S'ils crevent les artistes (si elles veulent)
Let the artists die (if they want to)
NICC, Brussels, September 13 - January 18, 2015
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Founded as the ICC (Internationaal Cultureel Centrum) in Antwerp in 1970, NICC is an artist-run organization that advocates for artists' rights. In the 70s and 80s, it presented experimental Flemish work alongside projects by Vito Acconci, James Lee Byars, Dan Buren, Joseph Kosuth, Gordon Matta-Clark, Ben Vautier, and others. Today, its artist membership includes the extradinary Guillaume Bijl. For more information, visit: www.nicc.be.
NICC invited Triple Candie to curate a project for a large sidewalk vitrine adjacent to their offices. "S'ils crevent les artistes" [Let the artists die] is the title of a 1985 play by Polish artist and theater director Thadeusz Kantor. Triple Candie proposed etching these words in soap, followed by the addition of "(si elles veulent)". Three holes in the soap film contained two sculpture-like objects: one depicting a person in a sick bed; the other, a giraffe being crucified by a frog.
This vitrine project was realized at a time when northern European governments had massively scaled back their support of art and artists. The speaker of "S'ils crevent les artistes" could therefore be understood as a politician. For Triple Candie, this project also follows on the heels of the exhibition, "James Lee Byars: I Cancel All My Works at Death," which championed the posthumous cancelation of the artist's total body of work per an artist's instructions. The addition of "(si elles veuelent)" therefore aligns the the seeming contrary statement of "S'ils crevent les artistes" with NICC's mission.
Special thanks to Lode Geens for constructing the project from our instructions [Triple Candie fabricated the two objects]; and Filip Gilissen and Gert Verhoeven for the invitation.