LIEVEN SEGERS — COMPAGNON DE ROUTE - EMBRASSE-MOI POUR DEMAIN
16.09.2021 – 23.10.2021
His newest solo exhibition ‘Compagnon de route’ reflects on physical and mental journeys. Segers creates a conceptual framework at Base-Alpha Gallery, allowing for new actions, installations and collaborations in three chapters.
In the spirit of pursuing meaningful yet accidental, unexpected, and ephemeral encounters, Segers will sell eight journeys. Eight adventurous art collectors will commit to accompany him on a pilgrimage to famous works of art all over the world. During the trip – which will last only as long as it takes to comfortably travel to said artwork, see the piece, and come back home – he will create a work of his own, inspired by his companion, their talks, the surroundings. The collector receives a physical souvenir, but of course the experiences and memories attached to it are what matters; a thing that cannot usually be defined or bought, but that we all know and cherish.
In many ways Segers challenges the conventions of the (commercial) art world. His work is ephemeral, coincidental, collaborative. He isn’t interested in aesthetic beauty. In fact, his work often purposefully explores the ‘ugly’; such as in the case of the drunk texts or the deriving series of photographic sculptures, representing drunk, erratic figures. It is this relative ugliness – often the consequence of a beautiful, good time spent with people one loves – that fascinates him. He often creates accessible and affordable editions and publications, leaving his work open to the public in a very generous, by no means self-centered way. This also goes for his many collaborations with fellow artists: the idea of creating a momentum, making something happen, sharing an experience is what drives his art.
In ‘Compagnon de route’ a large wooden structure serves as an exhibition venue inside the gallery: every week, during the exhibition, Segers invites another artist to collaborate with a dialogue between works. Sometimes they will create together, sometimes they will just react to one another. In any case: it will be a journey. A journey of seven artists together really, because every project ends with the placing of the works, or a residue, outside the wooden structure; thus, a small exhibition develops throughout.
And finally, the exhibition will also feature a book of 50 drawings by Segers, from a series of 250 and brought together under the title ‘De verdwaalde reiziger’ (‘The lost traveler’). His drawings are always small, funny, doodle-like gestures. He also often works with words, short sentences or titles written in his own typeface. For him, these are still images, albeit with a poetical layer. Both his visual and word drawings inherently carry the fluid, awkward, momentary irony of a seemingly uninteresting daily incident. All works inside the publication have something to do with travelling and being lost – which can be a beautiful thing. Especially in a shared journey, losing track of a pre-anticipated route can be surprising and inspiring.
Quotes, phrases, doodles, concepts; the spontaneous and serendipitous nature of Segers’ practice in general is directly linked to his personality and his own daily life. It is an homage to all the small, seemingly insignificant incidents and encounters that, however, can carry much meaning and beauty in the course of a lifetime. They often – and in times of a sanitary crisis this becomes all too clear – provide a certain dynamic, an energetic inspiration upon which to thrive. It doesn’t take a best friend to travel an interesting journey; the briefest encounter can provide us with a temporary ‘compagnon de route’.
Extract from the text by Tamara Beheydt
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