press release

In Fall 2003, Middelheim Museum will play host to the contemporary artist Ann Veronica Janssens. She was born in Folkstone (England) in 1956, and lives and works in Brussels.

She almost always sets to work in a minimal way, but without then really belonging to the minimalist current. Often her interventions are simple, seizing on primary forms and using industrial materials. She always works in situ and her work also always has to do with space: an open or closed space, full or empty, small or extended. In every exhibition space she carries out her interventions, be they miniscule or complex. Many of these manipulations stand in correlation with the architecture of the particular building or place where she exhibits. Here the viewer comes to see and experience this surrounding space in a totally different way.

The materials she employs are quite diverse. She sometimes uses concrete blocks or bricks - perhaps packed in aluminium foil - and glass or mirrors. Light is thus often reflected, as is the adjoining environment, and this provides for a surprising optical effect. She also makes benches where the sitter's own body-heat creates a personal thermal impression. Sound is also used to suffuse the artist's own accent, to occupy the space. In other of her art works she relies solely on a few words to summon up memories or associations on the viewer's part.

In the new exhibition grounds she is building a professional tennis wall where visitors will be able to practise to their heart's content. A ball machine of her own invention will provide the finishing touch. On the ventilating shafts of the Craeybeckx underpass she will install letters. The bicycle she designed at an earlier date will be another attraction; ten of them will be placed at the disposal of visitors wishing to explore the park. She will install benches all over the park. The shutters of the castle are covered with glass.

A text by Anne Veronica Janssens will appear in the porch of the Braempavilion and in the interior a videoprojection is shown. Finally, she is planning to make a smoke installation in a small building in Middelheim-laag.


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Ann Veronica Janssens