Meessen de Clercq, Brussels

For ART-O-RAMA, Meessen De Clercq’s project brings together several gallery artists, questioning the notion of leisure. In Marseille, summertime is the prominent period allotted to entertainment, and the idea of the project is to evoke this phenomenon in a simultaneously playful and serious way. The project gathers artists with a strong conceptual approach. Yet in doing so, their work never fails to contain humour. The works are presented in such a way that internal interactions and dialogues are created.

Evariste Richer (b. 1969), shows refined works (hand drawn playing cards, bowling balls, …), perfectly illustrating the method of shifts in meaning and of ellipsis characterising his practice. One can also find this characteristic with Nicolás Lamas (b. 1980), young Peruvian artist, who, not without humour, uses everyday objects of which he reveals, or on the contrary eludes, the intimacy. From the table tennis net “delimiting the empty”, over tennis balls, a billiard ball or dice, the initial function of the objects he grabs hold of is twisted. Icelandic artist Hreinn Fridfinnsson (b. 1943) provides us with Urban Impressions in which he recombines scattered pieces of several puzzles. He also shows May Fly, positioned high up in a very discrete way, as part of a series of unusual objects – here a fly used as fishermen’s bait – the artist has been collecting since 2001. The big Tangram by ALEK O. (b. 1981) combines the banality of a manufactured object (umbrellas with faded colours coming from a Chinese restaurant in Milano) and the hand-crafted intervention of the artist. The tangram is a Chinese puzzle, a sort of jigsaw where you have to create or re-assemble figures by combining seven shapes. The positioning of the triangles here suggests different postures that a dog might adopt, but there are underlying references to minimalism or Euclidean principles. Furthermore Lieven de Boeck (b. 1971) shows a brand new work created in Marseille with the CIRVA, and Sarah Ortmeyer (b. 1983) presents a work in reference to chess champion Bobby Fischer.