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Elen Braga

Elen Braga, Le Tombeau du Géant, Rectangle, Brussels

Elen Braga

Le Tombeau du Géant

Friday 27 August 2021
at Waldburger Wouters, Brussels

Opening Friday 27 August, 5–8pm
27 August – 16  October 2021

Rectangle is pleased to present Le Tombeau du Géant, a collaboration with Elen Braga at Waldburger Wouters.

“For the inauguration of the billboard ‘Le Tombeau du Géant’ hosted by Rectangle, I present a work inspired by the historic site of that name, located in the town of Bouillon in Belgium. Tombeau du Géant (Giant’s Tomb) comes from the legend of the giant Gallic hero who refused to be taken prisoner by the Romans and preferred to throw himself off the “Rocher des Gattes” rock instead of dying in the arena of the Colosseum. The next day, the people of Botassart found his body and buried him on top of a hill surrounded by a river. As a result, today the site has become a well-known and photographed touristic attraction, suggesting the transformation of myth into entertainment.

Besides the billboard, I present a series of 4 works that propose an ironic narrative of the soft fall of monuments, and of the fantasy surrounding it.”


Elen Braga is a multimedia artist. Interested in issues related to the self, she researches themes such as strength, ambition and resilience. Her practice often involves self-imposed tasks, as well as intense labor-requiring endeavors. She delves into mythological narratives, revisiting them to examine the ways in which they survive in contemporary behavior and beliefs.

Exhibition view Le Tombeau du Géant by Elen Braga, Rectangle, Brussels
Elen Braga, Le Tombeau du Géant, 2021, Hand-tufted tapestry, 77,5 x 58 cm
Elen Braga, Looking at the hula hoop, 2021, Hand-tufted tapestry, 25 x 31 cm
Elen Braga, Soft fall, 2021, Hand-tufted tapestry, 25 x 31 cm
Elen Braga, Four birds for one piece of fabric, 2021, Hand-tufted tapestry, 25 x 31 cm
Elen Braga, Holding the paradise, 2021, Hand-tufted tapestry, 60 x 59 cm

Documentations

Website: elenbraga.com

Biography

Elen Braga
Born in Maranhão, Brazil, 1984
Lives and works in Brussels

Categories
Reviews

Hearts and Minds – Catalog Launch

Catalog Launch

Hearts and Minds

30 July 2021
at Rectangle, Brussels

Chantal Akerman
Harold Ancart
Jef Geys
Dan Graham
Bodys Isek Kingelez
Robert Lebeck
An-My Lê
Otobong Nkanga
Marina Pinsky
Claudia Peña Salinas
Adam Simon
Momoyo Torimitsu
Hil Ye

Rectangle is thrilled to invite you to the catalog launch of the group show
 Hearts and Minds,
a joint project of carriage trade / Rectangle

We’d like to thank all the artists and the following lenders for their loans of artwork for the exhibition:

Icarus Films (Chantal Akerman), Clearing Gallery, Brooklyn (Harold Ancart), Essex Street/Maxwell Graham (Jef Geys), Greene Naftali Gallery (Dan Graham), Ronald Guttman / Christine Martin, Frédéric de Goldschmidt / André Magnin (Bodys Isek Kingelez), Janice Guy (An-My Lê), Cordula Lebeck, Archiv Robert Lebeck (Robert Lebeck), Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam (Otobong Nkanga), C L E A R I N G, Brussels (Marina Pinsky), and AfricaMuseum (Royal Museum for Central Africa).

A special thanks to Lawrence B. Benenson, LMCC, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Mr. Jacques Louise Vidal, WBI (Wallonie-Bruxelles International) and FWB (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) for their generous support. Thanks also to gallery assistants Jervey Inglesby, Laura Li, Molly Miller, Hannah Park, Kristal Uribe, as well as Daylon Orr, for all their efforts on the exhibition.

With the gracious support of

Categories
Screening

BOYAMBA BELGIQUE

BOYAMBA BELGIQUE

Or why a king should not lose his sword.

A film by Dries Engels & Bart Van Peel


Online Screening
17 June 2021 – 27 June 2021

carriage trade and Rectangle are pleased to present BOYAMBA BELGIQUE, or why a king should not lose his sword, screening online from June 17- 27, 2021 as part of the exhibition Hearts and Minds, which has been extended through June 27, 2021.

