Galerie Erna Hecey
rue Des Fabriques 1c
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Two exhibitions
dal 27/9/2006 al 9/11/2006

Segnalato da

Galerie Erna Hecey


Els Opsomer
Rainer Oldendorf

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Two exhibitions

Galerie Erna Hecey, Bruxelles

Els Opsomer: Shadows and Snow / Rainer Oldendorf: Schmuck

comunicato stampa

Els Opsomer: Shadows and Snow / Rainer Oldendorf: Schmuck

28 September - 28 October 2006

Els Opsomer
Shadows and Snow

Erna Hecey is pleased to present the exhibition Shadows and Snow, the first (solo) exhibition of Els Opsomer in the gallery. Els Opsomer travels around the world, updating an 'urban archive' of pictures that she keeps on expanding. The slide installation SNOW / today presented at Galerie Erna He'cey is a result of documenting her New York, Brazil and China sojourns. Opsomer photographs ordinary fragments of urban reality, elements we no longer notice. They are snapshots in the margin of an ever-changing world. In this respect, her observations bear some resemblance to phenomena defined by anthropologist Marc Auge as 'non-lieux': places characterised by a mono-functional use, leading to a high degree of anonymity. Examples of these 'non-places' are parking lots, highways, motels, airports, etc. These 'non-places' deny the specific uniqueness of a city while contributing to the likeness of all cities. The phenomenon of mutually exchangeable cities leads to what Rem Koolhaas has called 'the Generic City':

'The generic city is the city without history, without layers, superficial like a film studio, in a process of never ending self-destruction and renewal. This city is liberated from the captivity of the centre and of identity. In this city you see homogenisation, endless repetitions of the same structural module, still more varied boredom, redundancy, and de'ja' vu, but also a city that is fractal, discontinuous, made up of enclaves, seemingly accidental and disorderly. (...) The generic city is also multiracial and multi-cultural, flexible diversity, aesthetic 'free style', and lots of mirrors. It may have mass tourism, but the streets are dead and the public realm has been evacuated in the favour of cars, highways and speed.' (Bo Gronlund about Rem Koolhaas' Generic City)

-Opsomer's universe is devoid of people and time seems to be suspended. Just like in _imovie [one]_: the agony of silence (2003), a movie that gives a personal view of the daily life in Palestine, there is an underlying threat. The series she presents here does not have a narrative course but evokes a cinematic atmosphere. The succession of the images, as presented in a slide show, creates a reinforcing effect that causes an indefinable feeling of melancholy. The anonymity evoked in Opsomer's work should not, however, be perceived as problematic, as it leaves options open for one's personal development. In her work, the city fulfils a utopian role; there is always the promise of new opportunities and the possibility of individual projections.

Other work presented in this show consists of a series of pictures in which the anonymous, urban character acquires a personal touch. In these works, we see the neck or back of people bearing a personal, tattoo-like inscription. The anonymity of the metropolis, where people and places are replaceable, gets an unexpected, intimate dimension. Whereas the slide show focussed on architecture and its physical impact on us, the emphasis in these pictures is on the human body. The body is functioning as a signifier among many others in the city: neon lights, advertisements, traffic signs etc. Opsomer does not, however, use language to transmit general information, but to communicate ambivalent feelings. The tension between public and private, anonymous and intimate, known and unknown is a recurring element in the work of the artist. The visual aloofness goes together with personal inscriptions, observations or meditations like in _[imovie 1-2-3]_ leading to a deliberate, hybrid genre.

The work of Els Opsomer has been exhibited worldwide at various museums, art centres and festivals. The artists has had solo expositions in MAC's in Grand Hornu (2006), Bergen Kunsthall in Bergen (2005), Witte de With in Rotterdam (2005), Mariantonia in Sao Paolo (2004), Badisher Kunstverein in Karlsruhe (2001), Centro Galego de Arte Contempora'nea in Santiago de Compostela (2000), the Soros Centre in Sofia (1998), Trafo' in Budapest (1998), etc. She also took part in various group exhibitions including Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (2005), MUHKA in Antwerp (2004), >Zugewinngemeinschaft< 5 Werkleitz Biennale (2002), Galerie am Parkhaus in Berlin (2002), hArtwareprojekte in Dortmund (2001), [art image]- IV Biennale on Media and Architecture in Graz (1999), etc. She was Laureate of Prix jeune Peinture Belge, Palais des Beaux- Arts in Brussels (1997). Her videos were shown at various international festivals including IFF Rotterdam (2004 /2005), IDFA Amsterdam (2004), European Media Art Festival, Osnabruck (2004/2005), Ann Arbour Festival, USA (2004/2005), 22nd Documentary Film & Video Festival, Kassel (2005), Festival rencontres internationales, Paris / Berlin (2003/ 2005), Viper Basel (2005)...


