Temple Talks
22/02/17
19:30
Temple Talks with Hedwig Houben
Image from Borborygmus, a performance by Hedwig Houben

Hedwig Houben

lecture performance Borborygmus
& conversation with Zoë Gray and Michiel Huijben

19:30 - 20:00: performance Borborygmus by Hedwig Houben
20:00 - 20:30: Conversation between Hedwig Houben (NL, artist), Zoë Gray (senior curator WIELS), and Michiel Huijben (NL, artist)

Hedwig Houben’s Borborygmus (2017) begins – as many of her recent performances – as an artist’s talk, with Houben seated behind a table on which several objects are placed. They are a black, plasticine motorcycle helmet and a series of long forms that resemble a string of beads, or perhaps sausages, made in a rather discomforting shade of brown plasticine. The tabletop appears at first to be pale pink marble, but later turns out to be made from multicoloured strata of plasticine.

Houben introduces her subject matter in a dry fashion, contextualizing the current piece in relation to earlier works. She discusses the increasing presence of “it” in her recent performances, as sensed by other characters of her recurring cast. There is a rather disconcerting contradiction between her academic language and manner of speaking and the objects before her. The work becomes more outspokenly absurd as Houben begins to make onomatopoeic noises, evoking the physical process of digestion or the mental process of contemplation.

“The intestines play a major role in causing a gut feeling”, Houben intones, deadpan, as she begins to handle the chain of bulbous forms, which we now cannot help but see as a part of a digestive system. Wearing the heavy helmet – with evident difficulty – the artist continues to mould the material in front of her while switching between strange moaning sounds and continuing her hypothesis, becoming increasingly out of breath as she continues. The true subject of her discourse remains slippery, just out of grasp, while her hands continue to grasp and distort the sculptural forms before her. As she claims enigmatically: “On a daily basis, it is very easy to believe in something.

About the artist

Hedwig Houben (° 1983, Boxtel, NL) is a performance artist, using video and sculpture as main mediums, based in Brussels. She studied at AKV/St. Joost Breda, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and has been a resident artist at HISK Ghent in 2010/11. Recent exhibitions includes “Theory of forms” (2017) at Permeke Museum, Belgium; “Solid Liquids” (2016) at Kunsthalle Munster, Germany; Lofoten Biennial (2015), Norway; and a participation to the “Unscene” show at Wiels, Brussels in 2015. Her performance “First, you learn to see; second, you try to understand; and third, you’re about to act” (2014) has been presented at the Gallery Fons Welters, Amsterdam. “The Hand, the Eye and it” (2013) performed at 1646, Den Haag; and “Five Possible Lectures on Six Possibilities for a Sculpture” (2012), at P/////AKT, Amsterdam. She was the recipient of the 2017 Charlotte Köhler Prize and a Prix de Rome nominee in 2015.

Temple Talks is a series of commissioned lectures jointly organized by La Loge and Raak (Research Center for Architecture & the Arts at KU Leuven Association). Over the course of the academic year, artists and architects are invited to share a passionate and personal point of view contributing to an understanding of the ever complementary, complex, and sometimes misunderstood relationship between art and architecture. Through the experience of a diversity of guests and practices, the series aims to research the specificities of these distinct fields while building up a common ground of interests and languages.

Guests are invited to structure their talks by leaning on the physical presence of an object, artwork, or document of their choice. While acting as both a mediator and partner in conversation, this third party will hopefully lead to a disruption of the dualistic relationship between audience and lecturer. La Loge and rAAK warmly welcome you all to this new series of evening discussions.

Practical information

Thursday 22 February, 7.30 pm
free access
no reservation necessary, but seats are limited
language: EN
venue: La Loge