Perpetual Construction: A dialogue with the house of Jean Prouvé III


Opening Tuesday September 5th, from 6 – 9 pm, with a performance by James Capper at 7 pm

Katinka Bock, Simon Callery, Nina Canell, James Capper, Jordi Colomer, Jose Davila, Thea Djordjadze , Gabriel Kuri, Mountaincutters, Driss Ouadahi, Oscar Tuazon, Lena Verijke, Philippe Van Wolputte, Christoph Weber

The upcoming exhibition at CAB departs from the climate of reconstruction that marked Post-WWII Europe; the context in which Jean Prouvé conceived his Demountable House 6×6 as a temporary refuge for people who had lost their homes during the war, in order to sustain them with a shelter while rebuilding their lives.

Perpetually in construction, the environments we inhabit become exponentially urbanised, in a constant process of decay and rebirth. The exhibition is therefore set up as an urban construction site, drawing attention to the way we organise, control and inhabit space. The cyclic sequential processes of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction are applied to the urban fabric to explore its influence on our individual and collective life rhythms. These accelerating urban changes provoke questions on the power mechanisms influencing our ways of living and interacting in a city context.

Artists such as Jordi Colomer, Thea Djordjadze, Driss Ouadahi and Philippe Van Wolputte question our occupation of public space, its privatisation, and the restrictions that are imposed on human freedom and expression within a city. For example the notions of the utopia, or ideological architecture are embedded within these topics.

In extent, Perpetual Construction addresses how the capitalist agenda is altering the urban landscape by inviting artists whose practice deals with a repurposing of waste materials, and by-products of consumption such as Gabriel Kuri, Oscar Tuazon and Simon Callery.

Katinka Bock, and the French collective Mountaincutters have a more poetic approach that combines both fragile and intimate materials such as ceramics and textile, with raw concrete, stone and other textures inherent to urban aesthetics. They conceive a certain human presence by blurring the lines between the organic and the manmade.

Some constellations finally deal with the actual materials making up the concrete, modernist constructions, such as Christoph Weber, Jose Davila, Lena Verijke and Nina Canell. They hereby inscribe themselves in the hegemony of contemporary architecture, while questioning the mechanics that underline its discourse.

Through these different projects by both Belgian and international artists, Perpetual Construction explores the city as a self-organizing chaotic biotope.