Richard Venlet – Paramount Basics (Extended)


MuHKA, Antwerpen

21 September 2002 - 24 November 2002

This spring, the Brussels artist Richard Venlet (°1963, Australia) represented our country at the twenty-fifth Biennial in São Paulo. This one-man exhibition was adopted as the starting point for a new presentation in the M HKA: the original concept was unfolded and turned inside out and evolved into an exhibition with fifteen artists.

This project should not necessarily be considered to be a group exhibition, but rather as a 'cultural agglomeration'. For the artists were not gathered together for some or other external reason, but on the basis of a natural, historically developed relationship: connections, contacts and networks which already existed between them and their works of art. This will be one of the lines for special attention for the museum's artistic policy: how the autonomy of art and contextualisation can go together. 
Richard Venlet's work is as such already very conscious of contexts and relationships. Venlet likes to intervene in the architectural context of an exhibition space, such as the impressive, ninety-metre long, mirrored wall which literally divides the ground floor of the M HKA into two. He himself also creates contexts, for example the mobile exhibition room he designed for São Paulo, in which a new presentation will be exhibited in the M HKA every week (see plan). He enters into a relationship with the viewer and invites him to participate, sometimes even literally, as in the chalk room where visitors can leave messages for each other and for the artist. 
Apart from work by Richard Venlet, this extension of Paramount Basics presents (the transcending essential) work by Dirk Braeckman, Manon De Boer, Dany Deprez, Christoph Fink, Geert Goiris, Ann Veronica Janssens, Aglaia Konrad, Willem Oorebeek, Christophe Terlinden, Koen Theys, Harald Thys, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Michael Van den Abeele and Gert Verhoeven. In this context the museum tries to be an open square, a meeting place where the works of art are grouped in a new coherence around Venlet's mirrored wall and make room for the viewer. 

In parallel with this exhibition, the monograph '00' on Richard Venlet will be published, which came about thanks to the Flemish Community and the patronage of the Cera Foundation.

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