Very Valuable Paintings
CATALOG NUMBER: 120
Collection of the artist
Antwerpen, MUHKA, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen
16 Installaties, 17 Apr 1998 — 23 Aug 1998 (as part of No 118, 16 Installations, Room 3)
Halls 3, 4, 5 (of 16 Installations, No 118) comprise one whole installation, even though it consists of three separate halls, three different installations. The common name and theme of all three is ‘Three Halls of a Modern Exhibit.’ In addition to the theme (that is ironic and even satirically pointed) that unites them, they are united by one formal condition: in these three halls, the floor is covered by a soft, thick, dark gray artificial carpet similar to that used to cover the floors in museums today. This floor, as will be demonstrated later, plays an essential role. And so, on two of the walls in the hall where the ‘very valuable paintings’ are located, hang small paintings depicting nothing, only what might be called ‘smearings’: senselessly arranged colored blotches and lines. But in the opposite corner of the hall, we see on the contrary, something that is too serious, inspiring a special respect and even fear: there is a policeman sitting in full uniform surrounded by screens, telephones, computers, who is ‘importunately’ watching everything going on in the hall. He has a very seriously equipped place here: it is protected by crates on which his technical means of ‘control’ stand.
The connection between the police protection that is so serious and tense and the two paintings with ‘blotches’ cannot be comprehended by the viewer.