Exhibition ‘The Unruly Apparatus. Between Photography and Sculpture’

A photograph is a two-dimensional flat surface, a sculpture a three-dimensional object. A photograph refers to a reality outside of the image, the sculpture is that reality. A photograph seems transparent, a sculpture opaque. These two, apparently opposite art practices, were never meant to meet. Nevertheless, we see more and more artists trying to bridge these differences: photographers and visual artists working with photography are exploring the material conditions of the medium (through installations or the creation of photographic objects), while sculptors are making sculptural objects that at least technically (or conceptually) have a lot in common with the way photographs are being made or perceived. Moreover, both art forms have as such also something else (and probably more essential) in common: they meet each other conceptually in the practice of casting and the idea of the ‘ideal copy’ that is sustaining both media. So, indeed, as the exhibited works tangibly demonstrate, photography and sculpture can find common ground. The works in this exhibition reveal different strategies of making photographs sculptural and sculptures photographical. The photographs in this gallery are markedly material, they have a volume, while the sculptures mimic distinct photographical effects. At the same time, the convergence of these two art practices into photographic objects, provokes us to rethink the role of technology as a transformative agent. This is the age of the unruly apparatus, a period defined by the uneasy interplay between technological forces and the creative hand of the artist.

This exhibition presents the results of this research project during which eleven young researchers explored the shared space of photography and sculpture. Together with their artistic answer to this question, the exhibition also shows some reference works of artists that inspired this research project. The exhibition contains works by Elias Asselbergh, Walead Beshty, Miguel Cipriano, Anton Cotteleer, Liesbet Grupping, Wade Guyton, Spiros Hadjidjanos, Athar Jaber, Aglaia Konrad, Ine Kools, Alix Manon, Azuli Peeters, Seth Price, Bram Rinkel, Thomas Ruff, Fabien Silvestre Suzor, Kaat Somers, Sine Van Menxel, Filip Vervaet, Bernard Voïta and Bernadette Zdrazil.


Installation view The Unruly Apparatus

Installation view The Unruly Apparatus
(with works by Liesbet Grupping, Walead Beshty, Fabien Silvestre Suzor, Bram Rinkel, Bernard Voïta)

Installation view The Unruly Apparatus (with works by Elias Asselbergh, Wade Guyton, Spiros Hadjidjanos, Ine Kools and Walead Beshty)