The exposition is a fossil — an imprint of a movement petrified by nature. The artworks claim their space with deafening serenity like abandoned ruins in a landscape.
Fossils are a natural phenomenon linked to the past, but they can equally function as an oxymoron, immortalising phenomena from the future. Fossils contain a timelessness in which past and present are intercepted, halting the progression of linear chronology, whilst containing traces for times to come. The artworks in this exhibition thus reflect — in their own way — the fossils of the future.
Exhibition text by Noa Verkeyn
Images ©Tim Evers
Isaac Lythgoe's (b. 1989, UK) sculptural work resurfaces vanished fictional characters and imports them back into our lifeworld to narrate current reality. By re-materialising bygone characters of childhood, Isaac links the dreams and future potential these figures represent with contemporary industries, alongside the corruption and destruction they bring along. ‘Would you like an adventure now’ (2022) showcased at Medusa brings memorisations of Peter Pan to a material embodiment of PLA and automotive paint, making mythical lifeworlds collapse into a present-day allegory of modern industrial times.
The ‘Ornamentum’ chair (2020) belongs to a series of furniture by spatial designer Orson van Beek and fashion designer Quinten Mestdagh. Both fascinated by the ornamental and decorative nature of historical furniture, Orson and Quinten questioned why there is an absence of this in contemporary design.
The ‘Ornamentum’ chair translates typical historical aesthetics connected to baroque and rococo into graphic icons performing as the framework of the chair. Saturated by the symbolic-natured decorative excess, ‘Ornamentum’ confuses the border between aesthetics and functionality to a point where the purpose of furniture becomes an ornament in itself.
Timo Correwyn (b. 2000, BE) is a Brussels-based multimedia artist with an elemental focus on photography. His practice involves making images in 3D software, downloading photos from the internet or buying them at flea markets. By combining all forms of image-making processes that in some way respect a traditional photographic procedure, he turns his photographic practice into an all-embracing one.
Timo is interested in topics like ecology and technology, but more so how their interaction can be seen as emblematic for a nature-culture continuum. In his series ‘Fossils for A Ceremony’ (2022) Timo has been working with images of fossils. These function as input for multiple technological transformations that, in a speculative attempt, resemble processes of biological evolution. The motif of a fossil, he argues, also bears analogies with photography itself: both a photograph and a fossil combine past and present into one visual experience.
Timo e-mailed us with a link to a YouTube video, accompanied by the following words: “I made a discovery yesterday; the species of the creature depicted in the work — which I thought went extinct 200 million years ago — is still alive today!”
Hieronymus Bosch’s Mediaeval paintings crystallises all that which Raphaëlle’s Bertran (b. 1992, FR) seeks to encounter in art: disturbing strangeness, grandeur and despair, ecstasy and abyss. Raphaëlle’s paintings likewise depict a strange world of multitude scenarios where anguish and euphoria are somehow deeply entangled. The figures are placed in a sort of desert of neutral colours, where one can see very little greenery or natural elements.
Barbara Leclercq’s (b. 1997, FR) sculptural work tries to think at the same time a question of foundation and the question of collapse. Her practice embraces the idea that ‘the ruin’ is a fertile ground, and that by reconfiguring it, rearranging it, one can proliferate alternative versions of creation. The outcome of these speculations are strange, enigmatic, disjointed plural landscapes of which Barabara says she is “the double experience of both the narrator and the architect of – in that, giving to see an architecture in effusion, but also giving to anyone the keys of a possible rewriting.”
The earthly landscapes of rocky mountains are populated by multitude fragments of various ongoing scenarios: this juxtaposition of different fragments is essential to Raphaelle’s work. She argues that “the fragmentary prevents meaning from being fixed, it prevents an encompassing reading of the work and locks the scene in atemporality, where we cannot situate ourselves in a particular period, an unstable universe where meaning escapes.”
Spray Paint serves as the basis of Raphaelle’s figures, giving them a ghostly, spectral aspect by the whitish halo it creates: “The ghost is nothing but a paradoxical entity bringing the past inside the present. The paintings that I create are like so many freeze frames on multiple chaos, endlessly occurring apocalypses that cannot be escaped.”
Daan Peeters (b. 1999) is an Antwerp-based sculptural artist.
“Large parts of my childhood were spent in ruins, prehistoric caves, dying cathedrals, archaeological sites and gravel pits. It’s a beautiful metaphor, in the wake of destruction I learned to see how time sculpts every stone carefully and with precision. A greek column would shape shift to become an autonomous sculpture – a gorgeous demonstration of Nature always having the upper hand. A ruin embodies paradoxes, a ruin is a remnant ‘off’ and a portal ‘in’. It's a constant reminder of the passing of time. In a melancholic fashion, we reminisce about a time before mass media.”
Tristan Gac (b. 1990, FR) lives and works in Brussels. His work attempts to deliver a sentimental and lyrical exploration mainly through drawing but also through sculpture. Tristan’s coloured-pencil drawings “4EVER ALONE”, “4RAVER ALONE” and “4EVER ALL ONE” imbue artefacts of popular culture with profound lyrical sentiments. His drawings flirt with ambivalent visual and emotional registers; although steadily emerging through a delicate, long and precise drawing process, the images harbour high levels of vitality through the intense flashes of violence and melancholy they depict. As Tristan's works seeks to define a vision of the future; a fantasised and dreamlike speculation of temporary ideals, they above all reproduce the emotions that collide at the crossroad of rave culture and contemporary Romanticism. When dreamlike contemplation evaporates with the endings of nights; when temporary ideals fade into desert landscapes; when the inescapable gloom permeates the ruins of a party and idealistic visions of the future dissolve at dawn.Tristan’s Instagram
Jonas Dehnen (DE) makes paintings, drawings and occasionally sculptures. His work emerges out of a prolonged process of layering, erasure, and the repurposing of underlying image fragments. The 18th century phenomenon of ornamental hermits and imagery mined from the wider romantic tradition often serve as a spark of initiation. They also deputise as an allegory for the often fraught (and sometimes absurd) situation of a young artist. The practice may be regarded as the gradual assembly of an inventory of characters and meanings within a personal visual idiolect. Jonas also brings together disparate visual elements from the communities that he grew up amongst. This process takes place in the entanglement between the physical material of a painting and the image within it. Thinking and doing collapse into one another to become a singular mode of being in the world. The works are maps of themselves, map and territory both, thought-maps looping back into themselves in an infinite regression. They make a sport of navel-gazing, knowing (or is it hoping?) that as long as we all have navels we can all relate.Jonas’ Instagram
Deeply onirical, Prune’s (1995, FR) universe is infused with telluric preoccupations approached under an original angle: the legendary one. Her artistic eclectic practice spans a wide range of media, including weaving, sculpture, and installation, composing a narrative charged with symbolic power. Constantly searching for technical processes to produce a strong visual impact, she creates organic and intriguing textures; thus bringing weaving into another dimension where it becomes sculpture.
Beyond the technique, she uses unusual materials in weaving: materials that are usually quite humble and poor, ennobled by the technique. This is how the ruse is articulated — by working with materials that are, at first sight, ordinary, sublimated by the finesse of the technique, and therefore taking on a “magical” character.
Prune weaves narratives connecting past and future and produces visions mixing pop culture and mythologies, from Greek antiquity to science fiction. Considering seduction as a strategy, she draws elements from the masculine field of war to appropriate them, subverting stereotypical symbols of the feminine seduction to transform them into weapons and armors.