In May 2016, Jan Lauwers became the first Belgian to exhibit at the brand new McaM in Shanghai, a museum of contemporary art headed by the Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie. Part of this exhibition will be on show at BOZAR in Brussels in spring 2017.
The exhibition ‘Silent Stories’ offers a wistful look at European art history and refers among other things to ‘Feldhase’ (1502) by the Renaissance painter, drawer and humanist Albrecht Dürer, to the lions depicted by the Flemish baroque painter and drawer Peter Paul Rubens, to the surrealist poet and artist Marcel Broodthaers, and to such artists as Joseph Beuys and Marcel Duchamp, as well as Walt Disney. On the basis of his lifelong archives, Jan Lauwers is building a monumental installation in which he reinterprets past works and materials and confronts them with art history. The artist creates landscapes that curve serenely and pensively question craftsmanship, virtuosity and emotion.
An exhibition by Jan Lauwers
Intervention with new work by Dirk Braeckman
1 April 2017 - 25 June 2017
The House of Our Fathers
Jan Lauwers through Dirk Braeckman’s eyes
In 2007, Jan Lauwers showed his visual art in the ‘Restlessness’ exhibition at BOZAR. At the same time he started building his installation ‘The House of Our Fathers’, in which every detail is a non-functional artwork that stands up in its own right. A hospitable house that hosted eight-hour durational performances by the core Needcompany performers, bringing together more than forty years of research in art, dance, theatre, literature, music and film.
For ten years, these installations/performances have been shown in a variety of museums, including BOZAR (Brussels, 2007), haus der kunst (SPIELART, Munich, 2007), Kunsthalle Mannheim (Internationale Schillertage, 2011), Museum M (PLAYGROUND, Leuven, 2011), Herrenhausen-gallerij (Kunstfestspiele, Hannover, 2013) and McaM (Shanghai, 2016).
In 2013, Dirk Braeckman was invited to become part of the installation/performance in Hannover. This resulted in a series of photos entitled ‘The House of Our Fathers, a sketchbook’, which sheds new light on this installation and performance. It is a baroque interpretation of Jan Lauwers’ work by Dirk Braeckman. “Braeckman does not photograph my work, he doesn’t take a portrait of a Needcompany performer. He seeks out the truth behind a moment when light, movement and material become a self-portrait”, as Jan Lauwers puts it.
A selection of Braeckman’s photos are exhibited in confrontation with new work by Jan Lauwers. A juxtaposition of the two worlds. A larger selection of works is shown in the artist book that Dirk Braeckman and Jan Lauwers are publishing together in association with MER. Paper Kunsthalle.