We commonly see and interpret the art practice of today, in its large part, through the concept of the "relational aesthetics". Through this conceptual tool, the work of art is perceived as related to a broader social activity, as a social exchange appropriating the context in which it is presented or is happening, taking the spectator for its constituent part, etc. The work itself becomes fictionalised. It is created as a pivotal moment of a larger artistic situation that is produced by all sorts of peripheral events, which presents the exhibition as a sort of broader social commerce. We see then the artwork as a sign, an object or an image displayed in relation to an audience, and referred to the outside world, and the artist as “the manipulator of signs”.
Among the contemporary art production we might look at the artworks that are not only a performative expression, approach them from another point, and experience through the way they were made. That is, from the point of artist's mastering the problematic he's preoccupied with, through the making of it, and not only expressing it by way of making. The way the work is made is equally important as its subject matter. Exhibiting the work means to look at a kind of double turn in the treatment of the subject matter: before the reception of the work itself, we look at it as being born of artist's experience, belief, knowledge, morality, etc. Making it is then not a transparent tool devised to pass suggestively the message to the audience, but first of all engages the whole artist's persona. The concept of self-mastering derives from the late writings of French philosopher Michel Foucault and his research on ethics in classical Greek thinking that resulted in the idea of stylisation of the self, as a prerequisite for any proper expression of singularity. In that sense, we might see artwork as a form of self-exposure. Before we relate an artwork to the outside world and look to their interplay, or the way it mirrors the artist’s inner representations, decode it into categories of our interpretation, we will refer it rather to the subject, the individual by whom it was made, who experienced it, through whom it passed... Therefore, to grasp its meaning, we will rely on our intuition, readjust it sometimes in the process of understanding, rather then using critical analysis, as if the object of art we are looking at almost resists the tools of criticism. The spectator will trust then more his feeling, affinity, unconsciousness; rather then to impose authority of his knowledge over artistic forms and contents. Somewhat like painters who are about to confront their subject matter, need enter into it, move aside, go a little back from the canvas, a step away. Not that the spectator has to determine his position within the set-up of the exhibition, but to follow the logic of his intuitions that refer less to a play of forms than to the subject, the individual by whom they were made.
The exhibition presents side by side works of different modes of expression, and brings together five artists who are all contemporary one with another: Jon Thomson, Morgan Betz, Rezi Van Lankveld, Jan Kempenaers, Nikola Ukić.