For this group exhibition a number of people, closely associated with the museum, select students from those graduating this year from the art colleges in Ghent: the Academie voor Schone Kunsten and Sint-Lucas Hogeschool. For the third time this exhibition is to be staged in one of the halls at the S.M.A.K. museum. This year the space has been reserved where the ‘Kunst Nu’ (Art Now) exhibitions are held, an area which butts on to the circuit around the major S.M.A.K. summer exhibition ‘Gelijk het leven is’ (Just Like Life). Coming People does certainly not set out to be a hit parade featuring the so-called ‘best’ students. The choice is made on the basis of assembling works in relation to the spatial and technical limitations of this area. The idea of showing large-scale video projections was rejected at the outset. So the exhibition is only a pointer, a cross-section which unfortunately has to decline acceptance to the same number of talented young artists as it is able to include. Coming People aims to give an impression of the extent to which young artists are represented in terms of the evolution within contemporary art.
Nick Ervinck (Mixed Media, Academie) is working on an endlessly expanding registry of shapes which seeds a fascinating exchange between virtual constructions and handmade sculptures. Digital images constantly invade the three-dimensional forms and vice versa. To achieve this, Ervinck deploys a wide range of expressive media: digital prints, video, drawings and especially sculptural shapes of painted plaster and polyester which are painstakingly presented in a particular space. Mekhitar Garabedians (Photography, Academie) video ‘Beirut 1963’ starts with an old crumpled family photo. A photo where the creases have a story to tell. Slowly the creases disappear, a perfect image appears, only to be crumpled once more. In the background ‘Happy Birthday’ is being sung in Armenian, Arabic, French, Dutch and English. The consecutive languages reflect the eventful scattering this family experienced. The apparent merriment of the song is in stark contrast with the tragic fate of a community left to wander. Eleni Paschalidis’ video (Ceramics, Sint-Lucas) is an exceptional combination of space, light and sound which together form a complete entity. The light flashes through chinks and cracks in a (self-built) space to the music of Rachmaninov. Paschalidis’ work involves exploring space and boundaries, the body’s relationship to shape and material. Sometimes the intrusion is scarcely perceptible because of their fragility and subtlety and therefore this exhibit requires careful attention on the part of the visitor.
A desire for expansionism seems to be the keyword in Matthieu Ronsse’s oeuvre (Painting, Sint-Lucas). But it is an expansionism with a clear-cut constructive policy that redefines and demarcates. As well as paintings, Ronsse makes architectural constructions and sculptures which are in proportion to his self-built areas. Both are invariably built from ‘used’ materials: left-over wood, polystyrene foam, items which have been found and bring their own history with them. The bric-à-brac constructions reallocate the space and introduce a human and poetical aspect. Lotte Van den Audenaeren (Mixed Media, Academie) chose to work in situ with existing forms, rasters and planes. In this she explores the various possibilities, thereafter omitting parts, just enough to prolong the effect of the raster. Her work is a quest, an evaluation of potential, the boundary where meaning or an interpretation both of and with the surroundings comes into being. Hannes Vanseveren (Sculpture, Sint-Lucas). A seven-metre long silicone sausage is fastened into a wall and supported in two places. The shape and the situation is strange. Why would a meaningless silicone sausage need to be supported? Within this question the supports lose their initial value, and that is the support of an ‘interested’ (significant) object. Hannes Vanseveren removes significance from objects or moves the carriers of significance.