Brussels - Wiels - Alina Szapocznikow - Yto Barrada24/08/2011
Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972
10 September 2011 - 8 January 2012
This expansive survey of Polish sculptor Alina Szapocznikow (1926–1973) coincides with the Polish presidency of the European Union and is one of the first major solo exhibitions of the artist's work outside of Poland. It concentrates on her most experimental period from the 1960s and 1970s, before her untimely death at age 47. As a Holocaust survivor who began working in the post-war period in a rather classical, figurative manner, her later experimentation and re-conception of sculpture left behind a legacy of provocative objects – at once sexualized, visceral, humorous, and political – that sit uneasily between Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, and Pop Art. Her tinted polyester-resin casts of her lips and breasts transformed into quotidian objects like lamps or ashtrays, her spongy polyurethane forms often embedded with casts of bellies or live grass, and her construction of resin sculptures that incorporate found photographs remain as remarkably biting, visionary, and original today as when they were first made. The exhibition features extensive archival materials as well as more than 100 artworks, including drawings and photography alongside Szapocznikow's sculpture and object-making.
Curated by Elena Filipovic & Joanna Mytkowska
Image: Alina Szapocznikow, Petit Dessert I (Small Dessert I), 1970-1971. Kravis Collection © The Estate of Alina Szapocznikow - Piotr Stanislawski, Photo Roland Schmid
24 September - 31 December 2011
Riffs is a large-scale exhibition of the work of Yto Barrada, whose photographs, films, publications, installations and sculptures engage with the peculiar situation of her hometown of Tangier, Morocco. Tangier is situated on the Strait of Gibraltar, and its particular situation is emblematic of the radical historical changes taking place in many North African countries. "I've always been attentive to what lies beneath the surface of public behavior," says Yto Barrada. "In public, the oppressed accept their domination, but they always question their domination offstage. Subversive tactics, strategies of class contestation, forms of sabotage used by the poor – this is what I am most interested in." With the title of the show, "Riffs," Barrada refers simultaneously to the musical term, to the Cinéma Rif, home of the Tangier Cinematheque, which she directs, and to the nearby Rif mountains, a stronghold of anti-colonial insurgency in Morocco.
Yto Barrada is Deutsche Bank's 'Artist of the Year 2011', an award not based on a financial reward, but positioned as an integral part of Deutsche Bank's commitment to contemporary art, a program which includes a solo exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin as well other venues, a publication and acquisitions for the Deutsche Bank Collection.
More information: www.wiels.org