Galerie van der Mieden, Dansaertstraat 196, Brussel
Steve Van den Bosch
A few weeks ago, two things occurred in what seemed to be a minute. I just drove out from a parking spot when in front of me at a small crossroads two cars, identical in brand, colour and type and moving at approximately the same speed, nearly crashed into each other in a perfect angle, missing each other by a hair’s breadth. While driving on I couldn’t help but feel that we all just escaped an immeasurable catastrophe. As if everything would have eclipsed into nothingness if they did crash. Slightly confused I drove on, until I had to stop at a traffic light. Crossing the street were two very old men, perfect twins, wearing precisely the same unmatching jacket and trousers and having the same thin greyish skin that drew identical shadows on their bony faces. Even their hair, or what was left of it, was meticulously combed the same way. When they slowly walked by my car they were leisurely looking around in an odd kind of way, giving the impression that they were looking around for each other, not for themselves. They did this in such a way as if whatever one was observing was fluently transmitted to the other and vice versa; as if one of them was permanently absent and being represented by the other. The question was: which one and when?
A neon replacing and referring to another, hypothetical neon that would represent the volume of the space it’s exhibited in and therefore reducing that same volume turns the room into a speculative space. From the back comes an isolated sentence, I know but when you ask me, I don’t. It reads like a banal, absentminded answer to a number of possible –usually trivial- questions or as a more lucid, philosophical reply, to the question of time for example (by Augustine in his Confessions). Being interested in both and attempting to transform the sentence into its content, or lack of it, the sentence was stretched to match the gallery’s opening hours. There’s continuous irregular static and the silent intervals between words, sometimes lasting an hour, depending when you come in and how long you stay. On the back of a wall, or the front, depending where you cross it, is an absent work.
Each work seems to annul itself, shifting away from any useful goal to the extent that they derail into a pointless autonomy. This is where I was hoping to find them from the outset, the point where I lose them, where they end up temporarily posing as fixtures in real estate -like abandoned counters, sinks, false ceilings or other, more indefinable things- both disturbing and confirming the view on the space that holds them, pointing outwards to whatever it is that holds the space that holds them. Products partially detached from their source, becoming new sources for other products and places. How could I turn this place into a nowhere for a while? In retrospect this question was there all along, but hiding.
Steve Van den Bosch