What is the essence of sculpture? What differentiates sculptural works from things like design, everyday objects, or architecture? Is there such a thing as an original artistic idea, or is everything somehow a variation or reproduction of something seen before or from what exists? These are some of the questions that Belgian artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer explores.
His work uncovers the surprising in the familiar. In his objects, installations, photographs and media projects, Dedobbeleer develops new perspectives on our collective knowledge, in the process calling for a new approach to its treatment. His works usually take their cue from situations or objects that he encounters in everyday life – particularly architectural aspects or objects used to shape our personal living space. Another important part of his approach are the artistic tradition of the avant-garde to which he often refers in his distortion of the familiar. He does this through minimal shifts in shape, size or materials, surprising combinations and bizarre, commanding titles. Similarly, he delights in surveying the structures of the art world, in playing with absurdity and irritations. With a wink, his works and installations turn the everyday upside down, give the inconspicuous an unexpected platform, and position themselves in a web of references to protagonists, works, and anecdotes of the history of art.
For his exhibition „A Quarrel in a Faraway Country Between People of Whom We Know Nothing“ Dedobbeleer creates a varied walk through the exhibition space of the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst with sculptural works, architectural citations, slide projections and found material: Replicas of design classics and art works, books, and pictures draw together various, anecdotal aspects relevant to Dedobbeleer’s sculptural work. As a consequence „A Quarrel in a Faraway Country Between People of Whom We Know Nothing“ creates a journey into Koenraad Dedobbeleer’s cosmos: into his work as an artist and at the same time into the references which feed his artistic thinking and bond with the visitor’s knowledge. This approach can also be seen in the artist book Compensating Transient Pleasurable Excitations that accompanies the exhibition (ROMA Publications, Amsterdam).
„A Quarrel in a Faraway Country Between People of Whom We Know Nothing“ doesn’t distinguish between own work or that of another, or between work and document. Exhibition and accompanying publication rather propose the composite image of an “allegory on sculpture:” a conversation, both palpable and abstract, about the history and possibilities of the medium. Which specifications constitute sculpture, what is the threshold between material intervention, functionality and aesthetic value? Always present in Dedobbeleer’s approach, „A Quarrel in a Faraway Country Between People of Whom We Know Nothing“ brings these questions into the fore and creates an allegorical dialogue.
Koenraad Dedobbeeler was born 1975 in Halle, Belgium. His work was presented in solo exhibitions at De Vleeshal, Middelburg (2013), Le Crédac, Ivry-Sur-Seine (2013), Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (2012), Culturgest, Lisbon (2010), Haus Esters, Krefeld (2009) or Kunsthalle Bern (2008). Dedobbeleer were part of the Biennal in Brno (2014) and Porto Alegre (2013) and of group shows at Kunsthalle Wien (2014), Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen (2012), Casino Luxemburg (2011), SMAK Ghent (2010), Kunsthalle Wiels, Brussels (2010), and MuKA Antwerp (2003). Moreover Koenraad Dedobbeleer curates exhibitions himself (Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, 2013, or Muzee Ostende, 2011) and publishes UP – a fanzine focusing on interesting architectures together with Kris Krimpe since 2006. He lives in Brussels.
Janneke de Vries
In cooperation with Extra City, Antwerp
Fri 31.10.14, 7 pm
Thu 06.11.14, 11 am – 3 pm
Daily Life as Sculpture
Workshop für children
Thu 20.11.14, 7 pm
Guided tour with Janneke de Vries
Thu 05.01.15, 7 pm
Guided tour with Svea Kellner
The Senator for Culture, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, The Flemish authorities, Hypo-Kulturstiftung