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

The Vibrating Image

Delvoye  wim  betonmolen  1993collectie m hka (c)image: M HKA
Betonmolen [Cement Mixer], 1993-1993
Sculpture , 128 x 155 x 92 cm
Wood, lacquer

“I use ornament – a pre-modernist activity – but I agree with the fact of its criminal character. And I count on the fact that my use of ornament is criminal. You can almost compare it to smoking now. You can’t naively smoke anymore. You know it’s not healthy, but you do it.” - Wim Delvoye

The cement mixer of Wim Delvoye is made completely from wood and decorated with white-painted foliage and other motifs. Here Delvoye conjures the transformation of an everyday object into an enigmatic one. On first sight it looks like a piece of baroque furniture from a far-off epoch. The term ‘baroque’ in this case refers more to its original meaning – namely capricious or bizarre forms of creation – than to the style-period of that name. Stylistically seen, all of Delvoye’s decorated concrete mixers are indeed rather more a mixture of styles from different periods than beholden to the rules of any one particular style. As to form, the cement mixers look terribly logical, but not at all with respect to content. A cement mixer has nothing to do with the past; on the contrary, it is an icon of our contemporary society. But nonetheless, owing to the assemblage of materials and iconography, the object still harks back to bygone times.