Institutional hesitation and the search for the ‘open’ middle are a thread running through Frederik Van Simaey’s artistic production. He is able to convert the act of deliberately letting things falter into an art where the profane form avoids every pitfall of gratuitous and glittering aestheticism. A well-dosed coating of no nonsense takes control of his artistic activity, which manifests itself as a bountiful series of works that closely follows his own life. Using simple materials, often from the world of mass consumption in which we all participate, like it or not, he is able, by no more than a clever twist -which can best be characterised as ‘re-contexting’ – to place the banal in a poetic-artistic situation.
In this work, the banality of every day captures an ‘other’ place – a place outside what is conditioned and the constant unconscious consumption. Frederik Van Simaey’s work thus becomes associated with the deafening lack of comprehension of the ordinary life lived, which slips by to the cadence of the objects that create order and structure and in this way – make our lives regular and controllable.
Van Simaey observes unexpected appearances and realisations. In a sleight of hand, he seizes objects, situations and people at moments when they become aware of their own image and presence, just as their relationship to their surroundings becomes inevitable. In photographs, drawings, and installations, we see the subjects in a curious mirror stage, some intent on establishing their own self, some avoiding it.
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