is an exhibition space founded in 2019 by Sandra Meilūnaitė & Dilum Coppens. After opening up their studio and adjoining space for an exhibition under the name "BETWEEN (STAGE)", they decided to keep the ball rolling, renovate the room and use it as an artist-run exhibition space for young and emerging artist. By hosting regular exhibitions for artists trying to do what they love, they hope to show Brussels the fresh young faces of promising creators, and broaden both the artists’ as their own network.
DEMOLUTION, April 2022
SEA BREEZE, August 2021
An Exhibition by Ines Thora, August 2021
State of Things, May 2021
BETWEEN (STAGE), August 2019
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23 April - 1 May 2022
The collapse at the end of the Late Bronze Age, of the Akkadian Empire, the Roman Empires, the Maya, and Easter Island. All of them are examples that we could study and show us the harbingers of ruination. These histories show many signals that our global society is close to coming apart.
This statement can seem rash, and we might think that our society is too global and anchored to completely collapse. And yet … our forebears neither foresaw their end. They were sure of their power and stability.
We cannot deny that more and more social unrest rising to the surface. Manifestations, political polarization, and revolutions have appeared more and more frequently over the last decades. But might it be nothing more than logical that these historical phenomena increase their frequency in a society that keeps evolving and communicating more and more rapidly?
While a collapse often carries a negative connotation, revolution is often desirable, a sign of the fall of an oppressive regime. Yet both of them end in something inevitable: change.
Here, we would like to approach two kinds of societal change.
Firstly, a society can chance through revolutions, such as the French Revolution and the Arab Spring. The people rise up against societal or political systems to tear them down and construct new ones. There are parts that continue to exist, but others are completely destroyed. Although destruction is part of a revolution’s identity, this destruction is conscious and organized to some degree. The people gradually change their systems, identities, their society to a chosen vision.
Secondly, we have the phenomenon of societal collapse, such as the fall of the Roman Empires and the Maya. These destructions aren’t supported or consciously put into motion by these society’s people. They are catastrophes that tumble entire worlds. Undoubtedly, it is a destruction of a greater magnitude. It causes greater and deeper traumas. More of the identity, stability, and systems disappears, if they aren't completely wiped off the map.
The goal of revolution is to bring change through destruction, while a societal collapse is destruction that leads to change.
Our Western society, which celebrated the turn of the last century in a daze of unprecedented stability and prosperity, is experiencing increasing tensions and volatility. Population shifts, outside aggression, untrustworthy leaders, and ecological disaster - Edward Gibbon wrote about these phenomena in his historical analysis of the fall of The Western Roman Empire, and today they are once again part of our topicality.
Artists stand on the fortress walls, they watch and describe what they see. In the steadfast 50s and 60s, their gaze could wander inwardly. They fell back on their own world, making minimal and conceptual art. In turbulent times they expressed fragmentation, confusion.
So they do today. Yet again, something slouches towards Bethlehem. Today's art world is highly individualized, but young artists are once again turning their gaze ever more outwards, to the disturbing circumstances that are advancing towards us. We find their work, their view, their anticipation important. It must therefore be shown.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
- George Santayana
With work by Aathmigan, Davide Zulli, Denys Shantar, Dilum Coppens, Ernest Bessems
Florian Model, George Stamenov, Justine Cappelle, Katya Granova, Luis Chenche, Matthias De Wolf, Paulius Sliaupa & Penny Hallas.
Music by Mike Frison.
31 October - 5 November 2021
11% of art acquired by the top museums for their permanent collections was by women. 78% of galleries represent more men than women. 27% of living contemporary artists in the Tate Collection are women.
In 2021, women’s voices are still underrepresented.
This issue is felt further than simple statistics. Sandra Meilunaite, curator of and artist in our new exhibition BruocsellA, saw that the Fine Arts department she studied at was filled with mostly women students when she started out. But when it became time to graduate, the ratio of men was higher than ever. And even after attaining a degree, women are pushed to the sidelines.
K.L.8 has always striven for an equal approach to their representation of artists. But we have to go further and work towards an equitable approach.
BruocsellA will give a voice solely to women working and/or living in Brussels. The original name of Brussels, namely Bruocsella, proves with its -a declension that Brussels was female from the beginning.
But BruocsellA wants to go beyond the idea of women's rights. It is not meant to show that women are forgotten or “in a weaker position”. Women are more than social issues. BruocsellA focuses on the quality and subject of the artists, which goes beyond one issue. The curation leaves gender aside and focuses on the work itself and its strength in any capacity or context. Women are more than the obstacles they overcome. They are as complete as any human being, and their strength shows in the caliber and diversity of their work.
