Press release: First time curator Wouter van de Koot sets the story at the heart of ‘Setting the Scene’.
Antwerp based art space Factor 44 and debuting curator Wouter van de Koot combine forces to investigate the role of the narrative in contemporary art in the exhibition ‘Setting the Scene’. The five participating artists share a pronounced taste for the staged image, using their respective medium as the theatre in which the characters find shape and story. “Setting the Scene” will examine the narrative as a quest for meaning.
Tim Ceustermans- Deschepper
Wouter van de Koot
Mathieu V. Staelens
Tim Ceustermans-Deschepper (1975) , is a multidisciplinary artist who presents his brand new monumental paintings in this exhibition. At the heart of his work is the interaction between the theatrical presence of his characters and the setting in which they are located. His realistic style and soft brush strokes give his work an elegance which on closer inspection begins to pry, and raises questions about the psychology of the depicted figures.
The work of Linda Molenaar (1972) comes about through performances in which ‘animal images ‘ take the lead role. They are images which the viewer recognizes, consciously or unconsciously, and to which one can give its own interpretation. Characteristic of her performances is the search for stillness, as a condition to see things more clear. She manages to give an absurdist quality to everyday actions , in a humorous and accessible manner.
Wouter van de Koot (1978), the initiator of this exhibition, presents his most recent series of paintings, “Undone & Covered ‘. A series of small, concise works on panel show the fragments of a possible story via sinister figures and ritual acts.
Non-public performances, built around a central protagonist such as The Surgeon or The Hooded Man form the basis for these paintings and for his delicate, almost ethereal drawings.
What would an exhibition investigating the narrative be without an anti-narrative gesture? For Casper Verborg (1981), it’s not the painting that tells a story but the interpreter. That is precisely why Verborg uses a technique which disrupts the dimensional stability. The layered surfaces of his paintings are as fickle as the scenes they reflect. Casper Verborg shows a selection of works that were not previously exhibited in Antwerp.
Mathieu v. Staelens (1980) finally, examines the current status of beauty, happiness and meaning. Staelens refers to Ensor’s idea of a masquerade of values, which he further develops into a symbiosis of mask and carrier. He shows a selection of recent sculptures and miniature drawings in which he evokes tension between the aesthetics of the images and their often threatening content with great craftsmanship and feeling for detail.