Joris Van de Moortel


For over 15 years, Joris Van de Moortel (1983, Oostakker-Lourdes, lives and works in Antwerp) has been building a diverse, multidisciplinary oeuvre. He makes music, paintings, drawings, sculptures and maquettes, which may or may not subsequently be solidified into large-scale installations full of neon. In collaboration with others, he turns these to life in live performances full of wax, fire, smoke and glass. Video work and stop-motion films then allow him to merge many things into a new form.

His work is characterized by an excess of rebuses, puns, (art)historical references and a visual language marked by a horror vacui. However, this embrace of a messy aesthetic is a necessity to form a critical discourse around the disorderly relations between nature, culture, art, religion and society today. Entering Joris Van de Moortel's studio feels more like a peek into the laboratory of an alchemist.

In his practice, he adopts a similarly inquisitive attitude to this extinct figure from worldly mythology. Rather than seeking eternal life and wealth, however, Van de Moortel seems to be looking for something else: for a walkable path out of the chaos of the world we have created and which we are now speeding toward its destruction.

FRAGMENTEN, DOORGANGEN, AFDALING EN TERUGKEER is a first episode of a triptych the artist is preparing and will have stops later in 2024 at the SMAK in Ghent and the LAM in Villeneuve d'Asc (FR). The exhibition cycle will be a proposal for a new mythology in order to better comprehend not only our own world, but also that of the artist. Prepare yourself to enter the Alchemist's kitchen...

Artists: Joris Van de Moortel