Regenerate at WIELS: enacting the revitalisation that art can offer
A group exhibition including 20 Artists: Cecilia Bjartmar Hylta, Elen Braga, Carlos Caballero, Chloë Delanghe, Bram Demunter, Effi & Amir, Eitan Efrat & Sirah Foighel Brutmann, Helen Anna Flanagan & Josefin Arnell, Eva Giolo, Corentin Grossmann, Tom Hallet, Nokukhanya Langa, Eva L’hoest, Sandrine Morgante, Camille Picquot, Batsheva Ross, Marie Zolamian
Bringing together a large number of artists, Regenerate offers a view of the current moment that is both joyful and critical, cautious yet hopeful. It presents recent work made by artists in Belgium (with occasional sorties across bubbles and borders). Whether explicitly or indirectly, the selected works enact the revitalisation that art can offer. Focusing on recent productions, the project explores what has emerged from this period of unpredictability and seclusion, and how the pandemic and its ongoing impact are shaping our imaginaries.
The project adopts a method of sharing and solidarity with other members of the art community. Regenerate does not restrict itself to a strict series of categories such as age or nationality. It is presented in parallel to the survey exhibition of Jacqueline de Jong, an important figure of the post-war avant-garde, whose polyvalent, radical and revolutionary practice includes work with the International Situationists movement as well as painting, graphic design, publishing and polemic text production. Regenerate similarly reaffirms the essential role of art in the reconstruction of society.
Human society is strikingly resilient and has a remarkable ability to regenerate itself. After every cataclysm – whether man-made, natural or (as is usually the case) a combination of both – communities are eager to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and start again. This process of reconstruction is seldom without its upheavals. However, when the reset button is pressed, new priorities and new patterns of behaviour emerge.
Artists always have been excellent barometers of such reawakening, showing us the way while bearing witness to our struggles and confusion. The past months of social isolation have offered the opportunity for reevaluation, for questioning ourselves and the behaviour of society, for examining what might become the “new normal”. For everyone, it has revealed what is superfluous and what is fundamental, but the conclusions drawn are far from universal. While it is too early to see what kind of society will emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic – and indeed when the global pandemic will subside – WIELS takes this moment to explore new forms of making things public.
WIELS proposes to share its resources with many agents of its artistic, creative and intellectual community. As an art centre, what WIELS primarily provides is broad public attention: for practitioners, their practices and their ideas. Regenerate thus sets out to provide attention, in the form of a public platform backed by financial, conceptual and logistical support for practices that cannot rely on the increasingly unstable and unreliable mechanisms of the art market. In this period of ever-increasing digitalisation, WIELS also privileges encounters in real life with artworks and with other people, that cannot be entirely replaced by social media and online interactions.
Artists: Cecilia Bjartmar Hylta, Elen Braga, Carlos Caballero, Chloë Delanghe, Bram Demunter, Effi & Amir, Eitan Efrat & Sirah Foighel Brutmann, Helen Anna Flanagan & Josefin Arnell, Eva Giolo, Corentin Grossmann, Tom Hallet, Nokukhanya Langa, Eva L’hoest, Sandrine Morgante, Camille Picquot, Batsheva Ross, Marie Zolamian
Curators: Zoë Gray & Helena Kritis
Artist portraits by Yaqine Hamzaoui
Graphic design visual by Alliage
1 May - 15 August 2021
Press conference: Friday 30 April, 11:00 (please confirm your attendence via [email protected])
Preview (invite only): Saturday 01 May, 10:00-14:30
Public opening: Saturday 01 May, 15:00-21:00
Avenue Van Volxem 354,
Open Tuesday > Sunday, 11:00-18:00
A selection of images
Jacqueline de Jong
In parallel with Regenerate, WIELS presents the first institutional solo exhibition of Dutch artist Jacqueline de Jong in Belgium, one of the crucial artistic figures from the post-war years of protest and revolt.
The exhibition at WIELS offers an occasion to discover or rediscover De Jong’s prolific and provocative oeuvre via a non-linear presentation where works from different periods dialogue with one another, following a concept held dear to the artist: that of the dérive (drift).
More information here