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25 May 2010

CCNOA presents With Your Eyes Only at YUM, Brussels

photo: Tilman

With Your Eyes Only
CCNOA center for contemporary non-objective art


28/05/2010 - 09/07/2010 Opening hours:
Wed - Sun, 12.00 - 19.00

Petra Bungert

Avenue Van Volxemlaan 295
(acroos from the WIELS)
1190 Brussels

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Perceptive Moments – An Investment in Time

Greet Billet (BE), Kjell Bjørgeengen (NO), Delphine Deguislage (BE), Alexandra Dementieva (RU/BE), Ward Denys (BE), Clemens Hollerer (AT), Simon Ingram (NZ), Aernoudt Jacobs (BE), Esther Stocker (IT/AT), Tilman (DE/BE/US), Pieter Vermeersch (BE), Dan Walsh (US), Carrie Yamaoka (US)


CCNOA is pleased to announce the second edition of our ninth touring group exhibition WITH YOUR EYES ONLY, which is scheduled to open at YUM, Brussels (BE) (directly across from the Wiels Contemporary Art Centre) on 27 May 2010 and will remain on view through July 2010.

The first edition of WITH YOUR EYES ONLY was organized by CCNOA at the Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz ( where it premiered successfully on 11 December.

Given the size of the Brussels venue (1200 m2) and its unusual architecture, the second edition of WITH YOUR EYES ONLY will not only be the most daring project we have realized to date but will also present completely new site-specific works by all the participating artists on a scale commensurate with the location.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 48-page full-color catalogue encompassing both editions of WITH YOUR EYES ONLY (publication date: July 2010)

WITH YOUR EYES ONLY can be seen as the culmination of our international pioneering activities over the past decade, which have aimed above all to open and sensitize eyes, ears and minds, to enhance the understanding of art as an integral and enriching part of our existence and as a social commitment, and to contribute to the reinstatement of the continuity between aesthetic experience and the processes of daily life.

Addressing and challenging our primary sensual and sensory faculties and sensibilities WITH YOUR EYES ONLY offers a real-time and real-place experience providing us with an opportunity to consciously and actively participate in exploring and expanding our perceptual awareness of the here and now. It invites us to drop the ubiquitous need for identification, categorization and explanation, and to embrace the artwork's openness to multiple interpretations. It demands our mental, intellectual and physical collaboration in defining and redefining our intellectual and physical standpoints, in literally sensing 'awry'. In return it offers us complete freedom to see for ourselves, to educate and develop our senses, and, in the process, to discover a fresh perspective on reality. After all: 'Seeing is a creative act. He who only looks does not see. Seeing means reflecting, perceiving and being aware. He who only looks does not know. Seeing involves binding in all the senses … creating sense. ' (Gottfried Honegger, 2006)

The scene will be set by a large spatial intervention / architectural structure – created by Belgian artist Ward Denys and German artist and curator Tilman – which will function as a platform, a maze, a metaphorical setting for experiential interaction within the givens of pictorial language. Eleven artists from Belgium and abroad will then join us in Brussels for a one-week stay to investigate the project's central topic in relation to the given site and the basic sensory information inherent in their respective artistic practices. In the course of the week, they will communally develop and interactively create site-specific works in response to this structure as well as to one another – generating a sensor-round 'arena / environment for perception'.

Tilman comments: 'The concept for WITH YOUR EYES ONLY is basically driven by personal curiosity. It is also a journey revisited; a journey that I can only describe as one of wonderment at artistic development, the discovery of one's personal world and the world of cognitive perception.
We are, consciously and subconsciously, exposed to intangible associations and simultaneous occurrences, to multifarious phenomena and to perceptual space. What catches our retinal perception? How do we read or decipher the information given by a complex work of art? Do we perceive the artwork as a whole or are we seduced by one of its constituent parts? How do we qualify different characteristics of one and the same thing and yet arrive at differing results and emotions?

Just as an object can trigger multiple perceptions so it may equally well fail to trigger any perception at all. If there is no grounding in personal experience, there may literally be no perception. When objects are viewed without understanding, the mind will try to reach for something that it already recognizes in order to process what it is viewing. For the viewer exposed to an artwork and for the artist creating it, the final object is the result of an interplay between past experiences, knowledge and interpretation.

Perception per se, the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information, is I believe crucial, especially in reductive work. Although some artists involved in the language of 'concrete' art might argue against it, the abstracted level of commentary in their own work also focuses on intricacies concerning themselves and their own world of thought. With this in mind and taking it as a point of departure for the exhibition project, I opted to invite a selection of artists whose works address and investigate different aspects of the issue to co-operate with me and create a multilayered perceptual experience rather then present their own point of view.' (Tilman, 2009)

The exhibition received support from the Flemish Authorities Belgium, Ministry of Culture; the Flemish Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region; Gillis Printing, Brussels; LEVIS, Belgium; SCA, Belgium; Sint Lukas Brussels; Vidisquare, Belgium; YUM, Brussels; Kultur Steiermark, Austria; Österreichisches Kulturforum, Brussels; OCA-Office for Contemporary Art Norway; the University of Auckland, New Zealand.