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AND AMPUTATE MYSELF FROM EVERY FUNCTION

MICHAEL VAN DEN ABEELE

KIN

BRUSSELS, APRIL 24th - JUNE 11th




I was hungry. It had been a long day in different parts of the city. The question was whether I would see this opening at all. The changing weather did not help: hot and cold, you end up with either too much or too little clothing. Geographically, I was closer to the CIVA, where another opening was scheduled, but only in an hour and a half. What to do. The Italian snacks on the Rue Bailli have become so expensive. Some other small cafés serve ridiculous biscuits - who even buys them? Next to a car park I get a portion of frites, with a sauce (which one you wonder). It's not the best, every bite is on the edge of satisfaction and disgust, but it works. A short break amidst the cars and trams of the Avenue Louise, belly full of warm potatoes, when suddenly I see it: a tram 93 will take me straight to Kin.

 

This gallery is like a matriochka doll, or a circus, or an egg: the first an outer layer of the building, then the intermediate layer of the entrance hall where you say hello, then the soft yolk of the project space, protected by thinner white walls. Only this yolk is not exactly soft. Here, the sculpture work hangs stiff and flat in the middle, constructed from numerous potato chip bags, emptied, flattened, turned inside out and joined together. The result is a tall and slender, armour-like silver surface, sharp. Something in between a giant razor blade and hard chips (oh, the hardships) stuck in an esophagus.

 

An image on a wall: a small bas-relief of an ancient 8-pack stomach. Then a few stiff, solitary fingers, sculpted. Contaminated by the metallic interior of a chip bag, they are also silver-grey. A little bigger than a human hand, they are chubby and defy the very idea of desiccated relics. The iron man has left them wander on their own, so they climb up the walls as well as they can. Not too far.

 

Another image – harmoniously interfolded jeans. I didn’t know they were jeans and had to think again of a resistant stomach/ intestine, flattened, ironed and rather clean. A greyish, x-ray like image that conveys a certain functional harmony of one's own system. The artist, too, seems to be in good shape, cruising between the layers of the Kin egg, looking fresh despite the evidence of a bad crisps diet in the yolk section.

 

He has connected the inner and outer layers of the gallery by folding elegant and somewhat quiet looking fabrics over the walls that normally separate the yolk centre from the greeting area. A friend once told me that placing a fabric on an angular, sharp surface is good fen shui, energetically speaking. Enveloping, as Maalox does to my occasionally irritated stomach, the fabrics bring functional ease to the show without becoming too cosy. (Hopefully no one brings up the tired “c” word). Just enough medicine to keep going. We need this, we ingest angular irritants a little too often in this city. The artist gives an example of an elegant endurance in the face of this predicament of ours, which we painfully, and often willingly, perpetuate.

 

There was also a video projection coming from a smartphone encased into some protective structure attached to a wall. Metal spirals radiating from the structure across the wall, as a barricade or bad hair. They filter and block any idle finger that tries to make its way to the tender buttons of the phone.



Polina Akhmetzyanova

Restraining Order

RESTRAINING ORDER KJERSTI G.ANDVIG JURGEN OTS MICHAEL VAN DEN ABEELE PIA POLESE JEAN-SAMUEL N'SENGI MANNEKEN PIS BRUSSELS, JUNE THE 15th English text L'invitation indiquait « 13H SHARP ». À 12h50, les

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