Philippe Van Wolputte
Since 2006, PHILIPPE VAN WOLPUTTE (° 1982 in Antwerp, Belgium) has been very productive in exploring urban landscapes, staging performances, recording these performances and building installations in various galleries and museums. Prior to his formal education, his focus was already set on what is still the main topic of his artistic explorations: abandoned, forgotten, but most of all devalued urban locations awaiting demolition as they no longer serve a purpose in the current economical/utilitarian hierarchy. Sometimes he reclaims these sites by repurposing them as ‘Temporary Penetrable Exhibition Spaces’ (TPEF), or by marking them with a distinct grid. Other times he re-uses and re-activates these sites by creating his own pathways through what appeared to be nearly fossilized, inert spaces.
By documenting these actions (via photography and video recordings) he takes us on a journey where it is unclear where we are going and what we are looking for and therefore reminds us of the strong associative effect architecture has on us. Crawling through dark corridors, breaking through walls, inhaling the dust of the past, … makes it all very clear, these places haven’t completely died yet. Their silence, on the contrary, bears witness to the innumerable voices of lives and realities passed.
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Van Wolputte uses a distinct aesthetic, reminiscent of ‘60s and ‘70s performance pieces, purposely and ironically romanticizing his artistic practices and lending them a, be it constructed, urban melancholia. He never tells the whole story. He won’t give us a clear view of what lies behind his practice and plays a dubious game of uncovering and hiding, colliding the past with the present, claiming no new truths but turning old ones inside out.
Lauren Wiggers, 2018.
Philippe Van Wolputte lives and works in Antwerp, graduated from St. Lucas, Antwerp in 2006, was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam and won the Young Belgian Art Prize, awarded by ING Belgium in 2013. Selected solo exhibitions took place at LLS387 – Antwerp, 2017; M HKA – Antwerp, 2015, Be-Part – Waregem, 2015; Chert Gallery – Berlin, 2010; Wilfried Lentz – Rotterdam, 2008 – 2009; Levy Delval – Brussels, 2017; Art Rotterdam, 2014.
Selected group exhibitions include KUMU Kunstmuseum – Talinn, 2016; Pavillon de l’Arsenal – Paris, 2016; Z33 – Hasselt, 2016; CAB – Brussels, 2017; Komplot – Brussels, 2015; BOZAR – Brussels, 2013; Art Brussels, 2012; Middelheim Museum – Antwerp, 2009; Zentrum Paul Klee – Bern, 2008; NICC – Antwerp, 2008; Klemm’s Gallery – Berlin, 2010; Kunsthal Rotterdam, 2012.
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