In the previous blogpost I spoke about my time in WIELS visiting the exhibition of Helena Almeida, this exhibition was located on the topfloor of the museum. The first two floors of the museum showed the work of Erik Van Lieshout.
Usually the first floor consists out of the contemporary type of displaying art, the white cube. This time it was transformed into a grand installation with different rooms and a central corridor. As you can see on the first photo the corridor wasn’t very spacious.
As I mentioned in the previous post about WIELS, I had to visit the exhibitions for a class. I went a few days before the deadline, which means that a lot of people already paid a visit. The overall opinion was, Helena Almeida her work was very fascinating, but the work of Erik Van Lieshout didn’t appeal that much. This might be because of the different experiences that you go through. I however found them both very fascinating.
Erik van Lieshout his work mostly consists out of videos accompanied by some other visual pieces on paper. There were six videos shown in this exhibition, ranging from building a proper home for the cats in the basement of the Hermitage museum in Sint-Petersburg, to conversations with his family about the profession of an artist. There was something for everyone, it shows that Van Lieshout his activity in his brain reaches far ends. Due to the critics of other people, I was a bit sceptical at first. The first video, ‘Ego’, didn’t appeal that much, there wasn’t anything obvious linked with a creative aspect. I might be very wrong, but I didn’t see it.
The video that changed my opinion was the one with the cats, ‘The basement’. It could have had something to do with the fact that I like cats, but other than that I found the video very interesting. Van Lieshout uses humour in his work, which convinced me to be more openminded and created a appreciation for the rest of the exhibition. The video ‘the basement’ showed Van Lieshout working on a better home for the cats of the Hermitagemuseum in Sint-Petersburg. Throughout this video the persona of Van Lieshout came through. The structure of the corridor in the installation refers to the shape of the basement in the Hermitagemuseum.
A thing of which I am not sure of whether I like it or not, is the choice of Van Lieshout to put himself in the centre of every video. Hence the title of the exhibition ‘The show must ego on’.
My opinion of this exhibition might come over as a bad one, which is the opposite of what I meant. The whole exhibition is an experience of understanding Van Lieshout his way of thinking, an experience of exploration and laughter. I could have explained a lot more videos but it could ruin your experience, which is why this is just a sneak preview and an explanation of my own experience.
Something that I should definitely mention is that if you visit this exhibition you’ll have to combine it with Helena Almeida. The floors of Van Lieshout are very intense, a lot of information comes at you, whereas Helena Almeida’s floor is very white cube and brings a sort of calmness to your mind.
Another fun thing about the WIELS is that on the third floor there’s a peepinghole in the window through which you can see a part of Brussels.