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09 Apr 2012

Karsten Födinger & Jan Kempenaers exhibitions at KIOSK

Karsten Födinger, 'C30/37; XD1, XF2', 2012 (Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Gunnar Meier)

KARSTEN FÖDINGER 'Void' & JAN KEMPENAERS 'In Search of the Picturesque'


14.04.2012 – 10.06.2012 Opening: 13.04.2012 - 8PM Tue–Frid: 14:00 – 18:00
Sat–Sun: 11:00 – 18:00 Mon closed

Liene Aerts
Phone: +32 9 267 01 68

Bijlokecampus - Louis Pasteurlaan 2
9000 Ghent

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The upcoming exhibition at KIOSK lets the monumental work of German artist Karsten Födinger engage with the photographic output of Belgian artist Jan Kempenaers. These contrasting practices both start from a landscape context – rural or urban – to subsequently translate them to autonomous aesthetics of the image within a spatial or photographic exhibition frame. As such, it affects our assumptions of recognizable landscape typologies.

Karsten Födinger's massive sculptures and architectural installations take shape in proportion to the exhibition space. His site-specific interventions exude a captivating physical presence. Both in their construction and engineering and in the use of unpolished and functional materials, the sculptures refer to the building sector and its basic industrial typologies.
For his show 'Void', Födinger realizes a new piece for KIOSK's central dome room. Födinger constructs a sculpture in 'rebars', suggesting the shape of the steel reinforcements of a bridge pier. Födinger filters this element from reality and translates it to a personal, utopian creation process, which precisely sets out from an imaginary functionality, offering up space for a subjective experience. As hinted at by the show's title, the sculpture not only functions through its self-evident materiality, but just as much through the emptiness that comes with it. The work's meaning is generated not so much in its formal appearance as in the process of its physical realization.

As part of his PhD in the visual arts, Jan Kempenaers' show 'In Search of the Picturesque' presents an overview of the artist's photographic work of the past years. The body of work represents a visual study of the eighteenth-century notion of the picturesque in the present-day landscape image and its contemporary relevance. The particular picturesque mood evoked by Kempenaers in his photographic oeuvre, strongly manifests itself in his recent ruins pictures and natural landscapes such as inhospitable rock formations and thick forests; images that specifically engage with our conceptualization of the nineteenth-century romantic landscape. Although much less explicitly, the characteristics of the picturesque are also apparent in Kempenaers' earlier works: these photographic series show massive Yugoslav monuments in deserted natural landscapes, or panoramic urban and industrial landscapes. Whether the pictures frame 'unspoilt' wildernesses, a politically charged monument as a modern variant of the 'romantic' ruins, or an urban typology, they invariably employ a recognizable, picturesque visual style to represent a specific undeniable contemporary reality.

Karsten Födinger
(1978, Mönchengladbach, Germany) has presented solo exhibitions at Kunst Halle St. Gallen (2012) and Palais de Tokyo Paris (2011). His work has been on display in group shows on numerous occasions, including at Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlijn (2010) and Kunsthaus Baselland Muttenz (2010). Karsten Födinger is represented by RaebervonStenglin in Zürich.

Jan Kempenaers
(1968, Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium) has recently exhibited solo at Be-Part Waregem (2010), de Garage Mechelen (2010) and Middelheimmuseum Antwerp (2007). His work has been part of numerous group shows, including some at M HKA Antwerp (2012), BOZAR Brussels (2011), S.M.A.K. Ghent (2009) and MARTa Herford (2009).