Skip to navigation Skip to main content
Back to all exhibitions

Writing Beyond

Writing Beyond

From

Wijnegem

Pictures of the exhibition

  • Kazuo Shiraga (1932-2008) used his entire body to paint. His action painting has often been described as a form of automatism and viewers of his work note its dynamic effect, resembling the violent movements of struggling with the material, the earth. However, we now know that it’s not accurate to believe that he unconsciously slid across the canvas with his bare feet and created avant-garde works free from the restraints of reason. Shiraga explicitly wanted to be a painter with an explosive sense of power and tension. To achieve this, he concluded it was necessary to use his strength to reach a state within himself that was neither conscious nor unconscious. In other words, he set out to create another self that could unify the struggle between the two states. - Bosco Sodi’s (Mexico, 1970) works with paint and material can resemble many things in the cultural context of today’s ‘scopic’ technology—from microscopic images to aerial perspectives on the landscape—but they don’t mean anything specific in themselves. They are definitely, and defiantly, marks of a human but not necessarily a particular one with a delineated biographical narrative. Sodi’s monumental “Pangaea” may refer to the supercontinent uniting all parts of the world in one big mass as it did more than 300 million years ago, long before mankind and long before history began. Sodi has discovered an emotive power within the essential crudeness of the materials. His vividly coloured large-scale paintings are like Mother Earth, powerful, and overwhelming.
    © Axel Vervoordt Gallery
  • © Axel Vervoordt Gallery
  • © Axel Vervoordt Gallery
  • © Axel Vervoordt Gallery
  • © Axel Vervoordt Gallery
  • © Axel Vervoordt Gallery
  • © Axel Vervoordt Gallery

Writing Beyond

From

Wijnegem

Story of the exhibition

Writing Beyond

"Art intends to capture and share a glimpse of infinity, translate it through intuition, distillate it into a specific moment in time, and engrave it as lasting testimony.
This is ‘Writing Beyond.’”

Michel Vande Vyvere

Axel Vervoordt is pleased to present a new exhibition at Kanaal, titled "Writing Beyond". On view are works by seventeen artists selected for how their work examines materiality and the exploration of intuition, energy, and consciousness. "The exhibition analyzes how artists give form to something that cannot be expressed by words alone,” says Axel. “Art is born when, at the moment of creation, the energy is stronger than the voluntary act of the artist and created in a moment of total freedom."

The exhibition is particularly prescient given today's current global pandemic as lockdowns have resulted in moments of isolation, introspection, and questioning. These works express how art may propose solutions through self-actualisation and energetic expression.

The exhibition is installed in the spaces at Kanaal known as Henro and Ma-ka, which were designed by architect Tatsuro Miki and Axel Vervoordt according to principles of sacred geometry.

The exhibition includes work by Ida Barbarigo, Raimund Girke, Sadaharu Horio, Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Masatoshi Masanobu, Henri Michaux, Yuko Nasaka, Hermann Nitsch, Roman Opalka, Niki de Saint Phalle, Park Seo-Bo, Dominique Stroobant, Kazuo Shiraga, Bosco Sodi, Antoni Tàpies, Günther Uecker, and Jef Verheyen. The exhibition also features a selection of objects, including a 19th-century Gongshi or ‘Dream Stone’, a 12th-century seated wooden Lohan, and a South-Australian Tjuringa.

Exhibition Origins

It’s generally accepted that we refer to ‘history’, as the Greek ‘historia’, from the moment that written documentation is available. All events occurring before written records are considered ‘prehistory’, although it’s sometimes difficult to make strict distinctions between proto-writings and true writings. Sumerian cuneiform tablets and Egyptian hieroglyphs are considered to be the earliest forms of true writing systems in which linguistic expression is encoded so that readers may understand the content. Throughout history, every civilisation has developed its respective language and writing, which evolved from a pictorial writing system to a phonetical system with letters, words, or symbols, and the use of a large variety of complicated grammatical rules. Writing allows societies to transmit information and share knowledge. The greatest benefit of writing is that it provides the tool by which society can record information consistently and in greater detail, something that could not be achieved as well previously by spoken word.

This exhibition explores how an artist’s specific visual language reflects their internal writing system—a sense of ‘automatic writing’—while at the same time going beyond writing. While curating the works selected for installation, Axel stated, “Artists have the unique ability to follow their intuitive feelings to express cosmic energy. They materialise what cannot be written. It goes beyond our understanding of writing.”