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The State of Things 2016 - Gert Aertsen 05


An exhibition by Werktank & Overtoon

After a first edition in 2015, Werktank and Overtoon put once more the activities of their residents in the spotlight for a joint exhibition at iMAL. In The State of Things 2016, discover four installations by artists who recently worked in the studios of Overtoon and Werktank.

Werktank presents 'On the shoulder of giants' by Katinka de Jonge and 'Vibrant Matter' by Els Viaene. Overtoon shows 'The Alphabet of Nature' by Gert Aertsen and 'Listening / Intervention, 10 exercises' by Davide Tidoni.


The artworks

'On the shoulder of giants' (2016) - Katinka de Jonge

The focal point of the installation ‘On the shoulder of giants’ is the reconstruction of art through 3D printing. Katinka de Jonge began by setting up a 3D-database of statues and monuments in public spaces in Antwerp, all managed by the Middelheimmuseum. By examining, scanning and organizing these images, Katinka ‘steals’ existing forms in order to create her own images.


‘On the shoulder of giants’ reflects on the value of an art object in public spaces and raises questions about the associated subjective and emotional value judgments. Why do we always prefer the original over the copy.


Concept and realisation: Katinka de Jonge / Production: Werktank / With thanks to: Middelheimmuseum / With the support of the Flemish authorities


'Vibrant Matter' (2016) - Els Viaene

A trip to Iceland forms the origin of this project and research into the relation between, sound, matter and landscape. The extremely contrasting environments all had one thing in common: it seemed like all these places had been frozen in time, as if coagulated in the middle of a metamorphosis.


Looking into processes hidden below the surface, 'Vibrant Matter' explores the relationship between the unfolding landscape and its observer like a time lapse. While the visible environment appears static to the eye, below the surface are continuous and ongoing processes, tensions and movements that can be measured, recorded and articulated through sound.


Concept and realisation: Els Viaene / Electronics and programming: Jan Wante / Sound advice: Johan Vandermaelen, Carsten Stabenow / Production: Werktank / In collaboration with: KIKK / With the support of the Flemish authorities and the Cultural Cooperation Agreement between the Flemish and the French Community


'The Alphabet of Nature' (2016) - Gert Aertsen

For ‘The Alphabet of Nature’, Gert was influenced by Franciscus Mercurius van Helmont and his work ‘Alphabeti veri naturalis hebraici’ (1667). In this treatise he proclaimed that the speech organs, when uttering a sound, are shaped exactly like ancient Hebrew characters. Each character represents how the lips and tongue should be positioned. In this he found proof of the innate and universal nature of language. Van Helmont’s essay inspired Aertsen for his research on the deconstruction of the mechanics of speech. In an attempt to create his proper universal language, he created a series of objects and sounds for the installation ‘The Alphabet of Nature’.


Concept & realisation: Gert Aertsen / Production: Overtoon & / With the support of the Flemish authorities / With thanks to: Wendy Van Wynsberghe


'Listening / Intervention, 10 exercises' (2016) - Davide Tidoni

Since 2009 Davide Tidoni has been developing listening exercises through his workshops and research on acoustics and the body. Ten of these exercises are presented in iMAL in the form of posters. These prints include a graphic representation of the listening exercises with instructions on how to realise them as independent situational performances. The posters serve not only to capture the exercises in concept. They are also guides for participants to encounter sounds in space in relation to their sources, considering shifts in frequency, amplitude and rhythm.


Concept & realisation: Davide Tidoni / Production: Overtoon & Davide Tidoni / Graphics: Davide Tidoni & Marzia Dalfini / Editor: Brian Shabaglian / Printing: L'Appat Atelier, Brussels / With the support of the Flemish authorities


Overtoon & Werktank

Overtoon is a platform for sound art, based in Brussels, that produces visual installations with sound as the basis. Werktank is a platform for new and old media art, based in Leuven. They produce and distribute installation art that explores the relationship between technology and perception.


Overtoon and Werktank each have their own identity and vision, but they also share some similarities. They are among the only production platforms for installation art in Flanders, working at the cutting edge of media arts and visual arts. Although Overtoon focuses on sound and Werktank on visual art, the work of their residents is characterised by a sensory approach to image, light, sound, etc. Technology is an integral part of the artworks, but never a goal in itself.

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Taken on December 13, 2016