PLUS-ONE Gallery presents the solo exhibition Passages by Filip Vervaet.
February 24 – March 25 at our gallery (South).
Text by Anna Laganovska
passage /ˈpæsɪʤ/ noun
a long, narrow space that connects one place to another
A wavering spray-painted line on a wall marks a distance crossed within a given amount of time in passing. Architecture is turned into a canvas by a gesture that is at once subversive to its receiving matter and affirming to the expression of its maker. A metallic, abruptly meandering trace in a gallery wall materializes a moment of action. A gesture dissolves in the passing of time, while its remnants remain cast in an aluminium surface – reflective, lightweight, and able to carry heat and electric particles from point a to b. His exhibition Passages consists of seven such traces. Integrated into the gallery walls, they hint at the pre-historic traces on the walls of caves, perceived as an early form of human-inhabited architectural space.
a narrow space that people or things can move through
Although indirect, the presence of a human body is integral to the work of Filip Vervaet. The body is used to set the limits of a gesture: the height and the width determined by the length of the stretch of the arms, the depth established in the physical act of moulding and sinking one’s hands in clay. The force imposed on the material and its resistance – the struggle of the two renders itself visible in the delicate creases, and the leaf-like accumulations of excesses on the sides of the traces.
an act of moving or passing from one place or state to another (see rite of passage)
In their making, the traces pass from being soft and malleable to steaming liquid, to finally reaching a state of stable, solid mass. In his work, Filip Vervaet is particularly attentive to the element of transformation. But rather than focusing on the defined states of before and after, the artist seems to be more drawn to capturing and bringing into existence the in-betweens, the fleeting instants. Like the instant of transformation occurring between the night and the day, which is also a moment the unconscious typically surfaces through dreams. Or the transformation from a cave to the white cube, as alluded to in Passages.
a usually short section of a book, poem, speech, or piece of music
Within the broader context of his artistic oeuvre, the minimalist approach to treating the gallery space in the exhibition Passages marks an inclination towards narrowing down and extracting. The artist explores the potential of using a single element as a guiding principle for creating an exhibition. Stripped from contextual noise, Passages functions as an excerpt, becoming more universal, as well as embodying and expanding upon the principles of abstraction.