On June 30, 1960, the young Belgian King Baudouin was in Leopoldville (now Kinshasha) for a ceremony to transfer power to the Congolese after more than 50 years of colonial rule. As the procession headed up the crowded main boulevard, a Congolese man came up alongside the limousine from which Baudouin was saluting his troops, stole the King’s sword and ran off. Captured in a now iconic photograph by Robert Lebeck, the image offers proof of a brilliant act of defiance by the colonized in the face of a last, ostentatious display of influence by the colonizer, symbolically taking power before it could be granted.

While the photograph captured the dramatic gesture the instant it occurred, what happened to the man and the sword in the aftermath of the event remained an enigma. Traveling to the Congo 50 years later, the filmmakers Dries Engels & Bart Van Peel try and complete the story of Lebeck’s powerful image, and in searching for the whereabouts of the man and the sword, encounter along the way some of the legacies and consequences of the long shadow of colonial rule.

Hearts and Minds
A joint project of carriage trade and Rectangle, Brussels.
Extended to June 27, 2021

CREDITS:

Directors Dries Engels & Bart Van Peel
Producer Ellen De Waele
In co-production with Isabelle Truc for Iota Production (BE)
Scientific supervisor Zana Etambala
DOP Carl Rottiers
Sound Jevon Lambrechts
Editor Joris Vanden Berk
Componist Andrew Claes
Associate producer Ingrid Coppé
Co -producers Isabelle Truc, RTBF, CANVAS
World Sales Cat&Docs

Categories
Reviews

Revealing the Prickly Side of Imperial “Soft Power” – Hyperallergic

Revealing the Prickly Side of Imperial “Soft Power”
by Billy Anania
Hyperallergic

Otobong Nkanga, "Alterscape Playground (E)" (2005-2015), C-print on aluminium, 19 7/10 × 26 2/5 inches (courtesy the artist and Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam)
Otobong Nkanga, "Alterscape Playground (E)" (2005-2015), C-print on aluminium, 19 7/10 × 26 2/5 inches (courtesy the artist and Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam)

A collaboration between Carriage Trade and Rectangle, Hearts and Minds analyzes the deceptive repackaging of Western imperialism.

At its core, colonialism is an exercise in smoke and mirrors. The colonized subject becomes an object of state terror while historically, government agencies and the media have repackaged these imperial projects as “foreign aid,” giving way to more indirect neocolonial endeavors. Back home, the rhetoric remains the same; politicians’ fiery speeches continue to convince their domestic population that intervention abroad is in their best interest.

Public relations campaigns do much of the heavy lifting in manufacturing deceptive appeals to “peace” and “democracy,” and otherwise misleading through psychological operations (or psyops). During the Vietnam War, President Lyndon B. Johnson told wealthy business owners that “the ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there,” as part of a counterrevolutionary strategy to suppress the Viet Minh army. He used the phrase “winning hearts and minds” in 28 public statements to sell the war.

Categories
Reviews

Hearts and Minds – The Manhattan Art Review

The Manhattan Art Review

Hearts and Minds

Chantal Akerman, Harold Ancart, Jef Geys, Dan Graham, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Robert Lebeck, An-My Lê, Otobong Nkanga, Marina Pinsky, Claudia Peña Salinas, Adam Simon, Momoyo Torimitsu, Hil Yeh – Hearts and Minds – Carriage Trade – ****.5
Speaking of art doing something, this show is a great example in that it’s one of the exceedingly rare examples of a good political art show. This is materialist/documentary/archival as opposed to ideological/dogmatic, oriented towards showing the world as it is in a way that leads one to identify injustice and formulate an ideological perspective instead of presenting a predetermined value judgment on a silver platter. Control, propaganda, plants, sex, media, administration, rebellion, architecture, these are simply facts of our existence that must be made sense of in some way to make life navigable. The fact of the matter, though, is that life is simply unnavigable for many due to these forces conspiring to deceive and maintain their opacity to the general public. 

[…]

Categories
Reviews

Hearts and Minds – THEGUIDE.ART

Extract of THEGUIDE.ART. Image credit: Harold Ancart, Untitled, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and C L E A R I N G Gallery.
Extract of THEGUIDE.ART. Image credit: Harold Ancart, Untitled, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and C L E A R I N G Gallery.

THEGUIDE.ART

Hearts and Minds

It was George Orwell who coined “doublethink,” the dangerous capacity of the citizenry to hold contradictory or morally wrong beliefs as a result of political indoctrination—but its terrifying instantiation comes from history, not fiction. “Hearts and Minds,” at carriage trade, a joint project with the Brussels-based gallery Rectangle, draws its name from a Lyndon B. Johnson quote: a war, he suggests, is won not by artillery but by psychology, a so-called hearts-and-mind warfare. Johnson could not win his war, even on its home front: the conflict in Vietnam would come to be seen as a wholly failed endeavor.

