Olivier Mignon

  • Johan Grimonprez, Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, 1997, still from a color video, 68 minutes.

    Johan Grimonprez

    One traversed “It’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards”—the first large-scale retrospective of Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez in his native country—a bit as one might move through an unfamiliar archive: going from confusion to a certain order, from the perception of fragments to the awareness a common mentality, from the multiplicity of words to the emergence of a discourse. The imposing first gallery immersed us in a profusion of sounds, images, and texts that became clarified and coordinated in the progressively smaller galleries that followed; the contributions of

  • Mark Luyten, Untitled (“Endlessly”), 1989/ 2011, oil on canvas, 75 1/2 x 96 7/8".

    Mark Luyten

    Two sorts of temporalities were superimposed in Mark Luyten’s exhibition, representing two distinct conceptions of its title, “(today).” One could be found in a work visible right from the entrance and running through the gallery space: Today, 2011, consisting of words written in pencil, ink, and watercolor and scattered across the surface of the wall that runs from one end of the gallery to the other. They fluttered over the wall’s surface, seemingly capable of escaping its materiality at any moment. If those at a distance disappeared in the vastness of the white cube, those that were closer

  • Joachim Koester, I myself am only a receiving apparatus, 2010, still from a black-and-white film in 16 mm, 3 minutes 33 seconds.

    Joachim Koester

    Past the gallery door, and then past the heavy curtains keeping the gallery’s main room in darkness, a small screen hung in the center of the space; on it, the New York–based Danish artist Joachim Koester’s most recent 16-mm film, I myself am only a receiving apparatus, 2010, was projected. The voluptuous black-and-white imagery is not accompanied by any sound track. We see a man, vaguely hippieish in appearance, whose head is nodding impassively. He enters and exits the frame slowly, fluidly, animated only by this simple and regular movement, with no other apparent intention but to occupy the

  • Ryoji Ikeda, 4'33“, 2010, framed 16-mm film (blank with AATON timecode), 35 1/4 x 36 5/8”. From the series “time and space,” 2010–.

    Ryoji Ikeda

    Ryoji Ikeda is generally described as a sound artist, and the tag is not inaccurate. But because he explores the fundamental properties of sound in depth, his practice has gradually overflowed its boundaries, so that today he sometimes seems to escape it almost entirely. This show included two audiovisual pieces—data.tron, 2007, and data.scan, 2009—belonging to the ongoing “datamatics” series, initiated in 2006 and based on the use of masses of data as source material for abstract representations: black-and-white digital imagery made of grids, streaming code, and buzzing numbers, aiming

  • Sophie Nys

    Seeing Sophie Nys’s work is like reading a haiku: You face an object that is at once complete and laconic, evident and enigmatic. Take, for example, a small felt disk pierced at its center and hanging on the wall, Untitled (all works cited, 2009); simple and soft, it immediately arouses a feeling of fullness. But it isn’t long before this feeling is contradicted by a vague sense of anxiety, for although this object is undoubtedly filled with meaning, it somehow remains impenetrable. The same is true of Kogetsudai, a silent video in black and white that focuses on a mound of sand some six feet

  • Olivier Foulon

    Olivier Foulon’s work seems made precisely to frustrate interpretation, because the scruples that ought to govern the act of putting a work into words are already the focus of his artistic thinking. How is a work perpetuated and transformed in light of critical reception? How do the role and stage assigned to the artist shift? In short, how does art history play itself out? These are some of the key issues of his practice.

    The exhibition “Prisma Pavilion” is immediately surprising because here the expanse of mudam’s main gallery has been used for displaying objects that would seem to call instead

  • Suchan Kinoshita

    The desiccation of the art scene during the summer season can easily cause one to mistake the slightest relief in the landscape for an unexpected oasis. But it was not just the typical paucity of substantial exhibitions that accounted for one’s feeling of gratitude at this show, “La carrière d’un spectateur” (A Spectator’s Career). This time, it was the profound generosity of the artistic offering one was thankful for.

    Suchan Kinoshita presented what practically amounted to a mini-retrospective. On two floors, twelve pieces (old, recent, and never before seen) were exhibited, casually retracing

  • Richard Venlet

    Walking through the door of Elisa Platteau Galerie, one saw Richard Venlet’s Untitled (Claustra) (all works 2009), a monumental white grille that stretched from the
 floor nearly to the ceiling, immediately to the right and parallel to the wall.
 Behind its bars was a large map, square
 in format and obviously aged, pre-
served within a frame, apparently 
showing a neighborhood in Rome.
 Across from this single adornment, a
 narrow and steep staircase led to the 
second floor. The character of the
 space there was completely different:
 The floor was covered with the aptly 
subtitled Untitled