We are pleased to present this exhibition that brings together internationally renowned artists such as Peter Downsbrough, Dan Graham and Stephen Shore and younger emerging artists, around the idea of territory. The exhibition is part of the OFF(icial) program of the contemporary art fair Art Brussels. We hope to draw attention to these artists as well as the activity of a cultural venue still very little known in Brussels.
The title of the exhibition YOU ARE HERE evokes this small universal logo (two concentric red circles) you can find on some street maps. It has a convenient and reassuring function to locate one other in an environment. It is therefore the accuracy of a location that fits in a space, a concept that denotes a scope, but also the perception thereof. Space is therefore perceived as the shape of our sensory experience. This leads us to the notion of territory, which serves as a guideline for this exhibition.
The territory is defined as an area described by a legal, a natural or a cultural specificity. In their Dictionnaire de la géographie et de l'espace des sociétés, J. Levy and M. Lussault offered a good definition: "The arrangement of material and symbolic resources capable of structuring the practical conditions for the existence of an individual or a social group and to provide feedback to this individual or this social group on its own collective identity." Whatever its nature, a territory implies the existence of borders (in the case of a "Political" territory) or limits (for a "natural" territory).
Contemporary art itself can be perceived as a territory in constant redefinition. When producing of forms, representating the world, and enhancing perception, Contemporary art builds its own space. It does not mean a closed and motionless world. Art is a form of exploration of life, a permanent re-write of our world. Some artists have developed, through various artistic commitments, subtle thinking of the space, the scope, the limit and of course the landscape, placing them each in their own way, a mark (trace) eminently constitutive the idea of territory. "To establish a territory, it's almost the birth of art" says Deleuze, and gestures of an animal that marks its territory is actually not that far from that of man, moving and acting on within a space, both real and abstract, it sets limits, both physical and mental, determining a particular power and action field.
The exhibition YOU ARE HERE brings together contemporary artists who address the notion of territory. Its purpose is neither exhaustive nor historical or analytical. This theme is a common denominator that links the work of artists from different generations, different locations and that are using various media such as photography, video, drawing, painting or sculpture. The practices of these contemporary artists illustrate the porosity of cultural, political, economic and social fields. The exhibition approaches themes such as the perception of space and its (un)restrictions (Dan GRAHAM, Peter DOWNSBROUGH), exploration of a territory (Stephen SHORE), the stigma of the landscape (Frederic FOURDINIER / Michel MAZZONI), mobility and transition space (CASPAR), over-borders spread (Valentin SOUQUET / Emilie PISCHEDDA) or an intimate approach to mapping (Katie HOLTEN).
This show takes place at the cultural venue VRAC/L’ESCAUT (Laboratory of artistic experimentation in connection with an architecture studio). The choice of the theme is obviously related to the activity of this unique place in Brussels.