́Can a folkloristic tradition be re-contextualised and reveal a potential collective intelligence to harmonise our dominant relation towards non-human entities? ́
Suskewiet Visions is Filip Van Dingenen’s fourth personal exhibition with the gallery.
Suskewiet Visions is a project departing from the folkloristic tradition of Suskewiet, an animal sport practiced in the region of Southwest Flanders in which male finches compete for the higher number of bird calls. It observes the serial and particular mathematical markings on black wooden sticks which are traditionally used for counting, and reimagines them as temporal ephemera scores produced along the River Lys as source for a future algorithmic sound composition. The project explores how the protocols of a game between humans and caged birds can be a starting point to develop a universal tool to learn and listen differently to our environment, recontextualising folklore to reveal the potential to harmonise our dominant relation towards the nonhuman.
Suskewiet visions has been developed as part of the European project S+T+ARTS ‘Repairing the Present’, by artists David Shongo (DRC) & Filip Van Dingenen (Belgium), in partnership with Gluon, Snowball and intercommunale Leiedal. A first outcome was presented at Museo MAXXI in Rome in November 2022, and just recently at Archipel L’autunno in Otegem, BE. In fall 2024 Suskewiet Visions will be included in the inaugural exhibition of the new museum of Kortrijk, named ABBY.
The artworks conceived in collaboration with David Shongo are a video documentation on the im- plementation of sound observations along the River Lys in the region of South-West Flanders and the Congo River in Central Congo, and a sound installation with historical birdcages, the central sculpture in the space.
Van Dingenen expanded and enhanced the project, creating a series of small watercolor drawings, a large-scale collage, and an outdoor sculpture specifically for this exhibition. The sculpture is placed in front of the gallery entrance and invites visitors to enter through a small iron gate adorned with ornaments, reminiscent of the unique handmade birdcage design. It also references the European Green Deal, which initiated the S+T+ARTS project, “Repairing the Present.” However, according to the artist, the European Green Deal is more like a neoliberal scheme that prioritises the economy over protecting the environment.
The exhibition Suskewiet Visions marks 10 years of collaboration and for the occasion we are co- producing Van Dingenen’s monograph together with Hopper & Fuchs. This book will be the first comprehensive publication of Van Dingenen’s practice from the late 1990s until today, and will be presented towards the end of the exhibition.
Special thanks to Beeldenstorm, Hamed Ouattara, Martyna Žalalytė, Stadsarchief Harelbeke and all other collaborators of Suskewiet Visions.
FILIP VAN DINGENEN
on view through January 20, 2024
in Brussels, BE
photo credit: Luk Vander Plaetse