"Flock" by Aernout Mik will bring to an end the Homo ludens. Art at play cycle selected by Grazia Quaroni in the Espai 13 at the Joan Miró Foundation. This season’s cycle has been a reflection on art and recreation as expounded by a number of contemporary artists for whom the entertaining and pleasurable elements of artistic creation are essential and evident aspects of their art and who have shown that artistic concerns can be dealt with light-heartedly without losing any of their depth.
This exhibition by Aernout Mik, his first one-man show in Spain, was preceded by those by Xavier Veilhan, Daniel Chust Peters, Grazia Toderi, Vik Muniz and Thomas Huber.
Born in Gröningen in the Netherlands, Aernout Mik lives and works in Amsterdam. He trained as a sculptor and now produces installations that include three-dimensional elements, objects, real people and film projections in order to create settings that invite the viewer to form part of the work and to participate in a deliberately undefined atmosphere, somewhere on the borders between sleeping and waking.
His work often includes moving images projected on to architectural supports in order to combine the fictitious space of the film with the real, physical space of the viewer in the exhibition room. Whereas in the traditional cinema the spectators participate only in spirit, Mik’s films make them aware of the relationship between their own body and the film, the architectural space and the other spectators, all integrated in an event that they know nothing about, as if they had arrived late and had missed the essential clues for interpreting what is going on around them.
In "Flock", a projection on two screens shows us an urban landscape at night, peopled with men and animals in different postures between rest and action that reveal the close proximity between the two species. In addition, some of the animals are robots, which establishes a further proximity between what is real and what is fiction. The absence of any narrative makes it impossible to distinguish the beginning from the end, giving an impression of timelessness that disconcerts the viewer.
Aernout Mik took part in the 1997 Venice Biennale, and in 2000 had a major exhibition at the Stedelijk Van Abben Museum in Eindhoven. He has also participated in several group shows in Spain.