CASSTL and Ltdlosangeles Present ec·dy·sis Exhibition in Belgium

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
CASSTL and Ltdlosangeles Present ec·dy·sis Exhibition in Belgium

ec · dy · sis (n). – the molting of the cuticle in many invertebrates of the clade Ecdysozoa. The cuticle of these animals typically forms a largely inelastic exoskeleton, and is shed during growth. A new, larger covering is formed thereafter.

Image: Anna Garner, Order of Mont Bleu, 2019


“A body expels itself: as corpus, as spasmic space, distended, subject-reject, “im mundus,” if we have to keep the word. But that’s how this world takes place.” (Jean-Luc Nancy, Corpus, 107)

ec · dy · sis (n). – the molting of the cuticle in many invertebrates of the clade Ecdysozoa. The cuticle of these animals typically forms a largely inelastic exoskeleton, and is shed during growth. A new, larger covering is formed thereafter.

Think about nakedness, the risk, putting one’s whole body on the line. A newfound emotional and physical agency comes with the freedom from a protective shell. That agency combines simultaneously with the anxiety and vulnerability of waiting for the new, stronger exoskeleton to form. In this exhibition, the objects act as tethers to those painful thrilling moments, continuing to conduct the original energy, lambent like burning filaments. They carry the lives of their makers, walking outward, an expulsion into more and more lives, more situations, more rooms. Some bits of skin and hair and spit have made their way into the object, a typo in the text, a glitch in the code, a discoloration of the film. A slip of the eye or lips or hand or tongue.

The vulnerable performance act of all creation, whether public or private, marks the beginning. Before the hot lights, after everyone has gone home, after the brain has left the building. Moments strung together that push at the edge of exertion, skin stripped bare, emotions laid out on a buffet table to be consumed by grubby munchers, crass hands scooping from the lidless tureen body.

Gabriela Ruiz recovers objects to reclaim the expenditures of emotional labor and personal expression, their decadent painting a new shell. The movement of hot liquids, of molten plastic, the peeling away of layers provides Ilana Savdie the opportunity to probe desires under skin, the subterranean movement of material driving subjects forward. Spencer Lewis takes the dramatic movement of paint and the stability of wooden architecture to see himself as prop and propped within the art system.

Rafa Esparza considers the kinship formed through earth and the disruption of that earth through colonization, using adobe and paint as primary means. Todd Gray photographs himself in numerous guises, obscuring and amplifying his body under piles of shaving cream. Working on an opposite pole, Skip Arnold reveals his body in its duration, angles, and curves.

Pleasure, strength, and wear cohere into Skip as object, into his ultimate reality as flesh material. For Aimee Goguen, abjection and animation are coterminous. To be animate is to be abject; extension and excretion share the same bed.

At root in Anna Garner’s practice is contact between objects, weight and impact providing moments of reflection. Her body occupies a paradigm of contained and elective risk, undertaking a spectacle of physical discipline latent with failure. With rupture as his material, Ron Athey excavates humanity’s darkness and light found in pain, sacrifice, and their recurring historical manifestations, the ongoing corpus of the world.


Anna Garner, Order of Mont Bleu, 2019


CASSTL is a non-for-profit artist initiative founded and run by Carla Arocha, Stéphane Schraenen and Luc Tuymans since 2017. Their intention is to provide an experience not limited by the traditional and practical needs of an institution or commercial spaces.
They organize project-based content driven events such as exhibitions, publishing editions, performances, readings and screenings by local and international artists.

Gabriela Ruiz and Rafa Esparza are young LA artists who in the last few years have received a great deal of attention for the relevance of their work.
They individually incorporate and celebrate their cultural and personal heritage and challenging an increasingly intolerant and narrow political sphere which constantly threatens the contemporary cultural scene. They bring their personal complexity, physicality as well as their collective experience to their work in order to communicate issues of marginalization, segregation or erasure.

At the same time they both shifted from a purely critical stance offering a generous and expansive insight into their work with the intention of intersecting the experience of others.
Gabriela and Rafa are multidisciplinary artists with emphasis on performance who have been included in various exhibitions throughout the United States and Mexico. Gabriela is also the creative director of her own brand, Leather Papi and Rafa has instigated several events where many of his peers are invited to participate, including Gabriela. He was part of the 2017 Whitney Biennale

 Todd Gray, Shaman, 2005


ec · dy · sis

One at CASSTL’s own space; the other at the Antwerp Art Pavilion next to the MAS-Museum Aan de Stroom. Both venues are in the neighborhood ‘Het Eilandje’ in the north of Antwerp, 450 meters from each other.

CASSTL, Braziliëstraat 27, 2000 Antwerp.
Antwerp Art Pavilion, Hanzestedenplaats 15, 2000 Antwerp.

6 September – 29 September 2019

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Image of the Day

Kristien Dirkx, Balancing disorder,  Acryl on canvas, 2017.

Kristien Dirkx, Balancing disorder, Acryl on canvas, 2017.


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