16 July – 11 September 2022
Some of It Falls from the Belt and Lands on the Walkway Beside the Conveyor has to do with what exceeds normal flow. This image of a conveyor belt draws out some of the ideas behind the show: a context that determines how things move forward (a well-oiled system where all circulates according to preset parameters); accumulation, waste and spillage within it, not quite halting circulation but always swirling it a little; and the possibility of withdrawing from normal flow and finding some space to take up in its near surroundings.
A legal process, an economic system, a language, a public place, an aesthetic paradigm… Any given context is a sphere of constraint, but it’s also the inescapable grounds for liberation. All contexts have their residue, some degree of leakage or superabundance where anchored values and uses get unsettled, opening gaps for non-standard enunciation and existence. There is a lineage of political and aesthetic experimentation that has located in the residual a means to navigate contexts, to negotiate their structures and limitations from within; the works brought together here extend this approach in addressing the problems and possibilities of different contexts and closed systems, observing their ordinary flows and tracking alternative ways for circulation.
Christopher Aque, Aria Dean, Rindon Johnson and Claudia Pagès all deal with residue on different levels: whether literal waste and flows of excretion, secondary products generated by the operations of larger primary systems, the omitted role of the industrial management of death in the formation of modernism, or residual navigations of public space that transcend its intended socialization. In speaking to the significance of frictions between remainder and context, these works point also to the place containing them: Vleeshal used to be the meat market of the former town hall, a gothic civil building in the center of an old port city deeply ingrained in the history of colonial trade, political power and cultural hegemony. This exhibition space, marked by commerce and governance, is itself a context dense with codifications regarding the assignation of value, the funneling of desire, and the distribution and interplay of bodies and meanings.
From time to time Vleeshal invites guest curators to organize exhibitions in the Vleeshal or to develop other projects. By doing so, we aim to welcome new perspectives and contribute to talent development.
This project was made possible by the generous support of The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the municipality of Middelburg.