Back from School is a thematic group exhibition at De Vleeshal and De
Kabinetten van De Vleeshal in Middelburg. With the beginning of the new
school year, this exhibition draws attention to the experience of children. How
do children (and adolescents) feel and behave after school and before dinner
timeNULL Reading, snacking, reading comics, watching television, narcissism and
music: it is during such favorite pastimes that the child allows itself a
moment of unobserved pleasure.
The controlling eye within the school environment and the conditioning views
of parents are both briefly absent. And thus, so are the child's inhibitions.
The normative social perspective makes way for unashamed spontaneity. Or
so it seems, for 'innocence' is but a relative concept.
In Back from School guest-curator Edwin Carels gives center stage to a
number of young Flemish artists, in an environment of works from the
collections of De Vleeshal, museum Boijmans van Beuningen and the SMAK.
Some of the key works in this exposition are the film loop Handstand by
Marijke Van Warmerdam (from De Vleeshal's collection), the photo series
Nursery school by Koen Theys and the video projection Sybille by Wim
Delvoye. In De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal the installation Once and for
ever by Patrick van Caeckenbergh is juxtaposed with Perpetrators of
Killings by Danny Devos.
In his accompanying essay Carels focuses mainly on the influence of the
media in forming common images. 'The innocence of the child' has recently
been highly cultivated, particularly in Belgium. At the same time much has
been fantasized about how that innocence can be corrupted. Producers and
consumers of the media are seldom aware of the perverse perspective from
which they examine youth issues. Back from School forms a reply to such
Edwin Carels (Kortrijk, 1964) is a freelance curator who is especially interested
in the relationship between visual arts and film, video and photography.
Besides compiling film programs for various festivals (International Film
Festival Rotterdam, Holland Animation, OIAF - Ottawa), Carels has created
two 'visual essays' in the last few years: at the Boijmans van Beuningen
museum and St.Pieters Abbey in Gent (Loplop / re / presents) respectively.
At present he is preparing the exhibition 'Lightning Sketches' about the
relationship between graphic art and pre-cinema at the Drawing Center in New
York. Carels also teaches film history and theory at Sint-Lukas College in
Brussels and at the UVA (University of Amsterdam). Carels' writing has been
published in Sinema and FET/Tijd Cultuur.
In co-operation with: Museum Boijmans van Beuningen - Rotterdam,
Nationaal Schoolmuseum - Rotterdam, Witte de With - Rotterdam, SMAK -
Gent, FRAC - Champagne-Ardenne - Reims, AXIS - Amsterdam, Vidisquare -
Antwerpen en the ministry of the Flemish Community.