ART CITIES: Kassel - Anne Mie Van Kerckhoven (AMVK)
review by Efi Michalarou.
published on 01 Dec 2018 in DreamIdeaMachine
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven strategically uses her initials as if they were a global corporate brand. The point of departure of the oeuvre of Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven (also known as AMVK) is the human brain with its analytical and irrational potential in terms of perception and cognizance. Van Kerckhoven’s logic is consistently counteracted by absurdity or mental disruptions, and the analytical is joined with the mystical without viewing this as a contradiction.
By Efi Michalarou
Photo: Fridericianum Archive
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven’s exhibition at Fridericianumin In Kassel is the further development of a presentation trilogy that was shown in M HKA Antwerp (2018) as well as Kunstverein Hanover (2017) and Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach (2016). Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven (AMVK) consciously chooses the distanced anonymity for her work, which for more than 40 years has been fed by the cultural inventions of the underground. Graffiti-like drawings are just as much part of her work as shrill music and eccentric performances. AMVK contrasts the proliferation of technological progress and artificial intelligence with the timelessness of human sensations. Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven was born in 1951 I Antwerp, where she still lives and works. Her work has always been consistently interdisciplinary. She and her partner, the artist Danny Devos, founded the noise band Club Moral in Antwerp in 1981. It existed until 1991 and was revived in 2001. Since 1982, they have been publishing the magazine Force Mental together. Since 1977, AMVK has collaborated with the neuroscientist Luc Steels and since 1982 with his Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence (Brussels, today Paris). As a result, visual languages characterized by scientific imaging processes became prominent in her work: diagrams, graphic animations, text/image compositions. These and other collaborations have always been typical for Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven’s working method. For her, everything is based on a clear, even merciless commitment to the societal critique that her work seeks to articulate; here the child of 1968 ‘outs’ herself. In her early oeuvre rapid, seemingly improvised yet almost supernaturally precise line drawings played an important role. Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven studied graphic design in Antwerp in the 1970s. She sketched her surroundings with jagged scribbles and distorted them playfully and humorously into the grotesque. Later, large-format paintings were added, often in a pop-inspired reduction of colors and shapes, but also in combination with materials and pictorial levels otherwise considered alien to painting. The focus is often on the female body: this is the excessive self-observation of someone who thinks for herself within feminist awareness. In her videos and installations, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven often uses her drawings, but also pictures of pin-up girls, alienating colors and collage techniques. Other films combine different views of an event. An ingenious relationship between text and image runs through the entire oeuvre; analogue and digital image worlds complement and contradict each other. Familiar formats of technological aesthetics (Plexiglas, computer graphics, professional prints) are used and at the same time charged with visual power by the fast, subjective and spontaneous gesture of overpainting and overdrawing.
Info: Curator: Anders Kreuger, Fridericianum, Friedrichsplatz 18, Kassel, duration: 9/11/18-24/2/19, Days & Hours: Tue-Sun 11:00-18:00, https://fridericianum.org
Related solo exhibitions: AMVK - Fridericianum