Luc Tuymans and 'Allo!' in Zagreb

Gepubliceerd op: 1 May 2012

Institute for the Research of the Avant-garde and HDLU Zagreb in collaboration with David Zwirner, London, present an exhibition of new work by Belgian artist Luc Tuymans. The exhibition, titled ‘Allo!', brings together six new paintings and a series of wall paintings especially conceived for the rotunda of the Mestrovic Pavilion.
Tuymans's new series of paintings is inspired by the final scenes of the 1942 black-and-white film ‘The Moon and Sixpence', which was adapted from the 1919 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. The film tells the story of Charles Strickland, played by the British actor George Sanders, a middle-aged stockbroker who abandons his middle class life, his family, and duties, to start painting. Loosely based upon the life of Paul Gauguin, the movie ends weeks after the death of Strickland, when his doctor travels from London to the village in Tahiti where the main character lived. When the doctor enters the painter's cabin, the movie changes from black-and-white to Technicolor. Tuymans made a series of screenshots of this color metamorphosis. The photographer's reflection - that of Tuymans himself - can be seen in the screenshots and therefore also in the paintings.
Alongside the paintings, Tuymans created a mural based upon a series of lithographs titled ‘Plates' (2012). This series depicts ceramic plates from the artist's personal collection. The dinner plates, Eastern European in origin, refer to the local ceramics industry that was once a symbol of national pride during the communist era.
One of the most influential artists working today, Luc Tuymans's at once compelling and complex figurative style is widely seen as having contributed to the revival of painting in the 1990s. Using minimal amounts of paint while covering a broad range of subjects, including political figures and celebrities, deserted landscapes, nondescript villas, lampshades, pot plants, and pillow cases, Tuymans has been described as a master of the ordinary. Yet small clues within his delicately painted works often point towards a more sinister meaning, with subtle references frequently made to historical atrocities, collective traumas, and the manipulation strategies deployed by today's mass media. Painting from pre-existing imagery-photographs, film-stills, newspaper cuttings-Tuymans's works address the elusive gap between memory and reality, personal space and public space.

Luc Tuymans, ‘Allo!' from May 10th till June 21st. in Home of HDLU - Meštrovic Pavilion, Trg žrtava fašizma bb, Zagreb, HR. www.hdlr.hr

 

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Institute for the Research of the Avant-garde and HDLU Zagreb in collaboration with David Zwirner, London, present an exhibition of new work by Belgian artist Luc Tuymans. The exhibition, titled ‘Allo!', brings together six new paintings and a series of wall paintings especially conceived for the rotunda of the Mestrovic Pavilion.
Tuymans's new series of paintings is inspired by the final scenes of the 1942 black-and-white film ‘The Moon and Sixpence', which was adapted from the 1919 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. The film tells the story of Charles Strickland, played by the British actor George Sanders, a middle-aged stockbroker who abandons his middle class life, his family, and duties, to start painting. Loosely based upon the life of Paul Gauguin, the movie ends weeks after the death of Strickland, when his doctor travels from London to the village in Tahiti where the main character lived. When the doctor enters the painter's cabin, the movie changes from black-and-white to Technicolor. Tuymans made a series of screenshots of this color metamorphosis. The photographer's reflection - that of Tuymans himself - can be seen in the screenshots and therefore also in the paintings.
Alongside the paintings, Tuymans created a mural based upon a series of lithographs titled ‘Plates' (2012). This series depicts ceramic plates from the artist's personal collection. The dinner plates, Eastern European in origin, refer to the local ceramics industry that was once a symbol of national pride during the communist era.
One of the most influential artists working today, Luc Tuymans's at once compelling and complex figurative style is widely seen as having contributed to the revival of painting in the 1990s. Using minimal amounts of paint while covering a broad range of subjects, including political figures and celebrities, deserted landscapes, nondescript villas, lampshades, pot plants, and pillow cases, Tuymans has been described as a master of the ordinary. Yet small clues within his delicately painted works often point towards a more sinister meaning, with subtle references frequently made to historical atrocities, collective traumas, and the manipulation strategies deployed by today's mass media. Painting from pre-existing imagery-photographs, film-stills, newspaper cuttings-Tuymans's works address the elusive gap between memory and reality, personal space and public space.

Luc Tuymans, ‘Allo!' from May 10th till June 21st. in Home of HDLU - Meštrovic Pavilion, Trg žrtava fašizma bb, Zagreb, HR. www.hdlr.hr

 

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Kunstenaars over migratie in ‘J'ai deux amours' in Parijs

‘Estrangeiros em todo lugar' staat er in neon boven de ingang van de tentoonstelling. Overal vreemdelingen: het is een dubbelzinnige titel die zowel op de existentiële positie van een kunstenaar kan wijzen maar ook op de ongemakkelijke situatie van migranten. Hoe kunstenaars naar migratie kijken, is het thema van een boeiende en ontroerende tentoonstelling in de Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration in Parijs.

‘Ik ben vreemd in deze 2 werelden' poneert de in Teheran geboren en in Parijs wonende kunstenares Ghazel. In een bekende drieledige video ‘Me' tast ze (wat burlesk) haar vrouw-zijn af, met een zwarte chador. Alle 22 kunstenaars in deze tentoonstelling geven hun visie op hun eigen ‘va-et-vient' en op menselijke omzwervingen in het algemeen. Een reis van provinciaal naar globaal, een tocht tussen hoop en desillusies, tussen paradoxale dromen, een lawine van ervaringen ... Daarom hebben de commissarissen ervoor gekozen om de kunstwerken op te delen in vijf (subjectieve) categorieën: Vertrek - reis - omzwervingen / Tussen droom en noodzaak / Grenzen, passages en controles / Samenleven / Het heruitvinden van zijn eigen universum.

