public space: Town Hall – courtyard, Stadsplein 1, Genk, Belgium
Performance: 01 / 02 / 03. 06. 2012 at 6 p.m.
31/05/12 to 30/09/12 / or up to destruction.
Ronald De Bloeme
BNNT / Konrad Smolenski
WAS IST IST …!! — (Einstürzende Neubauten, Berlin 1996)
This exhibition brings together the work of artists, who in different ways
explore the integration
of preliminarity, or more precisely, the possibilities of the artwork and its instability,
in the occupation of public space.
This is not so much of a theme, or a subject matter (although it sometimes can be) but much more
a constitutional element of the artwork, the design accommodating its own fragility, which arises
from the typical “weathering” on site. This of course also refers to the “involvement” of the exhibition-goers.
Who does public space belong to?
How much of it is mine?
All the works, regardless of whether their primary motivation is political, or aesthetic, incorporate
this time-limited existence into their structure in its original form. With the knowledge that no
intervention in public space can be apolitical, every artwork takes the local socio-economic, historical
and political contexts in to account, which are inherent to the specific topography in question.
Vandalism is a phenomenon, which initially expresses itself in the form of “meaningless” destruction or damage.
But when you look closely, however, these activities are by no means without a motive.
The transformation of depression into action, out of which is born a desire to break social taboos,
is a psychological reaction. The deeper lying motivation is therefore a confirmation that even powerless
people, who are normally controlled by powerful institutions and authorities, can sometimes flee their
powerlessness, rebel, and… control their own environment.
The exhibition will be subject to the “weathering” circumstances specific to this particular area and the
particular time span (from several days to a couple of weeks).
These circumstances then in turn result in the regional influence of the current public mood on the
The structure and aesthetic of the artworks will also doubtless show progressive signs of change
and decay with the passing of time. Visible ageing, and the traces left by visitors are included as a
creative, vandalistic exchange within the exhibition.