Text: Griet Bonne, Nathalie Cohen, Christine Denamur, Maaike Descendre, Alice Lefebvre, Bert Puype and Anna Zhironkina.
Unraveling Slowness is a group exhibition in Zwarte Zaal curated by 2017–18 Curatorial Studies students featuring new and recent work by HISK artists in residence.
“The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting”, writes Milan Kundera in his novel Slowness (1995). In other words, time, space and memory are intrinsically linked. They trigger, shape and create one another. As reminiscences of past times, memories have a physical impact on our way of using and conceiving space and time: our mind intensifies and alters images while abstracting them from the present moment.
Inspired by studio visits at HISK, the conceptual framework of Unraveling Slowness emerged from the artists’ practices and works. Through the use of different media and techniques, the nine selected artists perform in their own way the title of this exhibition: through reflection and retrospection, slowness unravels. By means of recreation and recollection, they attempt to recover the gaps left by time and investigate the interaction and reciprocity of time, space and memory. The artworks explore different conceptions of temporality and manifestations of reality, as well as the subjective process of forgetting. Each of the artists asks the visitor to slow down, to observe and contemplate.
This group exhibition questions the power of images and their correlation to the pace of time. With a focus on ‘slowness’, it explores how societies’ increasing speed affects individuals, both physically and mentally. Set within an art school and at a time where students are preparing their final presentations, Unraveling Slowness wants to create a vacuum within the Bijloke site, a black void in which the spatio-temporal is altered and disentangled. Plunged into darkness, the Zwarte Zaal becomes a human archive of images, events, experiences and stories, standing for the space of memory itself.
The exhibition features only works produced over the last two years, including Disarming Reality, an installation by Anaïs Chabeur; a selection of sculptures by Francesca Ferreri; Eva Giolo’s most recent film, Elisabeth (working title); Liesbeth Henderickx’s sculpture A constant dropping wears away a stone; Chloé Op de Beeck’s video installation MOV 0032; Leander Schönweger’s architectural unit Option 378; Sarah Smolders’ ongoing series of paintings A lost mirror; and a multiple screen installation of Ingel Vaikla’s film Roosenberg.
Following the exhibition in Zwarte Zaal, Unraveling Slowness will be extended through a participatory sound installation by Roel Heremans, between the 27 June and 1 July 2018, in KIOSK. With a focus on the recovery of memory, Heremans’ work allows participants to collectively experience retrospection in suspended time.
Curated by 2017–18 Curatorial Studies students Griet Bonne, Nathalie Cohen, Christine Denamur, Maaike Descendre, Alice Lefebvre, Bert Puype and Anna Zhironkina.