An exhibition inspired by a novel, a city and a scene
Displaying the raw energy that he would later develop to establish himself as one of the most original writers of his generation, Roberto Bolaño’s early experimental novella Antwerp remains unclassifiable. Written in 1980, but only published in 2002 shortly before the author’s death, Antwerp is a highly-fragmented story, displaying deep irreverence to the form of the novel. Avoiding linear narrative, it progresses using a multiplicity of perspectives, with images, scenes and characters called up in different forms each time. The whole remains elusive.
In Antwerp, detectives, victims, artists, alter-egos and vagabonds inhabit an enigmatic story. Bolaño thematises contemporary reality expressed through topics such as crime and corruption, sexual violence, relative truth, memory and erasure, marginality and urbanism, the male gaze, and the sea as a metaphor, all of which resonate with the history and reality of Antwerp. It is the structure, themes and character archetypes of Antwerp that we take our inspiration from as modes of reflection in this exhibition, which we have titled Amberes – referring to the book’s title in its original Spanish.
Artists include: Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Imogen Stidworthy, Sophie Podolski, Cevdet Erek, Michèle Matyn, Andrea Fraser, Luc Deleu, Georges Smits, Allan Sekula, Laure Prouvost, Luc Tuymans, Bart Prinsen, David Lamelas, Jimmie Durham, Katrin Kamrau, Ruth Sacks, Walter Swennen, Chantal Peñalosa, Nicolás Uriburu, Stephen Willats, Paul Hendrikse, Marlene Dumas, Rinus Van de Velde, Danny Devos, Eva Donckers, Alain Ayers, Mathieu Verhaeghe, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Adrien Tirtiaux, Laurie Parsons, Gordon Matta-Clark, Hugo Roelandt, Ria Pacquée and items from the Roberto Bolaño Archive.
Opening night 06.06.19, 20:00