press release

It is common knowledge that since the middle of the last century artists increasingly diverge from the well-known forms of art. The time is long gone when we only found paintings, drawings, graphics and sculptures in art. However, it is difficult to get an impression just how varied the practice of art is nowadays. Therefore, since 2003, the MuHKA has been devoting its large summer exhibition to a particular form in contemporary art – an art form that is less well known, but therefore not less important. In 2003 the multiple came to the fore, in 2004 the artist's book was in the spotlight and this summer it is the turn of the ensemble.

What is an ensemble? By definition, an ensemble consists of various elements. The elements belong together, but in a flexible way. For example, think of a woman's ensemble in which the various items of clothing can be worn together, but they can also be combined with others; or of a music ensemble in which different musicians play together but in which the individual members can also vary.

In the last few years, in the visual arts too we see more and more ensembles emerging: the artist brings various elements ensemble (together). These elements exhibit mutual connection, but the relationships can change. Unlike an installation, which also involves several elements together forming an entity, the ensemble is a dynamic art form. With an installation, the parts are 'installed' and the place they take up in the whole is fixed. At each consecutive presentation the installation will look the same. With an ensemble, the parts are brought together and their place varies according to the presentation, so that an ensemble can look and mean something different every time.

The ensemble is an attractive form for contemporary artists: thoughts, images, activities and meanings can be associated, so that they transcend themselves. They retain their independence in the whole, but by bringing them together the artist gives the viewer the opportunity to 'read between the lines'. With an ensemble, the viewer can follow how the artist works and associates: by having works of art form a relationship, much becomes clear on the links and processes that are involved in an artist's oeuvre. An ensemble throws a unique light on the artist's way of thinking.

In cooperation with: Stichting Beeldende Kunst Middelburg / De Vleeshal


only in german

Kurator: Leen De Backer

mit Francis Alÿs, Jimmie Durham, Roza El-Hassan, Mona Hatoum, Cameron Jamie, Fransje Killaars, Suchan Kinoshita, Aernout Mik, Paul Perry, Jouke Kleerebezem, Pipilotti Rist, Eran Schaerf, Nedko Solakov