DRIES VAN LAETHEM
Dries Van Laethem (°1996) lets sculptures come to him. With the patience of a spider, he organizes points of convergence for their components, which become entangled before they realize it.
A used metal rack curls up like an insect and is held in position by a barely visible steel cable.
Van Laethem likes the sort of quick-fix solutions he stumbles upon in the streetscape, finding innovative and improper uses for materials and techniques. He is a full-blooded bricoleur, in the sense attached to this concept by Claude Lévi-Strauss, i.e. he collects objects and materials in the hope of one day being able to use them for a purpose they were not originally intended for.
At the same time we have a strange lightness, transparency and elegance: the resulting sculptures are not awkward, overworked, unwieldy or thumbed. There is something clean-cut about them, something dance-like and something amusing. They remind us that humour and poetry make tears in the curtain of projected images that protects us from the chaotic, threatening reality, while also holding us captive by hiding from us the unbridled possibilities of that same reality.
Van Laethem makes epigrams which call to mind Baudelaire’s fencing flâneurs, his gentlemen strollers of city streets. They are the fruits of refined pranks. Begetters of breathing space. Contrapuntal balancing acts. Sculptures…
Montagne de Miel, June 22nd 2018 - Hans Theys
Publication copyright Leontien Allemeersch
2019 All About Stacking. Eva Steyen.Deviation(s), Antwerpen
2019 PILGRIMAGE. Brussel Brost, Brussel
2019 PILGRIMAGE. Yart, Gerard deDuivelsteen, Gent
2019 Biënnale Kunstenfestival Aardenburg. Aardenburg, Nederland and Middelburg, België
2019 Biënnale van België/ Bienale de Belgique. Floraliënhal, Gent
2019 CURFEW. Gent
2019 SHELF PUBLISHING. M HKA, Antwerpen
2018 THE OLD UP AND DOWN. Annie Gentils Gallery, Antwerpen
2018 THE OLD UP AND DOWN. D'apostrof, Meigem
2018 THE OLD UP AND DOWN. Antwerp Art Pavilion, Antwerpen
2018 NIGHT SHIFT: FROM DUSK 'TILL DAWN. De beursschouwburg, Brussel
2018 TUMULT IN GENT 6. De krook, Gent
2018 THE GATHERING. Panthera.today, Brussel
2018 KOLONIE-WERVEND VOORWOORD. Kolonie, Gent
2017 LISTENING TO THE FORM. Panthera.today, Brussel
2017 VERKAVELINGSVLAAMS. Nest, Gent
2017 MAARTEN VAN SEVEREN & CO- Het wilde ding. Designmuseum, Gent. Curated by Hilde Bouchez
2017 EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT. Zwarte Zaal, Gent
2017 DAAR MAG JE ALLEEN MAAR NAAR KIJKEN. Kask, Gent
2016 TEKENINGENKABINET #2 MASS. Kask, Gent
2016 STOCK #1 UNTITLED. Stock, Het Paviljoen, Gent
2016 STOFWOLK COPACOBANA EDITION. Copacobana festival, Gent
2016 AN AFTERNOON WITH HANS THEYS. Cinema Zuid, Antwerpen
2015 SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL. Galerie Francis Carrette, Brussel