Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

„Life is Perfect“

This is the title that Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven has chosen for her new exhibition in the Galerie Barbara Thumm. It is a statement full of uncertainties. Does Van Kerckhoven (although of course as a Belgian she does not think in German) refer to something finished in grammatical terms, as defined by the Duden, ‘the German perfect tense is used for actions that have been completed’, or does she use ‘perfect’ as an adjective in the sense of pristine, unblemished? To speak of life in these terms seems problematic, and in the light of current circumstances almost provocatively utopian.

Van Kerckhoven explicitly refers to a book by Raoul Vaneigem published in 1979,
Le livre des plaisirs (The Book of Pleasures). All this further complicates possible interpretations since Vaneigem’s book is about pleasures and not about life. Should the chapters chosen by Van Kerckhoven be read as an instruction for a perfect life, or rather as a manifesto about the (completed) life in the perfect tense?

Born in 1934 in Belgium, Raoul Vaneigem, together with Guy Debord, Asger Jorn and others, became a co-founder and activist of the Situationist International in 1961. He contributed and shaped many of the ideas of this avant-garde movement, which he left in 1970. Today he lives in Barcelona.

In essence, this movement favoured anarchism and rejected norms, valuing the individuality of every person in society. A self-determined life can be found through poetry and freedom. There could be no better description of Van Kerckhoven’s own ambition to follow the path of these (utopian) aims through visual art, literature and music. Her all-encompassing aspiration is reflected in the broad range of media she uses.

The group of works in this exhibition gives visual expression to a phenomenon which can be described with the term ‘translation’. Through quotes, Van Kerckhoven connects her work to a book which has fascinated and inspired her, and she responds to these ideals in the language of a very different medium. While these instructions for individual happiness are clear and concrete when expressed in words, they seem abstract when turned into material, form and colour. This nonverbal translation appeals to our senses: While words express aims and aspirations and give instructions for action, the images inspired by them create meditation in the abstraction of what forms the composition. Alternating geometrical patches of colour express a tension between figure and ground. Oscillating between foreground and background, they evoke the movement of the act of seeing. Here and there, we can see elements of a figuration which seems to have been modelled on a photograph and thus expresses a moment of memory and of the past.

This takes us back to the ‘perfect’ state of something that has been completed. In times like ours, ‘Life is perfect’ is a statement that can only be understood as an anarchic invitation to work towards a perfect, flawless life through self-discovery and artistic self-esteem. It is also an invitation to the viewer to engage with this translation.

Friedrich Meschede

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Artist says Hi!, 2021
Digital print on gesso and wood with a printed and painted plexiglass layer on top
75 x 96 cm
18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Maintenant le monde à l’envers atteint son point de renversement
(Schoonheid en Sterkte)
Beauty and Strength, 2020 / 2021
2 layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
75 x 96 x 2,4 cm
18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Il n’y a d’autre issue que la mort ou la suprématie de la jouissance comme gratuité
(Melancholie en Evenwicht)
Melancholy and Balance, 2020 / 2021
2 layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
75 x 96 x 2,4 cm
18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Il n’y a d’autre issue que la mort ou la renaissance de l’enfant en chacun
(Kerstmis op afstand)
Christmas at a Distance, 2020 / 2021
2 layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
75 x 96 x 2,4 cm
18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Il n’y a d’autre issue que la mort ou la suprématie de la nouvelle innocence
(Kind en de Ruimte)
Child and Space, 2020 / 2021
2 layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
75 x 96 x 2,4 cm
18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Il n’y a d’autre issue que la mort ou la renaissance de l’enfant en chacun
(Kerstmis op afstand)
Christmas at a Distance, 2020 / 2021
2 layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
75 x 96 x 2,4 cm
18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
De l’ennui des plaisirs de survie naît le plaisir du renversement de perspective
(Antwerpen 2020)
Antwerpen 2020, 2020 / 2021
2 layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
75 x 96 x 2,4 cm
18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
A bas le choix individuel entre la mort et l’expansion illimitée de nos désirs de vie!
(Architectuur en Utopie)
Architecture and Utopia, 2020 / 2021
2 layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
75 x 96 x 2,4 cm
18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
A – X+ B = 12, 2020 (excerpt)
Video
33:00min

18.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Symmetrisch Contact in en uit de klassieke ruimte /
Symmetrical Contact in and out of classical space, 2020 / 2021
Digital print and acrylic paint on plexiglass
136 x 141 cm
26.500 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Spiritist Lounge, 2021
Oil pastel, pastel and colour pencil on paper
40,9 x 59,3 cm
7.200 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Rust en Tijd, 2017
Ink, oil pastel, pastel, colour pencil and glitter on pastel paper
30,5 x 22,9 cm
5.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Un Jardin en Méditerran, 2020
Ink oil pastel, pastel and colour pencil on paper
36 x 27 cm
6.000 EUR

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Orakel, 2006
Mixed media on paper
framed 32 x 52 x 3,5 cm
6.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Sternfliesse mit Mutterfiguren, 2006
Mixed media on paper
framed 32 x 52 x 3,5 cm
6.000 EUR incl. VAT

 

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Systems of Status, 2006
Mixed media on paper
framed 32 x 52 x 3,5 cm
6.000 EUR incl. VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Dwingend Interieur, 1975
pencil on paper
28,7 x 35,5 cm
7.500 EUR incl. VAT

 

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Schuine Richtingen, 1978
ink on paper
27 x 36 cm
7.500 EUR incl VAT

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Ook een Tafel, 1976
ink on paper
19,5 x 36 cm
7.5000 EUR incl. VAT

 

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