Every two years, Brussels’ Bozar art centre stages a Summer of Photography, comprising a series of events all over the city around a central theme. This year, curator Gabriele Schor has focused on the relationship between people and the public space.
From stylised art nouveau temptresses to giant Tintin cartoons, Brussels has an established tradition of putting art on the outside of its buildings as well as inside. The capital’s newest gallery in a former brewery in Molenbeek – the neighbourhood notorious as a breeding ground of the Paris and Brussels terror attacks – captures that spirit.
A unique three-year street-photography project. The spontaneous, candid images – from quiet intensity to grand gesture – offer a unique and personal insight into a teeming metropolis; a positive view of urban living, celebrating the creativity, diversity, eccentricity and spirituality of Londoners and London’s visitors.
This exhibition brings together two artists successful in their own eras. Each works in a different medium yet both are similar in pushing artistic boundaries.
Wry, strange, self-mocking, subversive, acerbic, ironic, cynical, sarcastic, bitter, unconventional and of course surreal – are just some of the adjectives that spring to mind as you browse the unsettling Belgian art on display in a central Brussels venue until 24th January.
Now fully restored, with its chequered Flemish floors, semi-circular gallery and portico inspired by a Roman triumphal arch, the Rubenshuis, Ruben’s home in Antwerp, is one of the most popular attractions in a vibrant city, just under an hour’s train journey from Brussels.
I first came across the work of Delhi born artist Dayanita Singh in an exhibition and book, Myself Mona Ahmed (2001), a photo-essay about an aging eunuch transsexual (hijra) living in a graveyard in Old Delhi. In this extraordinary body of work – the book contains various different kinds of text alongside the photographs) – one sensed not only compassion, but a collaboration between the person in front of the camera, and the one looking through the lens.
It is always interesting to pinpoint the moment when one becomes conscious of a change of mood or orientation in contemporary artistic practices. Something has emerged that offers quite a different tonic. This ‘something’ might be termed ‘mindful matter’: it is materialism with a twist, or with a new twist.
When approached for an idea for an exhibition at Turner Contemporary, guest curator, Brian Dillon, editor of the arts magazine Cabinet, hit upon the concept of ‘curiosity’.
Lucy Chaloner reviews exhibitions by Shelley Wilson
… a new art installation by Sarah Strang at Union Chapel, Islington …