M HKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerp (BE)
Hedwig Houben’s artworks consider our relationship to objects, particularly how we live with them, and how they might play a role in the formation of our selfhood. The sculptures in her work are not presented as a definitive form, but as a starting point to reflect on how an object has become what it is – and what it can become in the future. The strange, temporary sculptures are often made from plasticine – a playful material that is easily deformable and has the potential to become something different – and function as characters with fully developed qualities.
In Houbens (HISK laureate 2011) performances, the making itself becomes part of the work. In this way, she exposes the process of making, in which every action generates new meanings. Her videos document performances that often present the artist talking from the perspective of the third person in dialogue with both herself and the sculpture she is making. This dialogue between each character – narrator, artist and object – is ultimately the central subject of the work, opening up ideas about personal subjectivity. Sweep, Tap, Swooooop is Houben's first solo exhibition in Belgium. It shows new work, alongside recent projects.
Hedwig Houben lives and works in Brussels. She studied at AKV|St.Joost in Breda (2002-2006), Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2006-2007), and the Flanders Higher Institute for Fine Arts/HISK (2010-2011). Houben won the Dutch Charlotte Köhler Prize in 2017. Her previous solo exhibitions include: You and I, Spike Island, Bristol (2016) and The Hand, the Eye and It, 1646, The Hague (2013). Her work has been on display in a variety of group exhibitions, including Lofoten Biennial (2015); UnScene, Wiels, Brussels (2015); Don't You Know Who I Am? Art After Identity Politics, M HKA, Antwerp (2014); and Six Possibilities for a Sculpture, La Loge, Brussels (2013).
Image: Hedwig Houben