[…]

Categories
Shows Past

Hearts and Minds

An-My Lê, Untitled, Ho Chi Minh City, 1995, Courtesy of Janice Guy
An-My Lê, Untitled, Ho Chi Minh City, 1995
Courtesy of Janice Guy

Group Show

Hearts and Minds

Opening Thursday 15 April 2021, 4–8pm
L.E.S. Gallery Evening

15 April – 27 June, 2021
at carriage trade, New York

Chantal Akerman
Harold Ancart
Jef Geys
Dan Graham
Bodys Isek Kingelez
Robert Lebeck
An-My Lê
Otobong Nkanga
Marina Pinsky
Claudia Peña Salinas
Adam Simon
Momoyo Torimitsu
Hil Ye

Rectangle is thrilled to present Hearts and Minds,
a joint project of carriage trade / Rectangle, Brussels.

Civilization and barbarism are never far apart. As the spoils from subjugating distant countries fill closets, living rooms, and dinner tables, citizens of the empire are encouraged to witness the “improvements” offered by their way of life bestowed upon the many invisible hands responsible for producing it. Employing the tools of public relations to invert standard meanings into their opposites (slavery = freedom, war = peace) the minds of those at home are massaged while villages abroad undergo “pacification”. 

"So we must be ready to fight in Vietnam, but the ultimate victory will depend upon the hearts and the minds of the people who actually live out there."
—Lyndon B. Johnson Remarks at a Dinner Meeting of the Texas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., May 4, 1965

Momoyo Torimitsu, Nanka Igokochi Waruinda (Somehow I don’t feel Comfortable), 2000, Polyurethane coated fabric and electric pumps, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist.
Momoyo Torimitsu, Nanka Igokochi Waruinda (Somehow I don’t feel Comfortable), 2000, Polyurethane coated fabric and electric pumps, dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist.

In the later stages of empire, as exploration paves the way for tourism, far away cultures are promoted as exotic and unpredictable, introducing “otherness” as an affirmation of the ever-expanding necessity to civilize and control. As empires engage in hot and cold wars to extract and defend resources for domestic populations, patriotism and consumerism unite in common pursuits. While new technologies offer increasingly convincing dream worlds that divert the public’s consciousness, the brutal origins of their creation remain mostly behind the scenes.

The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealth, the germs of empires.
—Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 1899

Bodys Isek Kingelez, Sans Titre, 2001, Plastic Cardboard and Paper, 17.32 × 4.72 × 4.72” (44 × 12 × 12 cm), Courtesy of Ronald Guttman
Bodys Isek Kingelez, Sans Titre, 2001, Plastic Cardboard and Paper, 44 × 12 × 12 cm
Courtesy of Ronald Guttman. Photo Nicholas Knight

With consumerism suffering a pandemic-era blow and a diminishing faith in establishment politics haunting industrialized nations, the pursuit of hearts and minds, so critical to the narrative of empire, struggles to contain blowback from centuries of repressive measures. Filtered through social media feedback loops, governmental and corporate messaging engineered to sway popular opinion now feature distortions and fragmentation that sow confusion while veiling their source, fomenting widespread social unease and sporadic violence.

Living within a kind of informational breakdown, many are now questioning how we got here. Linking past to present through artwork and archival material that collectively address links between the diversions of consumerism and techniques of propaganda in the service of empire, Hearts and Minds, a joint project of carriage trade and Rectangle, Brussels, reflects on the inseparable rapport between public relations and social control both abroad and at home.

—Peter Scott

We’d like to thank all the artists and the following lenders for their loans of artwork for the exhibition:

Icarus Films (Chantal Akerman), Clearing Gallery, Brooklyn (Harold Ancart), Essex Street/Maxwell Graham (Jef Geys), Greene Naftali Gallery (Dan Graham), Ronald Guttman / Christine Martin, Frédéric de Goldschmidt / André Magnin (Bodys Isek Kingelez), Janice Guy (An-My Lê), Cordula Lebeck, Archiv Robert Lebeck (Robert Lebeck), Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam (Otobong Nkanga), C L E A R I N G, Brussels (Marina Pinsky), and AfricaMuseum (Royal Museum for Central Africa).

