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 Unstable Self

image: (c) M HKA, Collection M HKA
Chaise découpée [Cut-Up Chair], 1964-2008
Sculpture , 83 x 40 x 35 cm
wood, canvas

The chair takes on a special role in the oeuvre of Jacques Lizène, the self-proclaimed 'Minor Master of Liège'. Lizène likes to turn the (art) world upside-down. According to him, art and life are intertwined. In addition, it is not the form of the artwork, but rather the attitude of the artist that is important. Lizène’s work critically questions the place of the artist, art, and the art world.

Chairs are one of Lizène’s preferred mediums, because they are able to adopt numerous forms and functions. They are both bodies and frameworks: seated, resting, damaged entities, but also carriers, stretchers, frames and structures. This dual identity closely correlates with two elements from Lizène's work: genetics and death.

By cutting and reassembling two different chairs, Lizène creates a sculptural object. In these sculptures a link is clearly established with genetics, the bringing together of two structures to create a new shape. The chairs were once ordinary, everyday objects; by reformulating and fusing them, these hybrids become more than the sum of their parts.