Terre en force
With Lola Daels, Lara Ögel and Carlos Irijalba.
Curated by Evelyn Simons
17 September – 29 October 2022
Terre en force reunites work that explores the incongruent relationships we construct and foster with the earth on which we stand. They reveal admiration, intimidation, bewilderment, the urge to control and even emulate natural phenomena and forces of our decaying ecosystem. The practices of Lola Daels (BE), Lara Ögel (TR) and Carlos Irijalba (ES) explore positions on this spectrum, coming together in a triptych exhibition opening on September 17th at Kusseneers Gallery, curated by Evelyn Simons (BE).
Their artistic encounter confronts a recognition of our human-centred attitude towards the planet: a persistent distanciation from other nonhuman lifeforms allowing for exploitation to thrive while prevailing to remain in awe. Fascinated and astonished by this persistent ambiguity, the artists delve into peculiar and extreme manifestations of this attitude in their research-based practices.
Lola Daels (b. 1990 in Jette, BE) is a Brussels based artist whose work and research explores the impact of human activity on its environment. Initially a focus on urban realities and public space dominated her practice, which she partially channelled through a collaborative practice with architect Sebastiaan Willemen. In recent years, thanks to various study residencies in the Global South (Portugal, Morocco and Iran), she has exponentially gravitated towards researching this human impact from an ecological preoccupation. She works site-specifically, both in research scope as well as in execution. Daels probes analytical and critical inquiries about ecological, environmental and socio-political issues from our surrounding reality.
Daels obtained her master degree in visual arts in 2014 at Luca School of Arts, Brussels. She has been part of several residency programs such as EKWC (NL), Kooshk residency (IR) and Cité Internationale des Arts (FR). Her work was shown at Bozar (BE), Extra City Kunsthal (BE), Deegar Platform (IR), Art Sonje Center Seoul (KR) and many more.
Lara Ögel (b. 1987 in Izmir, TR) currently lives and works in Istanbul. Ögel works through video, sculpture, collages, installation and works on paper to create site and context-aware environments. They are informed by a research method that is both intuïtive as it is vernacular, running through literature, oral histories and found footage. A strong fascination for systems of belief, constructs of spirituality and folklore motivate her artistic output. Ögel approaches natural phenomena, fauna and floral motives as a culturally universal language, transcending their geographically-specific characteristics and laying bare the parallels that connect living beings trans-historically and trans-culturally in a recognisable iconography.
She received her bachelor degree in Screen Studies from Clark University in Worcester, MA. Ögel attended the Intensive Summer Foundation at Slade School of Fine Art in London. She’s participated in artist residencies in PRAKSIS (Oslo), Beirut Art Residency (Beirut) and Citédesarts (Paris). She’s shown works in Istanbul, Beirut, Hasselt, Paris, Leipzig, Basel, Athens, Porto, New York and Amsterdam.
Carlos Irijalba (b. 1979 in Pamplona, ES) lives and works between New York and Amsterdam. His multi-facetted practice comprising photo, video and sculpture, revolves around long-term research projects. Natural phenomena, industrially produced curiosities, and more specifically their reciprocal relationships, form the core of Irijalba’s subject matter. He often approaches these topics from a nearly anthropological fascination, for which he collaborates with industries external to the field of visual arts. He reflects upon how human beings design objects, inspired by forms and functions in nature, and how this generates a logic of adapting nature to mankind’s needs. This irreversible distortion of natural ecosystems which is the legacy of Western globalised capitalism, has created a chimeric environment where the authentic and the constructed have merged, climaxing in a loophole of self-referentiality. His visual output performs this ambiguity between artificial and organic materiality, outlook and aura.
He studied Fine Arts at the Basque Country University, and was a resident at the Rijskakademie (Amsterdam) and at ISCP NY. He has been awarded the Mondriaan Fonds Bewezen Talent (2022/2026) and The Shifting Foundation Grant 2015/16. Irijalba has exhibited at Shanghai Biennale, Fondation CAB (Brussels), Muma Museum (Melbourne), and recently had solo shows at Endotic Galeria Moises Perez de Albeniz (Madrid) and at Tale of a Tub (Rotterdam). His work is in the collections of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Sammlung Wemhoener Foundation (Berlin) and Taviloglu Art Collection (Istanbul).
Evelyn Simons (b.1989 in Halle, BE) is a curator and writer based between Brussels, Belgium and Castelbuono, Sicily. Her activities centre around social practice, in-situ art production and the mediation of contemporary art in public space. She runs the visual arts and performance programming at Horst Arts & Music – an initiative blending art and electronic music on an abandoned military site in Brussels. She programs the artists-in-residence for the Fondation CAB Bruxelles and Saint-Paul-de-Vence, and acts as curator for the Collective Ballon Rouge. As a freelance curator, she is laureate of the Curate Award by Fondazione Prada & Qatar Museums in 2014, she curated “Driftwood, or how we surfaced through currents” (2017) in Athens, and is currently developing “The Never Never”, an itinerant exhibition and short movie with artist Jeremy Hutchison as a second chapter in the collaboration with Fondazione Prada.
Simons has a Masters degree in Art History from University Ghent, and a Postgraduate in Curatorial Studies from KASK Ghent, and was curator-in-residence at the Beirut Art Residency (Lebanon, 2016) and at Villa Lena (Italy, 2021). Aside from her structural engagements, she curated shows at CIAP, Hasselt; Marres House for Contemporary Art, Maastricht and upcoming at Kunstverein Hamburger Bahnhof, Hamburg and at Casino Luxemburg.