Drawing parallels at Artefact 2019 in Belgium

Visitors created their own path as they explored contemporary visual arts, current events and societal challenges at the Artefact 2019 expo held in Belgium earlier this year.

by Sukanya Garg Published on : Jul 16, 2019

On February 21, 2019, STUK - House for Dance, Image & Sound, was taken over by Artefact 2019, an exhibition and festival on the crossroads of contemporary visual arts, current events and societal challenges. The festival was organised in Leuven, Belgium, between February 21 and March 10, 2019.

  1. "Walk during a few moments very consciously in a certain direction; simultaneously an infinite number of living creatures in the universe are moving in an infinite number of directions" – Stanley Brouwn in Art & Project Bulletin 11, 1969

‘Parallel Crossings’, the theme for this year’s Artefact expo, took the text by late Dutch artist Stanley Brouwn mentioned above as its starting and crossing point. Brouwn developed in his body of work a relation to the world, a relation which he constantly requalified by the act of walking and the use and reconsideration of measurements, distances and movements.

Installation view 2, Artefact 2019| Artefact 2019: Parallel Crossings| STIR
Installation view 2, Artefact 2019 Image Credit: Joeri Thiry

Human beings, nature, money, data, goods, all around us, nearby or far away, everything is continuously in flux. The artists in this exhibition did not position themselves in the focal points of current events. They moved quietly and unravelled the deeper nature of mankind as a species in constant motion. Through factual and imaginary movements in time and space, worlds find their ever-changing forms.

Installation view 3, Artefact 2019| Artefact 2019: Parallel Crossings| STIR
Installation view 3, Artefact 2019 Image Credit: Joeri Thiry

Curated by Pieter-Paul Mortier and Karen Verschooren, the exhibition featured works by 15 artists and collectives which revealed untold stories and offered new perspectives on familiar, yet complex arguments. The list of participating artists included Ismaïl Bahri, Jim Campbell, Lygia Clark, Dušica Dražić, Alia Syed, Jorge Macchi, Renata Lucas, Tony Cruz Pabón, Christoph Fink, Marjolijn Dijkman, Maria Thereza Alves, Migrant Journal, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Luke Fowler, and Sven Augustijnen.

Installation view 4, Artefact 2019| Artefact 2019: Parallel Crossings| STIR
Installation view 4, Artefact 2019 Image Credit: Joeri Thiry

In addition, the sound programme zoomed in on the musician as a travelling artist in an ever more connected world. The sound programme participants included Partners, Colin Self & Echo Collective, NKISI, Ellen Arkbro, Gamelan Voices, Maja Ratkje & Katarina Barruk, Ben Vince, Alabaster deplume, Moses Boyd Solo X, Charlotte Adigéry, DJ Marcelle, Bjeor, Musarc Choir & Greta Eacott, Rudy Trouvé & Gunter Nagels, Stefaan Quix & ChampdAction, Siona Houthuys & Berten Vanderbruggen, Het nieuwstedelijk,  Klankverbond, Sint-Jan-de-Doperkerk.

Installation view 5, Artefact 2019| Artefact 2019: Parallel Crossings| STIR
Installation view 5, Artefact 2019 Image Credit: Joeri Thiry

A selection of lectures, workshops, films and performances further offered the possibility to continue exploration at this new edition of the festival, which also became a common ground for different movements that at some point touched or crossed each other.


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About Author

Sukanya Garg

Sukanya Garg

Garg is an artist and writer with a Master's degree in Public Policy from Duke University, USA. She has been involved in research, planning and execution of gallery exhibitions and external projects in collaboration with curators. Her writing has been published in several art magazines, journals and as part of curatorial notes and catalogues, and her work has been showcased at multiple exhibitions.


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