Amerikaans Imperialisme [American Imperialism]

Lili Dujourie



Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK7189).

American Imperialism brings to a close Lili Dujourie’s early working period from 1967 to 1972. It references minimalism, a mainly American movement in the art of the sixties that included such artists as Donald Judd, Carl Andre and Richard Serra. But the title voices critique of the beginning global dominance of minimalist sculpture, as well as the imperial politics that accompanied it. Dujourie’s response was to work even more minimally. In the late sixties she produced sculptures from iron sheet and rods. She soon became interested in the struggle between balance and gravity. A steel sheets is leaning against the wall, creating a triangular space of emtiness. The wall is painted except for the area behind the sheet. This is a crucial element. The interruption of the monochrome wall can be interpreted as a subtle condemnation of the superficiality of internationalism. This is the part that remains unpainted, unspoiled. The work embodies Dujourie’s analysis of seeing, of looking at art, and her acceptance of the limitations that come with each art practice. During the same years she was developing a pioneering and very personal practice as a video artist. One can never see an object in its entirety, whether it is still or moving. This opening between the sheet and the wall is a reference to a hidden past and present.

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