Critics’ Picks

Jan Decock, Randschade, Fig. 6, 2001.

Brussels

Ici et Maintenant

Ancien Entrepôt Royal Tours & Taxis

September 16–October 29, 2001

Given the opportunity to mount an exhibition in an old royal warehouse in Brussels, opened to the public for the first time ever, curator Laurent Jacob invited 100 artists living in Belgium to produce work for the space once reserved for receiving merchandise from the colonies. His goal was to overcome the countless barriers of language, culture, generation, and so forth that divide the artists of Belgium. The wager has succeeded insofar as some of the most important artists in the country were brought together under the same roof; it also succeeded because all seem to have engaged and fully utilized the allocated space. Particularly successful were the installations by Michael Daens, Walter Swennen, Guillaume Bijl, Charlemagne Palestine, Jan Decock, and Marthe Wéry. But the weight of history, borne by a prisonlike architecture, will not allow itself to be forgotten. Visiting this exhibition—a kind of athletic performance in itself—is as taxing as it is exciting.

Translated from French by Jeanine Herman.