For about a year, Ilke Cop and Luca Vanello worked in residence at Barak Lili M, Pilar's breeding ground for young, artistic and cultural entrepreneurs. This exhibition completes their residency.
In the months leading up to Folded : Whites, Ilke Cop moved her studio to Pilar's exhibition space. The works she produced here were therefore created in relation to the space.
Flowing fabrics and round shapes contrast with the sleek architecture.
The artist limits her color palette for this exhibition to green and white. White as an echo of the white box of the exhibition space, an often challenged, yet cherished concept in contemporary art. But choosing white means much more: “White is a luxury, a privilege,” Cop says, “it expects a certain sterility and care and that's not something that everyone can afford.” The link to the issue of white privilege, a common theme in Cop's practice, is quickly made, but the concept of gender inequality is also touched upon here. White is the color of purity, virginity, something that is expected of the feminine, but also the title Folded : Whites immediately brings to mind the household tasks traditionally performed by women.
Green textiles contrast with this, hinting at the artist's usually exuberant color palette.
Cop experiments with new forms and media. Her first sculptural work, a bust of the artist herself is presented here. However, a movement towards more abstraction can be noticed in the smaller paintings. The boundary between the decorative and the substantive is brought to a head and sometimes disappears completely. By integrating substances as partitions in the space, this boundary is explored even more.
In his practice, Luca Vanello investigates how we can achieve new forms of 'togetherness' through art. In doing so, he questions the predominance of the human perspective. He creates hybrid sculptures where organic material fused with plastics form a new body. How does humanity relate to the changing environment to which it belongs? Both technological and organic materials are part of this issue. Plant leaves that he uses in his work are transformed. After a soak in a chemical bath, the chlorophyll that retains the green color disappears. The leaves are then hung to dry before being treated with a natural oil. The organic material comes to a standstill but the shape is preserved. It makes us think about how humanity often intervenes in natural processes and harbors ambitions to extend life as long as possible.
Produced by Dries Boutsen