With work by Bo Vloors, Chloé Van Oost, Ilke Cop, Ines Thora, Justine Cappelle, Luth Lea Rose, Marjolein Guldentops, Mariia Dergacheva, Set Chevallier, Sofia Druzhinina, Sandra Meilūnaitė & Yasmine Jai.
24-29 August 2021
For her exhibition at K.L.8, Cappelle will be showing works she has made over the years but has never brought together, which focus on the sea and sea-side. The subjects of her works often come from very personal experiences. Growing up in West-Flanders created a big fascination for the sea, where the works act as a way for her to deal with her past and the idea of “being home”. Cappelle deals with her fear of losing her home, a place to ground herself. These fears are materialized in the ebb and flow of the sea, washing away the past, destroying her memories, and leaving her with nothing.
While her video work will still be present, and often be the starting point of the installations, it will be the first time she has so extensively integrated other media in her presentations. An impressionistic documentary about the border between sea and land will be submerged underwater. Canvasses painted by the sea will be shown together with a video depicting the process of the paintings. Digital manipulations will be projected on an empty canvas, comparing painterly and digital manipulations. Rather than a fully-finished exhibition, this showcase will focus on the process and experimentations of an artist stepping outside of what she knows, looking for what her work could become.
In her artistic practice, Justine Cappelle investigates the invisible and intangible and makes them perceivable and touchable. Concepts such as WiFi, Bluetooth, fragility, family, beauty, and aging are some of the abstract subjects that she has tackled in the past. While she has a background in film and documentary making, she hasn’t shied away from going beyond and creating art in all different media. Her main focus remains on the medium of video, which often has a surreal documentary feeling to them, but the objects she creates complement these investigations.
These subjects often remain on the periphery, and can sometimes be seen as banal. The wind, the sea, WiFi, all these things matter to us greatly but are hardly thought about or experienced. Cappelle has a great fascination with that which often remains unseen and gives importance to them through her work.
The matter of her movies is often very open-ended, but one can also feel a socio-political background in them. This is however not the main focus point of Cappelle, who more seeks to make the audience wonder and be aware instead of changing or imposing opinions. Through making the intangible tangible, it is not only technological or natural processes that solidify, but also their implications on our culture and society.
Through this process of materialization, the medium itself is also up for investigation and transformation. As the immaterial solidifies, it does so in the form of a medium. Cappelle looks for ways where the medium can contribute to the process of research and gelation. By doing so, the medium becomes more than what it is by itself. Art being more than the sum of its parts comes to the forefront here, where Cappelle makes the medium evolve or transform, so it can show a new side of itself or become something completely different.
Cappelle’s work has been internationally screened, at places such as Filmfestival Oostende, International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam, Festival International du Documentaire Émergent Paris & FIFA Montreal presented in the collection ‘something new’. Her movie “Margrave”, which will be on view at the show, also won the Grand Prix Tbilisi International Student Film Festival & Ensor best cinematography in a short film.
An Exhibition by Ines Thora
10-15 August 2021
For her exhibition at K.L.8, Ines Thora is showing a new parcours in her artistic practice which she is still intensely exploring. The elements she has used and created in her paintings over the past years are up for discussion in her latest works. Painted marks and pencil lines used to dictate her images, which are now being amplified or even traded for sewn elements that have recently been introduced in her visual language. The paint is slowly being replaced with the actual material of the canvas: fabric and thread. The “voids” she fills and creates in her work are still present, but gain a new appearance without losing the sensitivity and delicacy which draws us into her artistic world.
An Exhibition by Ines Thora invited you to come to see and discuss Thora’s new quest into her intrinsic world of painting.
Ines Thora’s work is a direct translation of her abstract persona, a representation of her inner world as it comes to her while painting. As her work is formed by her feelings and intuition at the moment of creation, Thora doesn’t like to further explain her work to retain its universality. The language she uses attempts to convey that which cannot be verbalized, such as meditative atmospheres and the physical act of painting. It is a way for her to communicate, to make visible that which is intrinsically invisible. A way to react and interact with the world. The physical act of painting and the intangible sphere of the mind meet each other in the void of the canvas which she pulls forward and slumbers back beneath its surface.
These conflicting and hard-to-grasp concepts are what makes the work so compelling. Usually, Thora’s work gains a sense of diffusion, related to the work of Mark Rothko. Painted marks seem to float out off and recede back into the canvas. The image appears as if floating underwater or in the air. Recently though, the physical elements of the canvas are used and enhanced to make the physicality of the work more apparent. The coincidence of the paint itself, which was up until now so prominent in her work, has taken a backseat to allow the actual carrier of the painting to speak its story through its intuitive materiality.
