herman van ingelgem

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text Bart Geerts

. Herman Van Ingelgem ____________ . works ____________ . news ____________ . text ____________ . bio ____________ . contact ____________ . links

. About a few things - a text by Bart Geerts

What you see is not always what you see. If, for instance, you look out of a window you tend to forget about the window itself. You look through the window instead of looking at the window. This shift in perspective is crucial in a few things, Herman Van Ingelgem's latest exhibition in Transit art gallery. It is an exhibition without big installations and blunt statements. What is on show are everyday objects and situations that suddenly acquire multiple meanings. Van Ingelgem applies different strategies to create this unbalancing confrontation. In some cases he obstructs the normal way of things. A water pipe runs horizontally through the exhibition space, so you have to step over it to proceed. And the white plastic cup that is right under the connection part makes the action even more awkward. Pipes like these are not supposed to leak, and if they do what will this cup do to keep the gallery floor from flooding? Another very painterly strategy is layering. The gaze is slightly blocked in phototgraphs of curtains. You can look at the curtain or you can try to look through them. Something is added and taken away at the same time. Van Ingelgem does not present another kind of reality. What he shows is what happens in between the multiple folds of reality. What if you apply a frame and plastic around a window. Do you see a window? Can you still look through it?
Particularly interesting is the fact that van Ingelgem does not use expensive specialized material or equipment to construct his works. A strange scale model of a room is done in plaster cardboard transparent plastic and bits of paper. Especially the plaster cardboards are a typical do it yourself material. Again Van Ingelgem refers to the everyday. There is nothing special or specialized about this kind of art and it is exactly that which makes it so compelling. In some cases the question arises whether he used any material at all or whether he rather took away things that were already there to reveal what lays behind them. A greenish painting-like-thing is actually a hole in the wall. What you see is what lays behind the wall. What you see is a cardboard construction behind the gallery wall. On that second 'wall' are small round plastic markers that seem to indicate the history of the wall. Perhaps they refer to the holes that have been made to secure works of art from previous exhibitions to the wall.
a few things is not an obvious exhibtion. It takes some time to see the other side of things or to go beyond/below what we are used to see. In the end the exhibition is about looking and realising that what you see is not always what you see. It is by looking carefully that we can attach meaning to everyday objects that often have a clear purpose. It is by looking again and again that meanings can shift. They start meandering through the exhibition room, partly as a construction created by the artist, partly in our minds where associations continually shift and reorient themselves.

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