Joëlle TuerlinckxWORLD(K) IN PROGRESS?

Museum Exhibition
Haus der Kunst
9 Jun15 Sept 2013
read inGerman
This exhibition is a retrospective of Joëlle Tuerlinckx’s work in three parts, in three venues. It has a different title in each location: it was called WOR(LD)K IN PROGRESS? in Brussels, WORLD(K) IN PROGRESS? in Munich, and in Bristol the title will be WOR(L)D(K) IN PROGRESS?. The titles express the focus of each station – labor (WORK), worldliness (WORLD), and language (WORD). The one constant is PROGRESS, which is called into question with a question mark. The idea for the title comes from Tuerlinckx misreading a headline in a business magazine – she saw “work in progress” instead of “world in progress” – and was surprised at the connection. Such, for her revelatory, discoveries and distortions, and the deliberations and manifestations that result, are typical of Tuerlinckx’s work, which is multilayered and interwoven, but essentially based on simple principles and perceptive phenomena.
Each of Tuerlinckx’s exhibitions works like a container in which the visitor experiences space in relation to the artworks. Three aspects recur and are present in nearly all works and exhibitions: space, time, and action. Tuerlinckx describes her own methodology:
“I pass through spaces and I explore parts of time that are specific to each one of these forward movements, I see how these spaces come to me. [...] Basically I observe how the space crosses the human, and how the human contains these blocks of time, themselves contained in or spilling over from these spaces. I’m working on understanding the phenomenon of the metrics of time, rather than on measuring and assessing these spaces.”
Tuerlinckx typically investigates the exhibition space of the institution in which she’s exhibiting. “When I am offered an exhibition space it is as though I received a kind of parcel, a packet of air,” says the artist, explaining her approach. In arranging sculptures, found objects, films, photographs, collages, and so on, Tuerlinckx quotes the various presentation modes of museums. Vitrines or explanatory wall panels thus find their way into Tuerlinckx’s exhibitions. Through the familiarity of this museum language, simple balls of paper or dishtowels present themselves as notable and worthwhile objects to the visitor. They acquire an importance and meaning not ascribed to them in everyday life. The point of departure is perception – and, even more elementary, the fundamental conditions of seeing. This turns the exhibition itself into a medium like painting or sculpture.
In her LEXICON – a compendium of terms for Exhibition Matters/Materials – 20.09.2012, Tuerlinckx ‘stretches’ a key term like EXPOSITION (exhibition), placing the experience of the space in central focus. She writes:
“an exhibition is, first and foremost, an experience of space - space composed, perhaps, of objects of space - that proposes action, or reaction, as a means of reflection, of thinking our human condition. as a common experience, it regards itself as public and open to all. [...] under the appearance of the known, the real and the imaginary, the physical and the mental, the perceptual and the conceptual are always tangled up, superposed, intertwined, untangled to form a sort of ball, a heap of balls, a magma, a fluid, a block of spatial reality: between the perception and the representation of reality, between what we see and what disappears, between what we hear and what is not, or no longer, there, visible through the categories of grandeur, colour, nature, culture, opposed and brought together in the same ‘moment of space’. that’s what an exhibition is: this moment of space. [...]”
Learn more about
  • Max Geuter
  • Courtesy: Haus der Kunst, München
  • © Haus der Kunst, München

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