Liesbet Grupping, Hanne Lippard and Bernd Lohaus
Opening on Friday 16 September, exhibition until 28 October 2022
For this exhibition, violet brings together three artists who share a fascination for language and text and how they relate to time, (social) space, and matter. In almost indistinguishable processes of construction and deconstruction, they ensure that gestures and meanings end up in a continuum of appearing and disappearing. Armed with their own handwriting or voice, they confront matters of the everyday to matters of the abstract.
For Hanne Lippard (°1984 UK, lives and works in Berlin), language is both the subject, the material and the medium of her work, which manifests itself in the form of texts, spoken performances, printed material, and (sound) installations. Her practice explores the voice as a medium, both her own and that of others. The work Blunt is part of Lippard’s research into the social forces that have suppressed women’s expression from classical antiquity to the present, thus defining a limited social perimeter for women. To this date, these power structures are maintained by often invisible and unconscious constructions. Blunt is a monologue in which words distort and shrivel into seemingly uncontrollable sounds.
Liesbet Grupping’s (°1984 BE, lives and works in Antwerp) practice departs from deconstructive methodologies, which can be based on a strict, conceptual approach, but always leave room for unpredictability and subjectivity. Due to photographic processes of image making or natural processes that affect them afterward, her works often seem to balance the thin line between the looming up of an image and its fading. The works in this exhibition question on the one hand: how can you make abstract or natural processes visible? And on the other hand: at what point does an image become unreadable? In recent work, Grupping starts from handwritten texts in pencil. The application of layers of varnish and new layers of text on the surface changes both image and materiality of the work. Paradoxically, the oversaturated images evoke an emptiness or an openness thus becoming a mirror on which its own layers of meaning reflect and resonate.
The works of Bernd Lohaus (1940, DE – 2010, BE) often reflect on their own temporality and changeability. In addition to wooden sculptures, which he found on walks along the banks of the Scheldt, he often used paper, cardboard and tape. Materials that evoke a tension between the solid and the ephemeral, the temporary and the permanent. Lohaus was an artist who eliminated and purified. He remained faithful to the material, on which he often wrote words, by carving or in chalk. Simple pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions are usually combined with opposing concepts. The words refer to the distance between people and things, how they can position themselves in relation to each other, but can never really coincide. Yet perhaps the core of Lohaus’s oeuvre is the search for connection. Between weightlessness and heaviness, between temporality and the eternal, between reality and ideal, between the self and the other, between language and matter.
text by Piet Van Hecke