with works by Akarova, Lili Dujourie, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Anne Hardy, Hanne Lippard, Caroline Mesquita, Ana Torfs & Jurgen Persijn and Leen Voet
Voici des fleurs is a group exhibition imbued with the artistic legacy of Akarova (born Marguerite Acarin, 1904-1999), a celebrated Bruxelloise of the interwar years who devoted her life entirely to music, dance, choreography, painting and sculpture. La Loge invites contemporary artists Lili Dujourie, Anne Hardy, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Hanne Lippard, Caroline Mesquita, Jurgen Persijn & Ana Torfs, and Leen Voet to exhibit alongside Akarova’s work and to freely relate to her ideas and production dynamics.
There are, of course, innumerable ways to engage with the art and legacy of the artist, but La Loge’s ambition or mission is not to adopt a historicist, documentary, or archival response. Instead, Voici des fleurs has been developed with and by contemporary artists as an attempt to reassess the potential of Akarova’s archive, not only as a subject of research but above all as an invitation to indulge in its repository of living materials; the vestiges of an animated artistic practice.
Voici des fleurs is not concerned with ‘re-evaluating’ or lending legitimacy to Akarova’s work. Its motivation is rather to expose and explore the free gestures and spontaneous attitude that underpinned and drove her art-making, while affirming core positions and dynamics within (contemporary) art practices. Akarova was an active personality who stepped up and made things happen. Through her charismatic presence, unrelenting drive and sheer energy, she managed to play a central role in the cultural life of the local arts community (she was, for instance, close to some of the key figures making the scene of the interwar years in Brussels such as Marcel-Louis Baugniet (first husband), Anto Carte, Raymond Duncan (who regularly visited Brussels), Jean-Jules Eggericx, Henry Van de Velde, and Herman Teirlinck among many others), while still safeguarding her independent position and artistic integrity.
Through a diverse constellation of interdisciplinary works comprising film, voice, painting and performance, the exhibition considers ideas of self-affirmation, feminism, autonomy, and artistic integrity, at times taking recourse to the traditional crafts and the synthesis of the arts. Through understanding kinships between artworks made by artists of different generations, might we be able to reconsider and retrace the artistic steps of an artist whose notoriety has become dispersed over time, but whose work – thanks to archival materials, printed matter, and oral histories – continues to inspire today?
Curated by Anne-Claire Schmitz