We are proud to announce our next exhibition of recent work by the Belgian artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer (born in 1975, lives and works in Brussels). He is the 2009 recipient of the Mies van der Rohe grant of the city of Krefeld and has curated two exhibitions at Mu.ZEE Ostende with Phillip van den Bossche. His work is currently on view in a group show at Casino Luxembourg.
Koenraad Dedobbeleer creates sculptures, objects, and site-related installations, which strike a chord and yet catch us off balance. His works abound in allusion, ironic commentary and art historical reference. The artist reinterprets everyday objects by subjecting them to subtle but effective modifications, for instance, by changing their size, color or material, or transplanting them into a modernist context. He draws attention to their relationship with the Modernism of the 1920s and 1930s and, at the same time, subverts it in interventions that range from near imperceptibility to large, stage- like productions. His objects and shapes appear conspicuous and disconcerting, and at second glance perfectly ordinary. There is clearly method to his approach, which shows an affinity with appropriation: shades of Fischli/Weiss, for instance, echo in the fragile balancing act of two chairs or of one table poised on the legs of another. While the sculptural expression conveyed by these configurations may not even be deliberate, the shape of an upside down soft serve ice cream is undeniably dynamic in its reference to potentially spiraling movement. Such works as Creating Equivalents or Obsolete Instruments of State or Commerce are receptacles of cultural reference, which have been taken out of context and redimensioned for presentation in the gallery. The artist has a penchant for sending up conventional practices of displaying and communicating objects of art and design by emancipating them from their use value and placing them in an unexpected framework, for example when he converts a black garbage bag into a handbag. In addition to presentation, the architectural and historical givens of a venue and the way they relate to the works on display are of crucial concern. These factors give Dedobbeleer the opportunity to focus on appropriation and once again address the question of autonomy in works of art. The artist describes his work as a multifaceted, open-ended experiment in both form and content and as non-scientific inquiry into options. His instruments are methods of deconstruction and manipulation. With these, Koenraad Dedobbeleer engages in playful analyses, generating procedures that lead to the emergence of both familiar and absurd objects and their combinations. (Text: Dominique von Burg)