Giving Up Reading
22.02 — 15.03.2019
We barely turned a page and BOEKS’ Giving Up Reading is underway. The eponymous self-help book was published in early 2018 by Troebel Neyntje, an initiative in Antwerp which organises exhibitions and publishes books, often of an absurdist and unrealistic nature.
“At a time when Web pages containing text are viewed for an average 1.5 seconds, we must be honest with ourselves and give up reading,” says Idris Sevenans of Troebel Neyntje. The manual’s attempts to achieve this are indebted to “double artists” like Marcel Broodthaers and Marcel van Maele, who died exactly ten years ago. These poets-cum-visual artists were exploring the possibilities of rendering their poetry unreadable as early as the 1960s. In 1964, for example, Broodthaers used plaster to encase the last fifty copies of his poetry book Pense-Bête, while van Maele muzzled books by means of white paint, clothes irons, spikes, bars and trash cans. From 1972, van Maele started bottling poems in wine, beer, and milk bottles. Two years later, Broodthaers produced the bottle edition Le Manuscrit trouvé dans une bouteille. Stopper it!
Inspired by these leaders of illegibility, we endeavour to follow their example. BOEKS, Sevenans, the legacies of both Marcels, and a group of installation art and graphic design students take over the entire length of the convent corridor connecting the Kunstenbibliotheek with the STAM in order to overwhelmingly confront us with new, custom-invented giving-up-reading exercises.
During the opening event, on 21 February, attendees will be subjected to a collective performance demanding muscle power and a stack of bulky books; a speech by van Maele; and Broodthaers’ attempts to read and write in silence in the short films La Pluie (Projet pour un texte) (on 16mm) and Berlin oder ein Traum mit Sahne. In addition, the plastic exercises devised by Sevenans and the students will be tested on the audience for the first time.
For this second edition of BOEKS, Troebel Neyntje collaborates with BOEKS, backed by Idris Sevenans, Marcel van Maele, Marcel Broodthaers and students of KASK / School of Arts Ghent: Nienke Baeckelandt, Laurène Buchheit, Pooja Hukku, Hilde Onis, Mona Schrevens, Jivan van der Ende and Finn Waters. Graphic design by Veerle Vervliet, Finn Waters, Aron Wouters & Mona Schrevens.
Thursday 21.02.2019 19:00
22.02 — 15.03.2019