IMAGINARY MOUNTAINS: REMEMBERING PAINTING

Imaginary Mountains ; Remebering Painting

04.12.22 - 28.01.23

Having been first shown at an exhibition space in the Swiss alpine canton of Grisons “Ballroom Project” is pleased to present the exhibition «Imaginary Mountains: Remembering Painting» in Brussels. As a collaboration between an artists’ run space in an old textile factory in a small village (“Scala Trun”) and “Ballroom Project”, the exhibition aims to play with the exploration of painterly strategies in different contexts. What works in a village in the mountains also works in one of the busiest cities in Europe? How does the architectural, natural, cultural and political circumstance influence the perception of artworks?

Painting, the supposed «epitome of bourgeois art», still inspires and fascinates the audiences. As the most flexible, changeable, authentic and democratic medium, painting in keeping the artistic discourse alive. Often ridiculed by art critics in the current digitalization hype (keyword: NFT), it remains the dominant medium and does not seem to be disappearing. On the contrary: the always lively and controversial debates about its raison d'être keep the medium alive and the art world discussing.

Directly or indirectly, the international artists in this exhibition explore the painterly process one way or the other - sometimes with paint on canvas, but also with glass, wood, acid and other painterly means. They are well aware of their dialectical position on painting. Gianin Conrad (CH), Geoffrey de Beer (BE), Kaspar Dejong (NL), Mariejon de Jong-Buijs (NL) and Beate Frommelt (FL) deal with the medium in very different ways, but abstract all together. Abstraction as the universal creative language? It is obvious, that self-reflection is part of their creative process.

Works

Tommy Smits

Tommy Smits

(b. 1991), lives and works in The Hague, Th

"Tommy Smits is a Dutch multimedia artist. He works with photography, film and sculpture dealing with archives and ways of framing, to elevate vernacular and everyday imagery into surreal photographic objects. His photography practice searches to innovate and materialize the immaterial photograph, and hides them far away hidden in places for future archeologists to find. Tommy Smits graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague and internationally exhibited his work. Smits is the co-director of the 2020 documentary ‘Tommy & Danny in Search of the Future: different reasons for Digging a Hole’ that premiered at Noorderlicht Photofestival 2020."

Works

Sigurrós G. Björnstóddir

Sigurrós G. Björnstóddir

(b. 1991), lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium

I notice elements in my surroundings, something that catches my eye, oddly placed objects, something strange, or a funny coincidence. Maybe it's a shape of an object or a surprising encounter that attracts my attention at first, but after some simmering, it becomes more than meets the eye. An awkward presence, a mouthwatering atmosphere, or a reminder of memories. How did the fresh flower bouquet end in the trash, why is the ladder in the middle of the swimming pool? Is this a giant match or a long block of wood with a burned end?

PARKING LOT POND AND NEW NAILS
She stops at a red light and notices yet another woman bundled up in a thick coat, hat, scarf and mittens, but bare-legged in the cold breeze. Across the street, a cowboy with a toothpick in the corner of his mouth, is pumping water from a yellow hose across the parking lot. There is a pile of toothpicks around him. How long has he been standing there? The parking lot is beginning to resemble a small pond. She decides to take a shortcut and walks across the park. She bumps into a stone, and it is like the stone is smiling at her. This startled her, but when she looks back, the smile had disappeared, and the stone was the most ordinary stone. She reaches the end of her journey, picks up a pack of new nails and looks forward to going home and adding them to her collection. Some point up and others down, some become worms and others snakes, but nothing is certain.

Works

Nicolas Zanoni

Nicolas Zanoni

(b. 1995), lives and works in Brussels, Belgium

Nicolas Zanoni’s practice is shaped by playing and listening to the materials, focusing mainly on the production process that he sets up. He is using metal as textile in a weaving process, or burning and melting plastic until it looks like marble. His formal language borrows from brutalism and flirts with trashcore, resulting into tactile furnitures.

