'Deadly Affairs' in Antwerp

Friday, March 22, 2019
'Deadly Affairs' in Antwerp

‘Deadly Affairs’ addresses environmental injustice by bringing into view the externalities (contamination of humans and non-humans) inherent to the logic of capital accumulation. The exhibition presents the work of both local and international artists engaging with a broad understanding of the toxic, bringing together the wider political, economic and social entanglements that facilitate its production and unjust distribution and the bodily, psychological and concealed traces that it leaves behind and define its endemic presence.

Image: Daniel Lambo, 'Ademloos', 2018, filmstill, courtesy to filmaker 

 

We are living in a time in which the human impact on our planet is so terrifyingly profound that it shall leave its traces for millennia to come. At the heart of this accelerating planetary change lies the excessive and expanding modes of extraction, production, and disposal necessary to support the perpetual economic growth inherent to the modern, and particularly Western, project.

 

'Don't Follow the Wind', 2015


‘Deadly Affairs’ addresses environmental injustice by bringing into view the externalities (contamination of humans and non-humans) inherent to the logic of capital accumulation. It traces the exploitation of labour, land and resources from within Europe to a space outside of its borders, focusing on how the privileges Europeans presently enjoy, and the rights granted by certain forms of citizenship, are only possible because of abuses that take place outside the confines of its jurisdiction. It does so by using the trope of toxic trades and toxic destruction, and the slow, unspectacular violence that characterises it—a violence that is often difficult to grasp, visualise and represent, since the relationship between cause and effect can be easily eluded.

 

Deadly Affairs

 

The exhibition presents the work of both local and international artists engaging with a broad understanding of the toxic, bringing together the wider political, economic and social entanglements that facilitate its production and unjust distribution and the bodily, psychological and concealed traces that it leaves behind and define its endemic presence.

The artworks exist among a net of textual materials gathered and produced by the research team — from historical facts to proverbs, poetry, varied literary stories and scholarly texts — all of which shed light on the diversified and shifting sources and understandings of the toxic and how it is experienced, personally and in communities. These appear on layers of orange paint, referencing the highly toxic, sulphurous volcanic minerals that were a significant source for the harvesting of orange pigment used by alchemists and artists.

The architecture of the exhibition, devised by artist Adrien Tirtiaux and centring on a cement wall that cuts through the space, serves as both a sculptural intervention and a support structure for the artworks and research materials. It highlights the problem of visibility at the core of the toxic while also addressing the Western “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. It acts as a framework for navigating the exhibition as well as for physically and affectively engaging with it.

 

Daniel Lambo, 'Ademloos', 2018, filmstill, courtesy to filmaker 

 

By encouraging a more profound understanding of the economic disparities and cultural habits that co-determine the status quo, the exhibition ultimately hopes to engage the audience in a more relational understanding of the environment and its ownership and to underscore how the unequal distribution of environmental catastrophes is a political problem – one inherently intertwined with issues of capitalism, class and race.

DEADLY AFFAIRS
23.03 - 30.06.2019 - Opening on Friday 22.03, 19:00


Curator: Antonia Alampi
Research curator: Caroline Ektander
Assistant curator: Zeynep Kubat


With works by Boris Anje, Valentino Bellini & Eileen Quinn, Don´t Follow the Wind, Jessika Khazrik, Daniel Lambo, Hira Nabi, Franziska Pierwoss, Natascha Sadr Haghighian & Ashkan Sepahvand, Neda Saeedi, Susan Schuppli, Adrien Tirtiaux and Various Artists

Telegram Channel

ArtDependence is now also available on the messaging platform Telegram. Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed.

Subscribing to the ArtDependence Channel allows you to easily stay up to date with the latest ArtDependence news.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Image of the Day

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Earshot, 2016

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Earshot, 2016

Search

About ArtDependence

ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.

ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.

The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.

If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.