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14 Apr 2010

Dirk Snauwaert & Elena Filipovic on Felix Gonzales Torres at NICC, Antwerp



April 15 2010 at 8 pm.
'1 retrospective, 3 venues, 6 versions, 3 artist-curators'

Josine De Roover
+32 (0)3 216 07 71
+32 (0)3 677 16 55

2060 Antwerp

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The New International Cultural centre presents a curator talk with DIRK SNAUWAERT & ELENA FILIPOVIC ON FELIX GONZALES TORRES Thursday 15 of April at 8 pm.

The Talks will focus on Specific Objects without Specific Form offers, a major traveling retrospective of Felix Gonzalez-Torres (American, b. Cuba 1957-1996), one of the most influential artists of his generation.

Defying the idea of the exhibition as fixed and the retrospective as totalizing, Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Specific Objects without Specific Form offers instead several exhibition versions, and none the authoritative one, all the better to present the oeuvre of an artist who put fragility, the passage of time, and the questioning of authority at the center of his artwork. At each venue in which the show will be hosted, the exhibition will open to the public and then halfway through its duration, it will be taken down and re-installed by a different invited artist whose practice has been informed by Gonzalez-Torres' work. Curated by Elena Filipovic, a first version of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Specific Objects without Specific Form will open to the public at WIELS on January 16, 2010 and, on March 5, 2010, the artist Danh Vo will undo that show and re-install it—adding and removing artworks, changing such things as lighting, labels, and the order of presentation, in other words, effectively making an entirely new version of the exhibition.

Inspired by Gonzalez-Torres' understanding of the artwork as potentially infinite in meaning and as well as his practice of changing the arrangement of artworks weekly in the case of one exhibition ('Every Week There Is Something Different,' 1991) or, in another, shifting the form and content of an exhibition when it went from one venue to another ('Traveling,' 1994), Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Specific Objects without Specific Form grounds its approach in Gonzalez-Torres' very personal understanding not only of the art exhibition, but also of the artwork writ large. The resulting retrospective, initiated and organized by WIELS in collaboration with the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, New York, underscores not only the enduring legacy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' oeuvre, but also several very distinct aspects of his work: from its vulnerability to its concern with formal issues to its scathing social critique, each of these is emphasized in one of the versions of the traveling exhibition.

1 retrospective, 3 venues, 6 versions, 3 artist-curators: Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Specific Objects without Specific Form will offer its visitors the possibility of finding a new interpretation of Gonzalez-Torres' engaged and complex body of work with each visit. The curatorial interventions of the invited artists—Danh Vo at WIELS, Brussels; Carol Bove at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel; and Tino Sehgal at the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main—will emerge from different interpretations of the meanings and presentation possibilities for Gonzalez-Torres' work. Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Specific Objects without Specific Form thus acknowledges that the way an exhibition begins and ends its 'story,' the emphasis it places on one aspect more than another, the way it presents individual artworks, the juxtapositions it constructs, the mood it creates (because the works of art are hung sparsely or densely, shown theatrically or in bright institutional light, emphasizing their monumentally or rather their vulnerability, etc.), in addition to the way an exhibition is discursively presented—all of these potentially shift the way that a body of work might be understood by its public. And all of these participate in the construction of the meaning and reception of an oeuvre, which is to say, nothing less than the construction of history.


The New International Cultural Centre is an autonomous organisation from and for artists in Belgium promoting artistic practice and providing professional support. Under the new directorship of Guillaume Bijl, Koen van den Broek, Wim Catrysse, Rinus Van De Velde, Wim Waelput, Nathalie Hunter, Lode Geens, Timothy Segers, Jan Van Imschoot and Filip Gilissen. NICC chose the Tulpstraat as a location to extend their exhibition activities. The future exhibition space of the NICC is connected with Extra City, Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, through a bridge that spans the Tulpstraat and that belongs to the former industrial complex.

The main goal of the NICC is to defend the interests of the visual artists and the improvement of the position (in the most wide meaning of the word) of visual artists in society. The NICC works in two sections, the Artistic and the Social Commission.