IN SITU: Hedwig Houben – SWEEP, TAP, SWOOOOOP
M HKA, Antwerp
18 May 2019 - 25 August 2019
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. 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. The resulting sculptures, often made from material such as plasticine, have the appearance of being unusual transitory forms, with ascribed personalities such as ‘It’, ‘The Hand’ or ‘The Other’. This dialogue between each character – narrator, artist and object – is ultimately the central subject of the work, opening up ideas about personal subjectivity.
For her exhibition at M HKA, which will be her first solo exhibition in Belgium, Houben is presenting a new series of works, alongside recent projects. A new work titled Phewzlopffffffff (2019) is a performance and script comprising a dialogue on the relations between a set of characters – a series of plaster sculptures named ‘Homer’, a character called ‘Body’ performed by the artist, and the audience in a role named ‘X’. This new project is exhibited together with the recent work De Freule en de Gladiool (The Mistress and the Gladiola) (2017), which documents the spectrum of emotions felt by the artist’s parents-in-law after being given the challenge of living with a conspicuous artwork the artist inserted in their home, and the work Borborygmus (2017) based on a performance using onomatopoeic noises to portray the internal digestion of her character ‘I’.
Hedwig Houben lives and works in Brussels. Her artistic training took place at AKV/St. Joost, Breda (2002-2006); Art Academy Düsseldorf (2006-2007); and the Higher Institute for Fine Arts Flanders (HISK) (2010-2011). Houben was recipient of the Charlotte Köhler Prize in 2017. Her previous solo exhibitions have included: You and I, Spike Island, Bristol (2016) and The Hand, the Eye and It, 1646, The Hague (2013). Group exhibitions include: Lofoten Biennial, Lofoten (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).
Performance: 19 May, 2pm, as part of Antwerp Art Weekend
Official Opening: 6 June 2019