As I said before, I really like going to dr. Guislain museum in Gent. This summer it’s time for the exhibition “Museum Dirk de Wachter”. Dirk de Wachter is a psychiatrist who collaborated with the museum to create an exhibition. He believes that art can help people. “[the exhibition] examines the way contemporary art represents today’s society and the current time, and reveals the shortcomings and possibilities in its own language.”
We started our visit at the same time as a group of elderly women who happened to be accompanied by a guide. Since the rooms of the museum aren’t made for a present voice and I didn’t pay for the tour, we had to wait until our roads seperated and they were very far away. I don’t know if this aspect of presence of a group played any role in my appreciation of the exhibition, but at the end I felt a bit unfulfilled and I left with so many questions.
My knowledge of all the work on display isn’t that great, but I personally think it’s not always about the richness of your knowledge. An aesthetic aspect can play parts in liking an exhibition or not. That doesn’t take away that I did find some of the pieces very interesting, before even reading the cards next to the pieces.
The photos of Michiel de Cleene revolve around architecture. In this serie he portrays the changes that take place in the citylandscapes in Poland. The left piece has most of the image filled with decayed buildings. Whereas in the left top corner, in a subtle way, suddenly a modern building appears.
Koen Fillet produces pieces that aren’t accompanied by any stories. He leaves room for the viewer to construct their own interpretation of the image. Although this work is accompanied by a title “The man who pushes the emptiness”, it still leaves enough room to make up your own mind about it. I haven’t really made up my mind yet, I still have a lot of questions. Like, what is the emptiness? Is it something personal or collective? Can it be materialized since it’s represented as a ball? Why a ball? .. I could go on and on about this piece. This is why I like it.
Orlan, a woman that I’ve always find interesting but never really immersed myself into her work. I’ve seen images and know that she uses her body as a canvas. The thing I’ve learned through the exhibition is that she tries to push the boundaries of beautystandards in different cultures. Very fascinating how her work is performance art and at the same time it can be hung in a museum.
I was blown away by the video that they showed. I couldn’t find an english version, and the automatic subtitles on youtube don’t really work, so I’ll try my best to explain it. The video consists of a monologue by Dirk de Wachter, accompanied by a lot of images. He talks about the constantly changing time, the way we construct a persona on the internet, the way we interact with each other, how young people seek adventure and adrenalin but still feel so empty sometimes. I was really blown away by this monologue. I’ve noticed that the young people stayed and watched the video, while older people may feel less attachment to this theme related to the new generation.
Koen van den Broek
The sculpture of Judith Scott fascinated me. She uses all kinds of colourful material to wrap around different everyday objects. I was curious to know what she wrapped up for this piece. I might have found the shadow a bit more interesting than the sculpture itself.
Viviane Joakim photographs the private offices of psychiatrists. These are two photos of her serie Secrets of Souls. I find these photographs fascinating for two reasons, one being that there’s a kind of presence which is not visually present, if this makes any sense. Second, I am a researcher at heart, that’s why I started this blog, and I love to document and research things. The way she photographs different rooms is a very fascinating thing to me.
If you’ve never been to dr. Guislainmuseum, you should still go to this exhibition if you have the chance. I do enjoy every visit there, but this one might have been a bit tempered with because of the group that disturbed my peace. There were still a lot of pieces that I actually enjoyed finding out about, so it’s still highly recommended. Besides this exhibition there’s the collection about the history of Psychiatry in the attic, which has some interesting devices they used many many years ago.
This post was a bit more extensive than other ones, so I hope you enjoyed!
The exhibition runs until the 25th of September 2016.