Not sure how this relates to playing with futures: the art project by Belgian artist Raymond Minnen seems to be more about playing with the past. But as I often write, here and elsewhere, the very attitude of playfulness is an essential prerequisite for any serious approach to thinking on futures, and in this context this was a good exercise.
We bumped into this exhibition completely accidentally, when strolling through Antwerp the other day. De Zwarte Panter (Black Panter) is one of those art galleries that makes the city a center of refined, decadent, elitist, but still very interesting cultural life, at least in Europe for sure. The building is very close to the main square, an epicenter of touristic activities, and it’s difficult to miss it – yet we managed to do so during many years. Finally we made the efforts to enter, and immediately encountered at least two interesting exhibitions, this one, and another one on post-Bosch. More on the second later, and now the floor is with
It wasn’t, in fact, a floor, but a basement where we found many of the art-installations ‘revisiting’ the ‘Vladimir Ilyich’; it was pretty damp there, and dark, and to pictures are often so-so.
Basically, everything was like that – all sort of Lenins shown in all sorts of ways how Lenin has usually not been shown:
Most of them we found not so interesting, but this one, mingled with St.Nicolas and presenting Lenin as a chocolate head was fun (well, art-fun, of some sort).
The above technique, of 3D collage, was also used in the largest installation in the hall, a multi-part composition with Lenin as a Plastic Skeleton laying in coffin (I assume it was an allusion to the Mausoleum – but may be not):
I was particularly interested in the use of mirror in this composition – and I thought I took a few pictures with it, and yet back at home I only discovered this very one with the mirror 😦 Or two, technically speaking, but the second one is not much different from the first:
I also have a few (mirror-less) close-ups:
And finally the piece that basically pulled my attention to this whole series of installations in the first place – Lenin Looking in the Mirror in the Lenin’s Skull:
This is my attempt to capture it:
And this is the version of the gallery:
And this is again me:
For the sake of completeness – this is the work we haven’t seen, but found at their website:
I assume there will be more of such revisitations in the near future:
Let’s hope that at least some of them will be more interesting than the others.