BXL x EMERGENT
08/05 - 06/06, Emergent, Veurne
On the occasion of BXL x Emergent Jan Mot presents works by Francis Alÿs, Andrea Büttner, Manon de Boer and Mario Garcia Torres. Without this presentation being conceived as a thematic exhibition, themes such as vulnerability, fragility, ephemerality and infinity are a common thread running through this selection of works. As contradictory as bringing together transcience, weakness and persistence might seem, they are inherent to passage of time, strength of a voice or notion of precarity.
Biographies of the artists
Francis Alÿs (1959, Belgium, lives and works in Mexico City) Trained as an architect and urbanist, Francis Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1986 to work with local NGO’s. In 1990 he entered the field of visual arts. His practice embraces multiple media, from painting and drawing to video and photography.
Although his studio is based in Mexico City, he has done over the last 20 years numerous projects in collaboration with local communities around the world, from South America to North Africa and Middle East. For example, in Peru he produced an event where 500 volunteers moved a sand dune just a few centimeters (When Faith Moves Mountains, Lima, 2002).
Since 2016 he has been engaged in a series of new projects in Iraq, such as Hopscotch (2016), produced in collaboration with the Yazidi Refugee Camp of Sharya, Duhok, Iraq, or Color Matching (2016), filmed while being embedded with Kurdish forces during the siege of Mosul. In 2020 he premiered the feature film Sandlines produced in collaboration with Julien Devaux and the children of a small mountain village of the Nineveh province in festivals such as Sundance, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Mexico City’s Ficunam.
Francis Alÿs has had solo exhibitions in museums worldwide, such as the Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, 2020, Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), Shanghai, 2018; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2018; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 2017; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana, Havana, 2016; Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, 2015; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany, and Kabul, Afghanistan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2013; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, 2011; Tate Modern, London, 2010; Bass Museum of Art, Miami, 2009; Dia Art Foundation, New York, 2007; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2007; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2005; Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona, 2005; Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2003; Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, 1997, among others.
He was awarded the Blue Orange prize in 2004, the Vincent Award in 2008, the BACA-laureate prize in 2010, the EYE Art & Film Prize from EYE Filmmuseum in 2018. In 2020, he received the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Award and the Rolf Schock prize in Visual Arts. In 2022 Alÿs will represent Belgium at the Venice Biennale.
Andrea Büttner (1972 in Stuttgart, lives and works in Berlin) connects art history with social or ethical issues, exploring broad-ranging topics such as poverty, labour, community, Catholicism, music, botany, and philosophy. Her work is based on thorough research into specific areas or situations, and she often appropriates or references other artists and thinkers including HAP Grieshaber, Corita Kent, Immanuel Kant, Gwen John, Andy Warhol, Dieter Roth and Simone Weil. Her diverse practice is articulated through formats encompassing print, sculpture, weaving, but also photography, video, instruction pieces, and works with live moss and wet clay.
Büttner studied at the Royal College of Art in London, Humboldt University of Berlin, and Berlin University of the Arts. She was a nominee of the 2017 Turner Prize and is a winner of the 2009 Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Exhibitions include documenta 13 (2012), Sao Paulo Biennial (2010 and 2018) and solo exhibitions at Museum Ludwig Cologne (2014), Walker Art Center (2014), Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (2017), Kunsthalle Wien (2016) and Hammer Museum Los Angeles (2017).
Manon de Boer (1966 in Kodaicanal (IN) lives and works in Brussels). De Boer works with film. The experience of time pervades the work of Manon de Boer. This is an extended experience of time, firmly anchored in the conditions of creation that incessantly produces a present and presence and resists a normative, functional and productive concept of time.
Her work has been exhibited internationally, at the Venice Biennial (2007), Berlin Biennial (2008), São Paulo Biennial (2010), Documenta (2012), Taipei Biennial (2016) and has also been included in numerous film festivals in Hong Kong, Marseille, Rotterdam and Vienna. Her work has been the subject of monographic exhibitions at Witte de With in Rotterdam (2008), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2008), South London Gallery (2010), Contemporary Art Museum of St Louis (2011), Museum of Art Philadelphia (2012), Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven (2013), Secession Vienna (2016), National Gallery Prague (2019) and Gulbenkian Museum in Lissabon (2020), among others.
Mario García Torres (1975, Monclova (MX) lives and works in Mexico City and Los Angeles). Over the past twenty years, his work has questioned the stability of such concepts as time, memory, image, and the very essence of the artist’s role in society. An artist deeply interested in uncertainty and counter-narratives, his work blurs the space between fact and fiction through research and a wide range of storytelling strategies. His recent solo exhibitions include Illusion Brought Me Here, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and WIELS, Brussels (2019); Caminar juntos, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2016); An Arrival Tale, TBA21, Vienna (2016); Mario García Torres, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Until It Makes Sense, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2013); ¿Alguna vez has visto la nieve caer?, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2010). He has also participated in Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017); Manifesta 11, Zurich (2016); Berlin Biennale 8 (2014); Bienal do Mercosul 9 (2013); and Documenta 13 (2012).