Each painting is a fight with the void. Without humanity’s interference, the word of meaning would remain empty. Thora pulls the painting’s humanity from its depths, only for it to start to fade away again. Only now, the non-empty voids are stitched together and touched by an actual human presence.
Ines’ work has been shown extensively in Belgium, with exhibitions in Brussels, Aalst, Knokke, and Leuven. Recently, she has been signed to the new OBSIDIAN art gallery with her premier exhibition at the space.
State of Things
21-24 May 2021
Ilke Cop’s first solo show State of Things is presented in K.L.8., Jette.
State of Things is conceived as an installation in situ. A triptych of large scale canvases, painted during the past three months, is combined with an installation work and a couple of smaller paintings, tailored to this exhibition.
The title of the show has a double meaning: on the one hand it refers to an intermediate assessment Ilke Cop makes of her own artistic process, of which the dynamic was intensified by the persistent COVID-pandemic. Secondly, the title references the way in which the artist studies her own visual language. By constantly exchanging and varying images, Cop investigates how new images are born.
Vibrant colors and meandering landscapes lure the viewer into Cop’s world. It’s aworld where the relationships and structures that control our reality are heavily questioned. The images are rich with references to art history, well known places and loaded symbols. They allow the viewer to form a very personal relationship with the art works. The mental space is visualised through the use of Pre- Renaissance perspective, the inversion of the visual hierarchy and the adoption of diverse media to transform the physical space.
Textile is an important component of the installation, undoubtedly influenced by the artist’s background in fashion. The fabrics refer to the decorative function that is often assigned to women, even in today’s world.
The artist contrasts this limited vision of womanhood with the great attention to technique she applies to the art works and the conceptualisation of the show. She forces her person and her artistic process to take center stage : a clear attempt to break through the patriarchal structure.
The visitor meets the image of the female, but also the image of the artist. Her craft and physicality are palpable and so the viewer is invited to contemplate her face and body parts. These objects are all at once subjects and vice versa: the muse and the creator. Ilke Cop returns the surveying gaze and establishes the role of the female maker in all its vulnerability and long subdued strength.
Ilke Cop (° 1988) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. In 2010 she graduated as a master in the history of art, and the core of her ideas and vision took root. She runs a lauded and sustainable fashion brand (ILKECOP). By the end of 2018 she started her art practice. She is a member of the new writers collective for women Hyster-x.
In her work, Cop embraces both traditional oil painting techniques and art history to form a new visual language, rich with conceptual layers. The question on the position of ‘the female’ is always at the core of her practice.
18-24 July 2020
For their first exhibition at their new exhibition space K.L.8, Sandra Meilunaite and Dilum Coppens chose 23 artists to show work around the theme of “beauty”.
With the severe cultural budget cuts made in Flanders, they made the decision to open up their own artist-run exhibition space for young and beginning artists. And what better way to start everything off with a comment made by MP Peter De Roover, who reacted against the reaction of the cultural sector. De Roover claims that “we used to have artists who had a better eye for beauty”. Sandra and Dilum, however, do not believe so and went out looking for artists to show a very diverse vision on contemporary beauty.
And they sure did find it. From trashy to luxury, vague to direct, subtle to in-your-face, humane to mechanical, the show will be filled with as much aesthetics and visions as possible.
Ranging from figurative painting to experimental video and installation, 23 artists from Belgium and abroad were selected and will show work at the exhibition “beauty / ?”.
Beauty is when there is an investigation into the inner interest. The interest in everything our eyes can see or what our bodies can feel. The research materializes itself into an image, through the hands and minds of the various identities that are scattered throughout the world. When they come together, we understand that everyone's perspective is different - if you stand on one side of a box, you won't see the other side. The beauty comes into play when multiple sides are exposed, and there are no more boundaries.
With work by Aarnoud De Rycker, Alma & Brett Studhome, Annabel Claeys, Arthur Cordier, Claudia Holzinger, Dawn Woolley, Doménico CV Talarico, Florien Allemeersch, Francesca Mussi, Magdalena Hoffa, Mario Londoño, Matthias De Wolf, Myriam Gross Mall, Peter Troucheau, Roos van Geffen, Sandrine Deumier, Stef Lemmens, Stefan Klein, Stijn Van Hoof, Tshepo Moloi and Wouter Vanderstede & Peter Simon.