13 May – 12 Jun 2000

The Absent

Yves Vanpevenaege

The Absent is the first in a series of 4 solo exhibitions in the rear space. Anyone familiar with the huge dimensions of the space will realise that a solo presentation there is an artist's ultimate yet most spectacular challenge. And although it may be a cliché, a challenge is what it is. Other artists in line for the heartrending solo in the rear space include Guy Bar-Amotz (Israel/UK), Evren Tekinoktay (Turkey/Denmark) and Eulalia Valldossera (Spain/NL). The solos will be held throughout 2000-2001 at the same time as a variety of group shows.

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Yves Vanpevenaege, living and working in Gent, presents distinctive combinations of video, installation and sculpture. Working from the conflictual nature of image, illusion and reality, Vanpevenaege shows the viewer a train of thought in which images constantly expands and explores new depths, generating new meanings as they does so.

He creates complete images suggestive of testing and pushing back boundaries, that refuse to become one with either themselves or the spectacle - like the thrumming rhythm of an empty film projector left to go on running. Using hundreds of cardboard boxes, Vanpevenaege transforms the rear space into five smaller ones in which he places his videos and sculptures.

On 'The Absent' a work specially created for W139, he writes: Giving an idea form is problematic if not impossible and tracing an idea to a meaning is just as difficult, simply because they are unverifiable. This train of thought is the starting point for an imaginary journey, a counter-weight in a world that labels anything it cannot control as suspicious. The first room contains the scar paintings; the clinical eye is drawn to them but at the same time transported to another field of vision.

The different spaces have been interpreted as a labyrinth reflected in video images. Just like the character in the video, the visitors lose themselves in the different rooms. Each room contains a number of sculptures and paintings. Elements that become the luggage of an unknown journey. And it is important that every room tells a story about the one before: none of the works can exist alone. And it is from this correlation that the journey gradually progresses back and forth.

With thanks to
Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap en Xavier Vanpevenaege (videotechniek en faciliteiten)