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Galerie Michael Janssen Opens First Exhibition with Belgian Artist Joris Van de Moortel
Joris Van de Moortel, All bound, rubber sound - 2010. Installation view. Courtesy of Galerie Michael Janssen Berlin.

BERLIN.- Galerie Michael Janssen presents for the first time Belgian artist Joris Van de Moortel with the exhibition Like a hurricane (you are like).

Van de Moortel’s practice and work consist of a complex web of ideas and references with a processual and performative approach. It combines different disciplines and is characterized by a radical deployment of material in which predicted chance or “planned accidents” play a central role. His practice disrupts all expectations of what sculpture can be and plays with notions of referentiality. Similar to Marcel Broodthaers, Van de Moortel uses found or discarded material in order to create new objects and meaning from existing things.

In his raw sculptures and installations Van de Moortel arranges objects in extreme situations stripping them of their original function. They seem like attempts to capture and accumulate energy and often feel like time bombs that might explode at any moment. He uses building materials, everyday objects and musical instruments or their wooden mock-ups (he is also a musician whose new album has been released in May 2010). He bundles, binds, encases them in wood and Plexiglas cases or hangs them from the ceiling in plastic bags. The work reminds one of stage sets or remnants of a performance that took place secretly. His sculptural environments are inspired by found situations and atmospheres and have often no definite beginning, middle or end. After an exhibition and sometimes during its course, Van de Moortel destroys, burns or runs a bulldozer over the work to then recycle the rubble into new works. „Undoing“ becomes part of „Doing“.

Like a hurricane (you are like) represents a movement of expansion, a release of energy. The installation consists of fifteen separate works that have been altered or rearranged in new constellations for the exhibition. Several of the elements in Like a hurricane (you are like) are existing works which at one point were bound together for the installation All bound, rubber sound with a giant rubber band. This time however, they have been released from their confinement and dispersed over the gallery space. Other works of the exhibition, like the door of Van de Moortel’s studio which was removed from its original setting and that has already existed as a sculptural object, have this time been framed as paintings.

The title of the exhibition is programmatic and can be understood as a metaphor for Van de Moortel’s working process that functions as a modus indisputably open to let the unexpected slip in and in which everything is in constant movement and always changing positions. Nothing is static. It seems that the objects of the installation have nothing to do with each other and only ended up together eventually by some kind of natural force; as if a tornado had assailed the gallery and set the objects free, scattering them around. It is rhythm; motion and a constant flux in which everything has the ability to disappear or multiply itself that renders Van de Moortel’s work its distinctive performative aspect.

Joris Van de Moortel (*1983) studied at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Ghent, Belgium from which he graduated in 2009. Solo shows (selection): The White Rabbit, Berlin, Germany (2009) and Hoet Bekaert Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (2008). Group shows (selection): Schloss Ringenberg, Hamminkeln, Germany (2010), Fort du Bruissin, Lyon, France (2010), Netwerk, Aalst, Belgium (2010), Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium (2009) and CCNOA - center for contemporary non-objective art, Brussels, Belgium (2009). Performance (selection): Provinciale Prijs Beeldende Kunst Atwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium (2010) and GUSTAV 10, Knokke, Belgium. Discography (selection): “BATs, Pats Boem Ping”, 12’’ Vinyl 45 rpm (2010) and “The HISK studio recordings”, 12’’ Vinyl 33 rpm (2009). Publications: “My first untitled (to much to title), works 2006 – 2010” (2010).

Galerie Michael Janssen | Joris Van de Moortel | "Like a hurricane" |

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