A special thanks to Lawrence B. Benenson, LMCC, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Mr. Jacques Louise Vidal, WBI (Wallonie-Bruxelles International) and FWB (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) for their generous support. Thanks also to gallery assistants Jervey Inglesby, Laura Li, Molly Miller, Hannah Park, Kristal Uribe, as well as Daylon Orr, for all their efforts on the exhibition.

With the gracious support of

Categories
Shows Past

Mark Dion

Mark Dion

Arbeid Adelt

Saturday 21 November 2020
at Waldburger Wouters, Brussels

Open Saturday 13 February, 2–6pm
and by appointment

Rectangle is pleased to present Arbeid Adelt, a collaboration with Mark Dion at Waldburger Wouters Gallery, in which the artist returns to the topic of extinction and endangered species.

In 1989, for his European debut, Mark Dion showed the head of a rhinoceros in a group exhibition at Xavier Hufkens. His European institutional breakthrough followed in 1993 when he was the first artist to exhibit in the newly renovated rotonde of M KHA in Antwerp, showing, The Library for the Birds of Antwerp. The remnants of this work can still be seen at the aviary of the Antwerp Zoo.

Arbeid Adelt includes a series of prints and drawings, and an unlimited edition produced by Rectangle.

This collaboration happens in the frame work of the group exhibition Arbeid Adelt :
exhibition with Anastasia Bay, Claudio Coltorti, Mark Dion, Jot Fau,
Gerard Herman, Constant Permeke and Yann Nirvana Yoy.

On view until feb 13, 2021

My relationship with Brussels and rhinoceroses goes back more then three decades. My work, Extinction Series: Black Rhino with Head was produced for a group exhibition at Xavier Hufkens Gallery in 1989. The work was part of a larger series dealing with animals under extreme extinction pressure; animals which probably would not still exist in the wild by the end of my lifetime. This work featured a series of wooden shipping crates, the sides of which became surfaces which displayed information about the natural and cultural history of the black rhino focusing on the historical, economic and ecological reasons animal had become the most critically endangered large mammal species. Each side of the crate employed different types of information: graphic charts, maps, text, photographs. The largest of the crate contained a large black rhino head on a bed of shipping excelsior. It was a quite shocking object to come into contact with.

Interestingly, the Black Rhino is still with us and it was the Northern White Rhinoceros that when extinct in 2018, when the last male died and the two surviving females were too old to breed. Still the Black Rhino remains critically endangered. 


This billboard returns my focus to the topic of extinction. Over the period of COVID lockdown I have produced a group of larger drawings which take as their inspiration graphic charts from the early 20th century. Many of these are the largest drawings I have attempted and in some way represent the resilience of artists under restriction and duress. Normally I work on location, in response to context. The lockdown has shown me that I don’t need site visits, large budgets and institutional support to make new work. All I need is some ink and paper. While drawing has always been central to my practice, the drawings have mostly been preparatory for sculptural works. These are the first group of drawings intended as purely drawing.

– Mark Dion

Mark Dion, Arbeid Adelt, Rectangle, 2020

"The lockdown has shown me that I don’t need site visits, large budgets and institutional support to make new work. All I need is some ink and paper."

– Mark Dion​

Mark Dion, Albeid Adelt, T-shirt, 2020 / 29 Euro
Mark Dion, Albeid Adelt, T-shirt, 2020 / 29 Euro
Mark Dion, Dinosaures Rule The Earth, T-shirt, 2020 / 29 euro
Mark Dion, Dinosaures Rule The Earth, T-shirt, 2020 / 29 euro
Mark Dion, Dinosaures Rule The Earth, 2020, red and blue pencil on paper, 52 x 39 cm, Edition of 30
Mark Dion, Dinosaures Rule The Earth, 2020, red and blue pencil on paper, 52 x 39 cm, Edition of 30
Mark Dion, Arbeid Adelt, 2020, ink on paper, 62 x 48 cm, Unique
Mark Dion, Arbeid Adelt, 2020, ink on paper, 62 x 48 cm, Unique

Documentations

First Look at Baby White Rhino
Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
1 November 2020.

more info

Extinction Series: Black Rhino with Head
1989
Wooden crates, stencilled lettering, colour photographs,
rhino head, wood chips, map of Africa
Dimensions variable

Group exhibition at Xavier Hufkens Gallery, 1989

Biography

Mark Dion
Mark Dion. Photo Jorge Colombo

Mark Dion
Born in 1961, United States.
Lives and works in Copake, New York.

Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. The job of the artist, he says, is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between ‘objective’ (‘rational’) scientific methods and ‘subjective’ (‘irrational’) influences. The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkammen of the 16th Century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.

Biography (pdf)