29.09 - 10.11.2006

Rainer Oldendorf

Erna Hecey is pleased to present Schmuck, a large-scale exhibition by German born artist Rainer Oldendorf.

Is an artist a schmuck? A jerk, an idiot, or even a jewel (as the German would have it)? Oldendorf's work frequently involves accidents and chance encounters, and the stories he constructs, in contrast to the Bildungsroman form he plays with, have a distinctly non-heroic quality. One of the basic principles of Oldendorf's artistic practice (or rather 'anti-principle' insofar as it is not a rule that stands outside a situation and governs it) is to work in the middle of things, to plunge the viewer into a situation whose multiple elements and varying directions elude any attempt at totalization. A revealing detail: in planning his shows, Oldendorf never works with models. 'Je ne suis pas maquette, je suis moquette' (literally: I'm not into models, I'm into carpeting), jokes the artist, referring to the time he spent working as a carpet layer in his native town of Lorrach. Rather than gazing on the world from above, the artist prefers to work on the ground, mingling and meddling with the ambiguities of life, the way that 'partial' meanings arise and develop unexpectedly (even stupidly) in the course of things, and the stories and myths that connect us to past and future without ever disclosing a final significance.

Schmuck presents a selection of Oldendorf's work in a number of media, including video, slideshow, photography, and sculpture. The front of the gallery, visible from the street, is transformed into a modish living room-like space reminiscent of a set from a Tati film. The installation Legende offers a couch with painted green backdrop where viewers may sit to see a video on a flat screen leaning against the window; beside it is what appears to be a large white monochrome painting, actually a stretched opera folie canvas on a wooden frame. Mounted throughout the gallery and on panels at the entrance of the white cube are photographic works, including the haunting High-level Black Forest, after a tip of Klaus S., November 2001, where traces in the snow of a blackbird taking flight are faintly visible. The central piece inside the cube is Supermarkt, a 'video projection without video', the light from the projector shining an image burned into the lens, the trace from one of Oldendorf's earlier video works. Supermarkt is accompanied by K/Rontgenstrasse 3, a radio play involving a linguistic clash (people living in Holland acting out a German text) and a series of photographic portraits presented as a slideshow. Designer furniture (Jasper Morrison and Charles & Ray Eames) and two specially created beds inspired by an anonymous sixties design structure the show and provide a sculptural subtext.

In the rear of the gallery is Marco 1-5, an ongoing film named after the main actor who plays Paul. This work consists in a double projection: on the right hand side, a video transfer of the original 16mm film, on the left a slideshow of still photographs both from the film and other sources, the two halves forming a kind of cinemascope image. The projection plays on the tension between linear storytelling, the forward advance of the moving image, and the repeated cycle of individual shots which interact with and comment on the film. Installed behind this projection is a collection of eight photographs drawn from multiple sources ironically titled The Text Needs Help. The front desk of the gallery has been fitted with an illuminated cabinet which contains a sparkling jewel-literally, schmuck. Here the artist's over-literal interpretation recalls the hijinks of a Harpo Marx or Hašek's Good Soldier Švejk.

Accompanying the exhibition will be two complementary events in Brussels:
- 12 October 6.30 pm: Lecture by the artist at the Goethe Institut. 58, rue Belliard 1040 Brussels

- 9 November 9 am - 7 pm : One-day seminar (at the gallery) followed by a screening of new 35mm rushes for Marco at Arenberg cinemas, (11 am - 1 pm) part of the Ecran d'art program, a unique opportunity to explore issues relating to Oldendorf's cinematic technique. Cinema Arenberg/Ecran d'art: 26 Galerie de la Reine 1000 Brussels

Image: Els Opsomer, SNOW/today, 2006, Double slide projection

Opening 28.09 6 > 9 pm

Galerie Erna Hecey
rue Des Fabriques 1c 1000 Brussels
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 2 -7 pm and on appointment

Stephen Willats
dal 22/4/2010 al 11/6/2010

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