announces its first collective exhibition around the 6x6 Demountable House by Jean Prouvé. This protagonist of CABs 2016-2017 programme was conceived in 1944, and is now brought in dialogue with sculptures and installations by contemporary artsists (both Belgian and international).
Playing at the same time with both the interior and and the exterior of the Prouvéhouse, Inhabited by Objects departs from a certain architecture to challenge our expectations, perception and interaction in engaging with objects. The artworks on show blur the lines between architecture, furniture, abstract objects and living creatures. Its confusion aims to ignite questions regarding our preconceived ideas connected to context, and to consider the consequences of our mental categorisations in perceiving objects. Additionally, it tends to reflect on objects within the spectrum of their possible autonomies and actorship.
Considering the object as being context-dependent, Erika Hock (b. 1981, Kyrgystan), Rosa Sijben (b. 1988, Netherlands) and the Danish collective A Kassen (since 2004, Denmark) propose its constant redefinition and reinterpretation. In her Elbows and Knees series; furniture-like metal tube structures (of which one was created specifically in relation to Prouvé), Erika Hock confuses us with their dysfunctionality. In extent, Folding Structures resonates the transformability characteristic to Prouvés modular housing units. Rosa Sijben disperses orange abstract blocks in the exhibition space with her performative installation Zouden Zullen Zijn. Her video Platzierung equally counts as what she calls a "situational choreography", a disrupt between life and art that questions the raison d'ëtre of everyday mundane objects, defined by a contexts function, its active users and its passive visitors. In their new production Cobblestone (Atlas), A Kassen draws on the notion of Spolia. Their use of this ancient practice in which parts of historic monuments and buildings are repurposed for new constructions, hints at the value of the object within the framework of art historys canon.
Alicja Kwade (b. 1979, Poland), Ode De Kort (b. 1992, Belgium), Koenraad Dedobbeleer (b. 1975, Belgium) and Timo Van Grinsven (b. 1985, Netherlands) question forms and objects that at first glance seem evident, deforming their nature to confuse or heighten our conscious perception. In her anthropomorphic mixedmedia installation, Kwade deploys distortion to subtly alter our cognitive experience of time and space. Ode De Kort currently conducts a long-term research into the formal qualities of the circle, elaborating on the hidden dynamics whithin this apparent static form. Subsequently Koenraad Dedobbeleer operates translations; he teases us with sculptures that seem familiar while non of them acutally form part of our everyday surroundings. Timo van Grinsven will create an in-situ performative drawing inspired by archetypal forms, expressing his tendency to personally construct logistic structures and systems, formed by a mental game of back-andforth associations between image and text.
The "elevated" status of the art object is undermined through the works of Tony Matelli (b. 1971, United States), Peter Regli (b. 1959, Switzerland) and Judith Hopf (b. 1969, Germany). In her touching and almost pathetic installation Flock of Sheep, Hopf plays with the paradox between the immobility of concrete blocks and the expressiveness of its drawn sheep heads. She claims to apply "stupidity" to subvert social codes of the art world.
Peter Regli similarly uses humor and irony in his series 'Reality Hacking' (since 1996) by capturing the iconic figure of the snowman to the implant it where it is least expected. He aims to surprise the viewer whose sensory experience of his surroundings easily gets obscured by daily stress. We find a similar direct approach in the series Weeds by Tony Matelli, appearing in the gallery space in a way that is both hyperrealist and suprising.
The suggestion of movement that connects the artworks on show, renders the exhibition with a human-like dynamics that is both playful and unsettling. This results in a surreal and absurdist scenographic arrangement that questions our expectations of what an object - sculpted, drawn, photographed or filmed - can be.
Inhabited by objects is an exhibition that was conceived and executed by the team of CAB.