#3: The Parallax View

@ M-Museum Leuven, Belgium

The period rooms were decorated tastefully, but a complete pastiche. The panelling gave the impression of a rich wooden surface but when looking closer, it appeared to be imitated. Done very skilfully but painted, not real wood. In a way it also made me doubt the authenticity of the exhibited artefacts.

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On the mantelpiece was a large mirror. Looking through this mirror I was more convinced of the realness of the room. I then tried to perceive all objects in the room one by one through this mirror, as if I was peeking through a window from outside the room, from another time, another century.

The modern part of the museum was constructed according to another architectural paradigm. Art objects surrounded by white and grey surfaces of unremarkable matter. Spaces without a material charism, created for no other purpose than to  accentuate something else.

I used the reflections on the floors and the windows to include the surroundings, to force the spaces to reveal themselves.
Sarah Morris used the filmposter of Allan Pakula’s The Parallax View as the basis of an art piece.
This title very well fits my work in this ParallelShow.

© FvL


#3: The things we want to see

@ M-Museum Leuven, Belgium

While visiting the 15th-century department, I passed a museum guide who explained the qualities of the historical presentation to a group of 17-year olds. For his audience it seemed to be just an obligatory museum visit.

What struck me first: his dedication and second: his habit to use one-liners. One sentence I remember was: “The things  we want to see are displayed.”
Sarah Morris used many one-liners in her show. For some reason she needed to summarise complete works into single sentences. And it was often a sentence that, in my opinion, had little or nothing to do with the actual content of the work.
The subsequent exhibition was showing the work of Guy De Cointet, who was fascinated by playing with letters and figures.

© MN – Click to enlarge

So I wrote the one-liner I remembered from the guide in repetition as a punishment/mantra on one of the room texts. The idea of punishment referred to the obligatory visit to the museum and the idea of a mantra referred to the one-liners of Sarah Morris.
By writing this on the room texts the original content became unreadable.

The one-liner pushed the real content away.

#3: M-Museum Leuven (general report)

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© FvL
M-Museum Leuven, Belgium, integrates historical buildings and contemporary architecture.
On one hand there are period rooms with historical furniture and design, on the other hand there is the contemporary part with high ceilings, a lot of glass and visual contact with the city. This wide orientation equals the presentations: from 15 century church sculpture to big contemporary art shows.

© FvL
We arrived at 11.00 AM and started our exploration together with a walk through all spaces, all exhibitions.
At 01.30 PM we had lunch at the restaurant and we discussed the possibilities. 
In this specific situation the best approach seemed not to focus too much on group activities. Each of us had a clear idea to start with.
Till 05.30 PM we worked alone, meeting each other occasionally.
We finally met again at the restaurant, we exchanged experiences, had a last drink and left the museum.

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photo (in the Museum info paper) of Guy de Cointet, looking very much like Marnik.