot machine generates multilayered combinations and variations aroused by one specific loan word, which barely changes as it travels. On this voyage of discovery of historically charged places and moments an archaeology of knowledge plays a crucial role: how things get named and described so that you can get hold of them, and how during their transmission new constellations of word, image and sound arise all the time.
Softcover, 21.6 x 27.6 cm, 224 pages, ill. 64 b/w + 197 col.
Editor: Ana Torfs
Assistant Editor: Caroline Dumalin
Graphic Designer: Jurgen Persijn for NN
Authors: Emiliano Battista, Gabriele Mackert, Kassandra Nakas, Catherine Robberechts, Dirk Snauwaert, Ana Torfs, Christophe Van Gerrewey
Languages: English, French, Dutch
Look Who’s Talking: Dirk Snauwaert (FR/NL)
Lecture by Christophe Van Gerrewey on Echolalia (EN)
Look Who’s Talking: Catherine Robberechts (NL)
21.11.2014, 19:30 & 22:00
DUO film screening: Zyklus von Kleinigkeiten (Cycle of Trifles) by Ana Torfs (1998, 86 min) and Histoires d’Amérique by Chantal Akerman (1989, 92 min), preceded by a conversation between Ana Torfs and Niels Ruell at Cinematek, Brussels (FR/NL).
Look Who’s Talking: Michel Assenmaker (FR)
06.12.2014, 15:00- 18:00
Symposium with Emiliano Battista, Juli Carson, and Ruth Noack, organized by Sint Lucas Antwerpen and supported by BAM (EN)
Image: TXT (Engine of Wandering Words), 2013 (detail) © photo Ana Torfs. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation - SB11- 2013
Micha Pycke T +32 (0)2 340 00 51 M +32 (0)486 680 070 email@example.com
Press conference: 10 September 2014 at 11.00
Opening: 11 September 2014 at 18.30
WIELS Contemporary Art Centre
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Wednesday – Sunday: 11.00 – 18.00
Nocturne: 11.00 – 21.00 every 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month
Closed: Monday – Tuesday
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Every Sunday at 15.00, a guided visit in French or Dutch