For this exhibition, Nicolas Zanoni explored the magical and mystical dimension of Charm. As often in his work, he metamorphoses the material. In the same way as a piece of jewelry, aluminum is woven to become a metallic fabric with a scaly texture. He appropriates this metallic surface by flattening it, by compressing it. Therefore he transmutes the aluminum into a material charged with poetry and softness, in its treatment as well as in its final shape. Like a reflection in water, the image that appears in this piece is cloudy and vaporous.

Works

Manon Van Den Eeden

Manon Van Den Eeden

(b. 1996), lives and works in Brussels, Belgium
© Silvia Cappellari

My artistic practice departs from the versatile formality of everyday objects and our encounters with them. I am interested in the thin line between reality and fiction, the visible and invisible and the ambiguity between form and function. In my work I manipulate existing forms into sculptures and installations that hover between the strange and the familiar. In a making process that alternates between digital and manual labour, elements are parsed, magnified, distorted, merged or multiplied, resulting in a visual language dominated by careful compositions and glossy surfaces, evoking both personal associations and distance.

Works

Geran Knol

Geran Knol

(b. 1989), lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium
©Juan David Cortés

Geran Knol’s work is an ever evolving research on shape and form. In Knol’s image a recurrent figure becomes part of its surroundings and doesn’t take on a personification. He often works in series where he limits himself to certain rules of play. With those limitations he researches possible variations which then lead to new ideas. For Knol a drawing carries a similar importance to a painting, and he often refers to previous work when working with a new medium. Even though his practice generally takes a two-dimensional format, the haptic qualities of the materials are very relevant in the making of a final image.

Works

Ballroom Gallery
Koningsstraat 119–123
Rue Royale 1000 Brussels

Opening Hours
Wednesday — Saturday
12:00—18:00

Elena Minyeyevtseva

Elena Minyeyevtseva

(b. 1989), lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium

Elena Minyeyevtseva’s practice consists of drawings, paintings and textile experiments.
At first sight, the work of Elena Minyeyevtseva offers a colorful dreamlike world - images inhabited by diverse creatures and fluid-like, moldable shapes. Her composite images are pieced together by the artist’s direct imagination, a place where elements share the same space but not necessarily relate to each other.

While taking a closer look, the precise meaning of the elements remain more difficult to decipher by sight alone than initially thought. The elements much like memories are defected. They are suggestions of something else, a mixture of real and aloof storytelling.

Elena Minyeyevtseva carefully sculpts her subjects, layer by layer, through time consuming repetitive movements. As a result, the qualities of her work arise in the surfaces that shimmer, shine and reflect, turning into almost toxic metallic particles. The use of sharp stripes brings a sense of mass and a sense of dimensionality to her work. Moreover, the repetitive movements give the artist the ability to escape time and dissolve into the work itself.

In the end, the process leads to a more intimate understanding of the artist's inner world.

‘I out my desire for misguiding myself through intuition and unconscious doodling, that showcases emotional unpredictability.’

Works

Ballroom Gallery
Koningsstraat 119–123
Rue Royale 1000 Brussels

Opening Hours
Wednesday — Saturday
12:00—18:00

Chloé Arrouy

Chloé Arrouy

(b. 1993), lives and works in Brussels, Belgium

Chloé Arrouy’s sculptural practice is based on an experimental approach to traditional metalworking techniques. The objects she makes often refer to medieval societies, and their abundant production of disturbing forms. Through the manipulation of signs from different Western cultural contexts, she questions the paradoxes of these symbols which, then, become fields of experimentation. Between sensuality and austerity, innocence and infamy, her practice pushes her to explore the empathic power of forms, in their capacity to provoke a physical sensation, often that of pain. The universe she conjures up resonates with those of witchcraft, torture, but also of bdsm and teenage years, all of which are propitious territories to evoke her relationship to existence, sexuality and culture.

Works

Ballroom Gallery
Koningsstraat 119–123
Rue Royale 1000 Brussels

Opening Hours
Wednesday — Saturday
12:00—18:00