ostend-belgium

Philip Aguirre y Otegui, Matrasdrager (The Mattress Porter), 2001, concrete, foam rubber, 82 5/8 x 42 1/8 x 70 7/8".

Philip Aguirre y Otegui

Mu.ZEE

Philip Aguirre y Otegui, Matrasdrager (The Mattress Porter), 2001, concrete, foam rubber, 82 5/8 x 42 1/8 x 70 7/8".

Even before entering Mu.ZEE, the museum hosting the latest exhibition of the work of Belgian artist Philip Aguirre y Otegui, the approaching visitor could see the epoxy sculpture Fallen Dictator, 2005, which looked like a knocked-over prop or a showroom dummy behind the building’s ground-floor windows. This association seemed particularly appropriate, given that the building was once a department store; these very same windows formerly showcased the latest fashion trends. But while the windows were designed for commercial promotion, Aguirre’s sculpture is meant to criticize power. It is hard to look at Fallen Dictator without thinking of the TV images broadcast around the world showing Iraqi citizens tearing down the statue of Saddam Hussein. But perhaps there is also a resemblance to Belgium’s King Leopold II, of whom there happens to be an enormous statue near the museum, in

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