In spring 2023, Bozar celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the artistic career of the Belgian artist Michel François. His new exhibition Contre nature offers visitors a comprehensive introduction and a new glimpse of the work of one of Belgium’s leading contemporary artists.
Michel François’ work is very diverse. However, it holds a great deal of internal logic and coherence. François often works with ordinary materials and found objects that he arranges, manipulates and transforms. He is also attentive to the simple and natural phenomena of everyday life, such as breathing, yawning, scattering, disappearing, repeating, playing, balancing... In his studio, these everyday objects and gestures undergo subtle transformations until they become loaded with meaning. Time and chance sometimes have as much influence as the artist’s hand. Seemingly insignificant gestures sometimes have major consequences... Michel François’ works communicate a fragile tension and invite the visitor to look afresh and with wonder at the world around them and the living condition.
The architecture of the Centre for Fine Arts is the starting point for Michel François to develop his “total work of art.” The artist arranges the exhibition halls as an extension of his studio, inviting the visitor to experience all the media through which the artist expresses his creativity: installation, photography, sculpture, video and drawing. Contre nature is structured around six recurring themes and key concepts in François’s work: “Blind Spot,” “Théâtre des opérations,” “Jardin contre nature,” “Hétérotopie,” “Scène des abandons,” and “Pièces à conviction.” More than one hundred works from forty years of practice are brought together in a dialogue. New works of art complete the selection, including Blind Spot—an impressive tower of mirrors over four metres high—and the hypnotic Mud Volcano films. This exhibition was conceived in collaboration with curator Laurent Jacob.
In his practice, Michel François regularly collaborates with other artists, choreographers, filmmakers and exhibition designers, notably Ann Veronica Janssens, Pierre Droulers, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Richard Venlet, Guillaume Désanges....These collaborations also find their place in and around the exhibition with performances by Rosas, special visits from the writer Philippe Bertels as part of the evening openings, and the screening of a new film by Loïc Vanderstichelen and Jean-
Partners: MACS (Musée des Arts Contemporains Grand-
Curated by Leonie Radine.
Exhibition 16 March -
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