The beginning of the 21st century
The real beginning of the 20st century was World War I. This war- 1914 – 1918 - was one of the deadliest conflicts in history with estimated 21 million deaths. In 1918 it was followed by the big 1918 influenza pandemic with over 100 million deaths. 100 years ago Paul Van Ostaijen (° Antwerp, 1896 - 1928) wrote his masterpiece “Bezette Stad” – “Occupied City”.
The Covid – 19 pandemic seems to echo this catastrophe and will bring us to big shifts not in the least regarding the consequences of the climate crisis, the end of old capitalism and old politics. The real beginning of the 21st century is now!
We present work by artists of the gallery and some classics as artists always have been the canaries in society’s coal mine.
About “Occupied City” and Paul Van Ostaijen: Today ‘Occupied City’ is regarded as an important contribution to Europe’s modernist literature. Embedded in a fragmentary atmospheric sketch of life in the port of Antwerp during World War I, ‘Occupied City’ is first and foremost a settling of accounts with the bourgeois culture and politics of Ostaijen’s period. The Dadaist influence from his time in Berlin can be found in its inventive rhythmical typography, its use of the collage technique, and the radicalism of its unparalleled cynical evocation of wartime suffering.
Artists: Wesley Meuris, Marie Cloquet, Herman Van Ingelgem, Marc Rossignol, Andrew Webb, Marc Vanderleenen, Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver, Niels Donckers, Marc De Blieck, Tim Breukers, Thomas Swinkels, Thom Puckey, Rik Moens, Matt Blackwell, Anne Mie Van Kerckhoven, Ludmilla Danon, Leo Copers, Dodi Espinosa, Ria Pacquée