In his solo exhibition for De Garage in Mechelen, Daan Gielis (Diest, 1988) queries the connectivity between conflicting desires and sentiments. Happiness and sadness coinciding, frustration of desire that only triggers new desire, underground culture that stays authentic while selling out… in You Won’t Get What You Want, Gielis explores the emotional, communicative and social systems that together make up the world as we know it.
Each of these systems, Gielis suggests, is riddled by contradiction. And yet, precisely because of those internal contradictions these systems thrive. No wonder that so many of us are emotionally conflicted about present reality, struggling to find consistency.
In his new series of mixed media sculptures Gielis documents that struggle. In Happy Sad, a three-meter wide neon sculpture of a crying smiley, happiness and sadness coincide. A tribute to the all too familiar experience of frustrated desire giving way to renewed desires, You won’t get what you want features water continuously trickling down large ceramic tears that are suspended from the ceiling into terracotta wishing wells placed on the floor - only to be transported up again to reiterate the process.
Searching for an escape from the contradictions that make up our world, will be no easy task, the works of Gielis suggest. There will be no simple solutions, You Won’t Get What You Want assures us.