Philip Janssens

1980, Lille

lives and works in Brussels

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Philip Janssens’ body of work tends to evoke a certain frustration, since they do not act as containers carrying meaning or concepts. He rather questions the true nature of objects, as well as our way of looking at them, of perceiving and experiencing them – something that we’ve apparently unlearned along the way. Making use of reflective fabrics or plexiglass surfaces, his confusing abstraction bounces back the spectator’s gaze, to hint at how we trick our imagination into seeing what is not there. Philip is fascinated by conspiracy theories surrounding UFO’s and apparition stories of saints. They illustrate mankind’s ability to structure life and belief around imagined narratives: as soon as these stories – invented or not – are collectively believed, they generate solidarity and communities, linking back to and transforming reality. The shared sense of collective disorientation that occurs hold a similar promise.

Philip Janssens’ body of work tends to evoke a certain frustration, since they do not act as containers carrying meaning or concepts. He rather questions the true nature of objects, as well as our way of looking at them, of perceiving and experiencing them – something that we’ve apparently unlearned along the way. Making use of reflective fabrics or plexiglass surfaces, his confusing abstraction bounces back the spectator’s gaze, to hint at how we trick our imagination into seeing what is not there. Philip is fascinated by conspiracy theories surrounding UFO’s and apparition stories of saints. They illustrate mankind’s ability to structure life and belief around imagined narratives: as soon as these stories – invented or not – are collectively believed, they generate solidarity and communities, linking back to and transforming reality. The shared sense of collective disorientation that occurs hold a similar promise.

upcoming projects
2021 Projet Orange Rouge
2020 Solo exhibition CRAC Sète
2019 Prix Occitanie de la Villa Medici (FR/IT)

selected solo and duo exhibitions
2019 Geometries of -l-o-v-e, Very, Berlin (DE)
2018 Cats in the city, Komplot, Brussels (BE)
2017 Red Lines, Ferdinand Baumann Gallery, Praha (CZ)
Marsèlleria, Milan (IT)
Resource Operation (part II),
In-Extenso, Clermont-Ferrand (FR)
2016 Resource Operation (Part I)
“The monk’s corridor”, Tlön, Nevers (FR)
Peripheral Healing, Komplot, Brussels (BE)
Black dance, Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris (FR)
I spell it Nature at DIESEL, Liège (BE)
2015 Ivana Basic, Antoine Renard, Gillmeier Rech, Berlin