Aeroplastics Contemporary: 15 years of madness
(So weiss, weisser geht's nicht © Simone Decker)
Aeroplastics Contemporary has never really been your average gallery. At the opening of the Carlos Aires exhibition, for example, costumed dwarves served cava alongside a bar adapted to their height. On another occasion, Skip Arnold hung naked from the ceiling. The gallery has always been game for some sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, all flambéed in a solid dose of black humour.
“The art I show is based on everyday life, fear, and irony,” says Jérôme Jacobs, who has spent fifteen years keeping the madness on track. Exhibitions in Aeroplastics are often jam-packed, like a contemporary variant on the curiosity cabinet or the freak show. And “Full House”, an exhibition of work by more than a hundred artists to celebrate the gallery’s fifteenth birthday, is no exception.
(Closet Cornet © Skip Arnold / Jerimadisen I © Marcel Mariën)
“I like to exhibit a lot of stuff,” observes Jacobs. “That’s why I’m here in this town house and not in a typical white cube. Purists may not always appreciate that. But with me everything is tongue-in-cheek. In this exhibition I am showing artists whom I represent, with whom I have worked in the past, that I love, or that I collect myself.” The result is a colourful ensemble, divided into a number of thematic clusters. In the room devoted to war and violence, for example, you can see a series of nineteen portraits in which Joy Garnett depicts the terrorists behind 9/11. A little further on stands a Louis Vuitton suitcase containing a homemade bomb – a work by Gregory Green. Dominic McGill exhibits his Vampire Killer Kit, a travel bag with a magnifying glass, serum, an axe, and other devices for killing vampires. There is also a delightfully politically incorrect work by John Isaacs in which a bell-jar contains the long hair of a hippie he scalped, alongside the victim’s badges reading “Give peace a chance” and “Save the whale”. In a similar vein is a contribution from Skip Arnold, whom we mentioned earlier: a series of photographs of a performance in which he hid, naked, in the bushes in front of a girls’ school, ready to strike at any moment.
(Capotes dans wc publiques © Till Rabus)
With his garden gnomes in the form of an African street-sweeper, a Polish plumber, and a Portuguese bricklayer, the Swiss artist Till Rabus makes fun of racial stereotyping. Despite the large number of works, some amusing connections are made. Anton Corbijn’s photograph of the then young Depeche Mode, for example, is juxtaposed with film stills selected by John Waters from The Man with the Golden Arm, in which we see Frank Sinatra shooting heroin. Raw, extravagant, and shocking – which is exactly what we expected from Aeroplastics.
(Courtesy of Aeroplastics Contemporary)
FULL HOUSE > 17/5, di/ma/Tu > vr/ve/Fr 11 > 18.00, za/sa/Sa 14 > 18.00, Aeroplastics Contemporary, rue Blanchestraat 32, Sint-Gillis/Saint-Gilles, 02-537.22.02, www.aeroplastics.net