04.07.2021 - 29.08.2021
Je m’apelle sigarette
curated by Eloi Boucher
Opening Sunday 4 July
smoke & mirror party 31 July
graphic design by Atelier Brenda
NICC is pleased to present Je m’apelle sigarette, a solo exhibition by Belgian artist Jurgen Ots, on view from July 4 to August 29, 2021 in Brussels.
Jurgen Ots arranges in an unexpected way some objects that he gleans during his strolls in second-hand shops and specifically on the Place du Jeu de Balle, the hot spot of flea markets in the city of Brussels. Through sculpture and installation, the artist deconstructs and recomposes these elements that he clouds and collects. Jurgen Ots is using existing forms and is interested in the circulation processes of these images and archives that have a past life. His raw material has a prior story that he then reconstructs by confronting other hitherto scorned or abandoned elements and gives them the status of an artwork. The artist wonders how to elaborate a certain singularity from this chaotic mass of objects that he has at his disposal. Through post-production, he sets up strategies of recycling and diversion.
« Any elements, no matter where they are taken from, can serve in making new combinations. The discoveries of modern poetry regarding the analogical structure of images demonstrate that when two objects are brought together, no matter how far apart their original contexts may be, a relationship is always formed. Restricting oneself to a personal arrangement of words is mere convention. The mutual interference of two worlds of feeling, or the bringing together of two independent expressions, supersedes the original elements and produces a synthetic organization of greater efficacy. Anything can be used. It goes without saying that one is not limited to correcting a work or to integrating diverse fragments of out-of-date works into a new one; one can also alter the meaning of those fragments in any appropriate way, leaving the imbeciles to their slavish preservation of “citations.” »*
For Je m’apelle sigarette – a pun imagined by the artist as a stereotype of a misunderstanding between the English and French translation – Jurgen Ots covers the entire front wall inside the shop window with a hundred frames. On these plastic frames made of mirrors, two portraits are printed. Brandon Walsh, a fictional character from the American series Beverly Hills: 902010, is confronted here with the German singer Sandra Ann Lauer. This type of object appeared in the 90’s when the veneration of a celebrity – mostly by a young audience – became a commercial tool. The word “fan” took on its full meaning. The goodie industry emerged when companies started to mass-produce merchandising items with the faces of famous and popular characters. In addition to covering all the walls of their rooms with posters, teenagers could drink from a mug with the image of their idol printed on it, wear a T-shirt with the image on it, or carry it everywhere as a key-ring like a religious icon. Here, the mark of the original image where the two icons are revealed dissolves. The repetition of the printing processes and the hanging in an inverted grid alter the subjects and add a tragic feeling to these humans who then become contemplative objects and reflections of a society composed of artifacts.
Jurgen Ots (born 1978 in Dendermonde) studied at Sint-Lukas University College of Art (Brussels), the Rijksakademie (Amsterdam) and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Lyon). His work has recently been shown at Cultuurcentrum Strombeek, Grimbergen (2021); in several events / solo and group exhibitions in Brussels at Place du Jeu de Balle (2019-2021); at Lesage, Brussels (2021); at Galleria Central, São Paulo (2020); at Etablissement d’en Face, Brussels, The Walker Art center, Minneapolis, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, Aike Gallery, Shanghai, ZERO… Milan, Fundacion Bottin, Santander,, Center For Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland , Reykjavik Art Museum. Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Giuliani Foundation, Rome and Mass MoCa, Massachusetts.
*A User’s Guide to Détournement, Guy Debord & Gil Wolman (1956), translated by Ken Knabb
July 4 – August 29, 2021
Rue Lambert Crickx 1 1070 Brussels