Thema's die perfect aansluiten bij overdenkingen in hedendaagse kunst. De meeste van de 106 tentoongestelde actuele werken behoren ook tot de verzameling van dit museum van de (Franse) immigratie. Van bij de oprichting in oktober 2007, niet zo toevallig gelegen aan de Porte Dorée, de rand van Parijs, opteerde dit museum ervoor om een sterke pijler hedendaagse kunst in zijn collectievorming op te nemen. "De reflectie van hedendaagse kunstenaars op maatschappelijke onderwerpen kan ons ertoe aanzetten anders te kijken. Met het risico dat het een modefenomeen zou worden,"stelt Isabelle Renard, verantwoordelijk voor de hedendaagse afdeling.
"Een kunstwerk is een esthetische visie maar ook een politieke. Geschiedenis wordt ook verteld door getuigenissen en hedendaagse kunst biedt dat soort lezing aan. Er is een constante in de ‘structuren' van migratie: de ballingschap, de ontworteling, het idee van overgang, de dubbele identiteit... Maar vandaag zien we een fenomeen van mondiale uitbreiding: wat essentieel wordt, is de notie van omzwerving. De Chinese kunstenaar Chen Zhen vatte dit perfect samen toen hij het had over ‘synergieën van verschillende culturen'. Uiteindelijk zijn er vandaag geen grenzen meer. Kunstenaars vandaag, als burgers van een globale wereld, of ze nu geboren zijn in Parijs, Berlijn of Algiers, voeden onze blik op de geschiedenis van de immigratie." Dat stelt Jacques Toubon, ooit minister van Cultuur in de centrumrechtse regering onder president Chirac en nu voorzitter van de ‘Conseil d'Orientation' van de Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration. Vraag is enkel waarom dit ‘nationale' museum, dat menselijke verhalen van over de hele wereld vertelt in de permanente opstelling, niet de titel ‘Internationaal' meekreeg?

Ontheemding
Want ook alle kunstenaars ‘vertegenwoordigen' twee of zelfs meerdere werelden. Het collectief ‘Claire Fontaine' bestaat uit een Italiaanse en een Engelsman die in 2004 in Parijs hun gezamenlijke kunstacties met een duidelijk politiek-anarchistische toon opstartten (tot zelfs in de Biënnale van Istanbul 2011). Hun neonboodschappen ‘Foreigners Everywhere' in verschillende talen (Portugees, Grieks, Engels ...) ontleenden ze aan een anarchistisch collectief uit Turijn dat daarmee het racisme wou te lijf gaan. In deze tentoonstelling wijst het scherp naar de ontheemding, niet alleen van migranten maar ook van kunstenaars en zelfs van kunstliefhebbers. Altijd onderweg, fysiek maar ook mentaal.
"Ballingschap is een inherente notie aan de menselijke conditie" schrijft Barthélémy Toguo, kunstenaar geboren in Kameroen en over en weer reizend tussen zijn geboorteplek, Parijs en New York. Zijn werk ‘Road to exile' (2008) stelt een overbeladen boot voor, op een deinende zee van een massa glazen flessen. Een humoristische maar ook dubbelzinnige en weemoedige opstelling. Zoals ook de matrassen van Shen Yuan uit China die werkt in Parijs. De bedden met patchworkspreien waarop de kaarten van wereldsteden zijn genaaid, zijn eigenlijk... trampolines, springplanken naar een betere wereld. De wereld zoals de Libanese Mona Hatoum, wonend in Engeland, voorstelt: een in een Arabisch tapijt uitgeschoren kaart.
De Nederlandse fotograaf Ad van Denderen kiekte gedurende weken het dagelijkse leven van migranten met schaduwzone waarin mensen alles doen om te overleven. Een ‘droomautomaat' van Kader Attia met wenspakjes: een boek ‘comment perdre son accent de banlieue en 3 jours' of Hallal-slips of prozac. Bruno Boudjelal herontdekt via een gesonoriseerd diaporama Algerije, "het land van mijn afkomst waar al de wortels van mijn toekomst liggen". De Koreaanse Kimsooja zit op een kar met de ‘bottari', de traditionele stoffen balen vol inhoud en hoop.
In 1931 zong Joséphine Baker, de zwarte geëngageerde Franco-Amerikaanse zangeres ‘J'ai deux Amours' over haar dubbele liefde, haar geboorteland en Parijs en dus haar complexe identiteit. Kiezen is verliezen.

Eliane VAN DEN ENDE

De tentoonstelling ‘J'ai deux amours' is nog tot 24 juni 2012 te zien in de Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration, 293 Avenue Daumesnil, Parijs. Open di-vr van 10-17u30, za-zo van 10-19u. www.histoire-immigration.fr

 

 

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Niet alleen voor de iets oudere lezers onder ons, maar ook voor de jongeren die nog willen geloven in schilderkunst: in het Roger Raveelmuseum loopt de fijne tentoonstelling ‘Abstractie?', met werk van zes kunstenaars die, in hun beste periode, maar één ding voor ogen hadden: het schilderen an sich, "de unieke kracht van het schilderen als visueel uitdrukkingsmiddel." Met werk van Raveel himself natuurlijk, maar ook Eugène Leroy, Bram van Velde, Maurice Wyckaert, Pierre Tal-Coat en, als relatieve youngster, Karel Dierickx.

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‘Abstract? De natuur van het schilderij' tot 17 juni in het Roger Raveelmuseum, Gildestraat 2 Machelen-Zulte. Open wo-zo van 11-17u. +32 (0)9 381 60 00, www.rogerraveelmuseum.be

 

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