What a discovery! I’m really happy to tell you about the Vanhaerents Art Collection. I visited the exhibition ‘Man in the Mirror‘ during the Heritage Days in September 2015. There is so much I would like to tell you about this expo that it’s not even possible to put in one blogpost. So here is part I.
Walter Vanhaerents is a former building constructor with a passion for art and architecture. His family owns a big art collection and is organizing exhibitions regularly in the Vanhaerts Art Collection building located in the Brussels Anneessens street. The building is a beautiful renovated 3 floor warehouse. The architecture and the artworks complement each other so well that I felt kind of privileged to be able to see this. I could have spent the entire day in this building.
The exhibition is named after this artwork from the Canadian artist David Altmejd. The work is called Figure with Black Arms and Strawberry. The tour guide told us that you are supposed to look at it through the mirror, so that you not only see the sculpture, but also yourself. Funny detail: the sculpture is turning around and on the back side he is pinching his ass so you can see his anus.
We the People is a sculpture from the Vietnamese – Danish artist Danh Vo. We see a replica of a piece of the Statue of Liberty in the USA. The artist made 250 pieces like this, but he never assembled them to see the result. Instead, he sent his pieces to musea and public places all over the world. He is criticizing how the American lifestyle is influencing the rest of the world. The women in the background is a fragment from the video Acceptance from Bill Viola.
Here we see The death of James Lee Byars, made by James Lee Byars himself. It’s a cube he created for a performance where he stages his own death. We see a coffin, with 5 big diamonds on it (for the head, arms and legs). He was looking for an eternal state of happiness, symbolized by the gold leaf he used. The black color in the back of the cube is suggesting death.
Digital Switchover by Haroon Mirza. Mirza is a British artist who is fascinated by the relationship between light and sound. On this floor of the building, we see red, blue and green LED lights, leading to a sound room. In that room we see a video of a waterfall and we hear different sounds, almost like electronic music. Apparently, a waterfall can produce an equal amount of noise than a a motorway!
To end this part I of the Vanhaerents Art Collection, I want to show you my favorite artwork: Untitled (Twin Towers) from Ivan Navarro ! This Chilean artist creates black holes with fluorescent lights. You feel like you will fall into it if you lean forward. Navarro is experimenting with space, especially with negative space. It’s just now, after reading his artist page on Artsy, that I realize that I have already seen some work of him before at Art Brussels. Take a look at the last picture in this blogpost and you will recognize the same kind of lights!
So, this was part I of the Vanhaerents Art Collection. Even when I’m writing about it, I can feel the energy this building gave me. Man in the Mirror is open until 2017, so there is no rush, you will get the chance to see for yourself if you want to. Don’t forget to read part II next weekend.
Picture above: artwork by Peter Halley