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The work ‘Restoration’ forms the basis for the ultimate counterpoint in artistic recycling, complemented from the adjoining space by the work ‘Sampled History’, in a relationship characterised by ebb and flow. In this work, the artist has — in the same vein as his sample collecting — applied, layer by layer, the amount of white paint necessary for returning the exhibition space to its original, blank canvas. However, these are anything but painterly acts. These are not wall paintings made of recycled pigment; painting is not on the artist’s agenda. The work of Kris Van Dessel is not to be categorised as a series of manufactured artefacts bound to or positioned in an exhibition space. His work would better be described as offering cross-sections of discoveries made tangible — the results of poetic-artistic research, presented here as food for thought for the observer. In addition to the renovation works that have fundamentally changed the architecture of the spaces, Kris Van Dessel has, with the utmost discretion, created a parallel space that breaks through the established time-space continuum. It’s wonderful to get lost in his work, that is, once you’ve wormed your through the formal, syntactic trail of consecutive, chronological, two-dimensional layers; reaching the light at the end of the wormhole, you are free to reflect on what has been and what could be in the future of the safe haven that is art — now surely more essential than ever. 233 layers of white wall paint on studio workbench / 2015. (photo © Peter Cox)


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