AALST.- In CHIPKA artists play on such themes as chaos, innovation and utopia. The title is taken from the name of the industrial island next to the historic centre of Aalst, created by the straightening of the Dender, to accommodate the extensive industrialisation of the region.
At that time, the late-nineteenth century, 'Chipka' was a model for a future that was mainly tinted with nightmarish visions of totalitarian angst. The name was borrowed from a treacherous Bulgarian mountain pass, where Tsarist Russia scored a victory over Ottoman forces in 1877-1878. In popular speech the battle was a symbol of resistance (against non-Christian invaders), but was also synonymous with chaos and destruction. These elements are now part of the exhibition: the opening of a city (past and present), the inclusion of an island, the hope of prosperity and resistance against capitalism, the nineteenth century industrial city layout versus the global reality of the twenty-first century...
The exhibition is a part of the European project Interreg IVa '2 Mers Seas Zeeën' Cross-boarder cooperative programme 2007-2013. This project is a cooperation between Aspex (Porthsmouth), Boem vzw (Kunst & Zwalm), Fabrica (Brighton), L'H du Siège (Valenciennes), La Malterie (Lille) and Netwerk (Aalst). United by the motto 'Investing in your future' sustainable strategies for audience paticipation are developed.
Participating artists: Stijn Ank / Justin Bennett / Lode Geens / Susanne Kriemann / Matthew Miller / noumenon en Pierre de Gelder / Rachel Reupke / Michael Van den Abeele & Arnaud Hendrickx / Yoann Van Parys / Tamara Van San / Adriaan Verwée