The exhibitions Urgent Conversations: Athens–Antwerp and Urgent Conversations: Antwerp – Athens are a collaboration between EMST and M HKA, a theoretical and visual dialogue, based on works from the collections of both museums, which includes more than 70 works structured in 22 topics.   

28.04.2017 - 07.01.2018        

M HKA, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen - Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen

EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art - Kallirrois Avenue & Amvr. Frantzi Str., Athens 11743

Spiritual Form

(c)image: Bo Bex
The Intellectual Murderer Shoes, 1975
Installation , 23 x 33 x 13 cm
fabric, shoes

Byars’ art is a cerebral art, an aesthetics of thought immersed in an atmosphere of immateriality. He emphatically rejects the idea of interpreting works of art in the light of what is already known, as this hampers the process of free thinking. This idea is also present in The Intellectual Murderer Shoes. The reality of the object, in combination with the title, can evoke images of murder scenes with experts in enveloped shoes, or of Byars as a mystic and alchemist who frequently dressed up in a gold suit and a black magician’s hat and shoes. Byars regarded works of art as images in themselves, as objects which as a symbol are cut off from any sort of reference. Guessing their origin would signify a form of classification and this is useless and wasteful. Byars’ personal vocabulary and visual idiom is also unmistakable in The Intellectual Murderer Shoes. The monochrome blackness, the sense of materiality and the simplicity of the whole reveal the paradox between Byars’ pursuit of perfection and the ephemeral character of his work.