Carol Rama, Malelingue, 2002. Felt pen and enamel on plywood, 35 x 44,5 cm. Courtesy of Repetto Gallery, London. © Archivio Carol Rama, Torino.

L’Oeuvre et son Double

The exhibition L’Oeuvre et son Double, curated by Sam Steverlynck in the Stibbe Lounge at Art Brussels, unites the work of various artists participating at this year’s Venice Biennale, both at the main exhibition called The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani, and several national pavilions. The title is a reference to Le Décor et son Double, the installation Daniel Buren conceived for the iconic, extramural exhibition Chambres d’Amis, curated by Jan Hoet in 1986, inviting 50 artists to exhibit their work in private houses in Ghent. Buren went a step further by not only applying his characteristic banded motif to the guest room of the house of the – recently deceased – collector Anton Herbert, but also realizing a reconstruction of the room in the museum. Though both rooms look identical, the stripes were applied at the upper part in Anton & Annick Herbert’s house, whereas at the lower part in the room in the museum. Cleverly playing out the contrast between copy and original, the private and the public, the installation – that in matter of fact only existed completely when mentally connecting both venues – functions as a perfect metaphor for an exhibition simultaneously showing works by artists at the Venice Biennial and Art Brussels. Referring to themes addressed in Cecilia Alemani’s exhibition – including the body in metamorphosis and the relationship between the body and earth – some of the selected artists show works that come from a similar series as in Venice, while others play with the notion of double, copy or mirror image.

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