Friday, April 21, 2006

The Galleries Show, Extra City, Antwerpen

Gert came home with tickets to the 19 April opening preview of the Galleries Show at Extra City.

The introduction online read, The Galleries Show is an exhibition project that invites galleries to participate as curatorial agents in a 5-day fair project.

Extra City invited 11 galleries to participate to the project. Each of the participating galleries in the fair was invited to select a second gallery. The total number of galleries participating to The Galleries Show is limited to 22.

I was so excited ... artists and their work were coming from New York, London, Brussels, Cologne, Puerto Rico, Berlin, Mexico Cty, LA, Guadalajara, Oslo and Naples but when I arrived, I discovered that the art had made a leap to a place where I couldn't follow.

We wandered round the entire exhibition twice and the feeling of being Alice in Wonderland was enhanced by the 3 or 4 male joggers who constantly passed by wearing underpants and tight t-shirts.

For me, and perhaps I'm a philistine ... the beauty of the exhibition was that it made the cityscape seem quite stunning when I re-entered the outside world. I wished for a camera in those first moments outside because I'm not sure I'll ever see the city in quite that way again.

I think the key to the exhibition might be found in these words, 'the galleries invited to participate are pioneering platforms that have manifested themselves in the recent past through articulating new economies for art, in singling out new relationships between art and the public realm.

Meanwhile, Kutluğ Ataman's project titled Küba, is still showing at another Extra City Gallery and it's the one I really want to see. It reads, Küba is a project by the Turkish video artist Kutluğ Ataman. On 40 old television sets stacked up in an old harbour warehouse, an equal number of people tell their stories about a unique society in the slums of Istanbul. All sorts of people live in Küba: criminals, drug addicts, teenage delinquents, religious extremists and the poorest of the poor rub shoulders with one another there. Nobody is able to tell us where Küba is, precisely, or how it got its name. Some think that it is on the south side of Istanbul, others situate Küba near the airport. What is certain is that sometimes life can be pretty hard in Küba.

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