CURATED BY NICOLA LEES AND ASAD RAZA
Rèpètition is conceived as a circulatory system by which images, objects and bodies move through the Villa Empain. Taking as a starting point the accident encountered by Robert Rauschenberg's when his printing stone cracked while experimenting with printing techniques using plates from Newspapers resulting in the now famous print Accident; and building on Over you / you the recent 31st Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Art, this exhibition traces the distribution of graphic art across national and ideological boundaries with a specific focus on the productive power of accidents.
A historic collection of works from the Ljubljana International Centre of Graphic Arts and Moderna Galerija, including Rauschenberg's lithograph Accident , has been selected by artist Giles Round and bought to Belgium for the first time. The collection along with works by Sophia Al-Maria, Becky Beasley, Will Benedict, Andrea Büttner, Shannon Ebner, Andrew Hazewinkel, Konstantin Grcic, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Jorgeige, Sanya Kantarovsky, Heinz Peter Knes, David Maljkovic, Radenko Milak, Anna Ostoya and Roman Uranjek, are periodically reinstalled by the exhibition’s hosts, leading to unpredictable collisions and juxtapositions.
These moving works travel within a mise-en-scene of sculptural and cinematic contributions by Abbas Akhavan, Nairy Baghramian, castillo/corrales, Mike Cooter, Dexter Sinister, Latifa Echakhch, Deanna Havas, Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Hilary Lloyd, Jumana Manna, Otobong Nkanga, Lydia Ourahmane, Zin Taylor, and Erika Vogt, extending the exhibition’s range of sensory experiences. These are joined by new commissions: Rounds’ exhibition design consists of a library and sculptural display units, ( seen above) Mariana Telleria takes the accident as a motif for a chandelier, and Rirkrit Tiravanija has created a work by printing on one of the most iconic formats combining text and image, the daily newspaper, where they begin to unravel.
The exhibition includes a parallel project: periodically weaving in and out of Répétition, choreographer Andros Zins-Browne will perform Already Unmade, a new work conceived especially for the Villa Empain.
The journey from the studio to the exhibition space is a movement that allows artworks to gain a public reception but, as has often been noted, comes at the cost of uprooting them from a living context. Répétition attempts, not to recreate the studio in the museum, but to create a living context in which works circulate, furnishing the Villa Empain through a process of continual renovation.
Image overleaf : detail Rirkrit Tiravanija with Robert Rauschenberg