Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven: Life is Perfect

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Open: By Appointment

Markgrafenstrasse 68, D-10969, Berlin, Germany
Open: By Appointment


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Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven: Life is Perfect

Berlin

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven: Life is Perfect
to Sat 17 Apr 2021
By Appointment

Galerie Barbara Thumm presents new works by Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven in her sixth solo exhibition at the gallery. Entitled „Life is Perfect“, the exhibition features new works which combine layers of prints on wood and gesso with painted plexiglass.

Artworks

Artist says Hi!, 2021

Digital print on gesso and wood with a printed and painted plexiglass layer on top
75 x 96 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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Rust en Tijd, 2017

Ink, oil pastel, pastel, colour pencil and glitter on pastel paper
30,5 x 22,9 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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Un Jardin en Méditerran, 2020

Ink oil pastel, pastel and colour pencil on paper
framed 42,6 x 33,6 x 3 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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Spiritist Lounge, 2021

Oil pastel, pastel and colour pencil on paper
framed 50 x 68,3 x 3,5 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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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

Two layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
framed 98 x 77 x 4,5 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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Il n'y a d'autre issue que la mort ou la suprématie de l' intelligence sensuelle (Het Nest van de Natie) The Nest of the Nation, 2020 / 2021

Two layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
framed 98 x 77 x 4,5 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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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

Two layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
framed 98 x 77 x 4,5 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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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

Two layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
framed 98 x 77 x 4,5 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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De l'ennui des plaisirs de survie naît le plaisir du renversement de perspective (Antwerpen 2020) Antwerpen 2020, 2020 / 2021

Two layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
framed 98 x 77 x 4,5 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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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

Two layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
framed 98 x 77 x 4,5 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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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
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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Maintenant le monde à l'envers atteint son point de renversement (Schoonheid en Sterkte) Beauty and Strength, 2020 / 2021

Two layer digital image on wood with gesso and plexiglass, in wooden frame
framed 98 x 77 x 4,5 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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Life is Perfect after „Le Livre des plaisirs“, Raoul Vaneigem, 1979, 2020 / 2021

Print on Forex
112,5 x 180 cm
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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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

Exhibition view Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Life is Perfekt, Galerie Barbara Thumm, 2021, Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul, Courtesy Galerie Barbara Thumm and Zeno X Gallery

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