Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty: we think we know these stories, but they came to us in sweetened versions. Anthropologist Marita de Sterck sought the older, rawer versions in manuscripts, archives and forgotten collections. In their uncensored form the fairy tales are anything but romantic: they are teeming with horror, violence and eroticism. A clever hunchback seduces a frigid king’s daughter, Catskin carries out even dirtier chores than Cinderella, a young king impregnates a sleeping beauty and a wicked stepmother makes soup of her own child. The fairy tales excite and confront us with guilt, shame and taboo. How do cruel tales teach us to deal with reality? Can they help us make painful experiences more debatable?
Marita de Sterck gives a taste of the age-old treasure of folk tales. Jonas Thys presents the key scenes in powerful images. The exhibition compiles text and images and depicts disturbing as well as familiar fears and fantasies.
Stories from Vuil vel (Catskin) and Beest in bed (Beast in bed), compiled by Marita de Sterck, illustrated by Jonas Thys.
That which we wish to keep hidden, becomes visible. That of which we do not wish to talk, becomes public. From taboo to embarrassment, from primness to awkwardness, from blushing to guilty pleasures: this exhibition sheds light on shame, a feeling which is difficult to grasp, yet omnipresent. It catches us by surprise, at the least expected moments and for the most diverse reasons: when we say something unseemly in public, or because of the smaller or larger imperfections of the body. But we also feel shame about poverty or psychological problems. Whether we want this or not, shame has an influence on everything we do.
Just like the reasons for being ashamed differ, shame also differs according to a person’s character, the times in which people live and the place they find themselves in. Shame is a personal as well as a social phenomenon: each person, but also each culture, deals with it in a different way. The exhibition Shame explores this field along different lines: by means of objects from other cultures, historical psychiatric documents or actual witnesses. Modern and contemporary artists represent this feeling in paintings, sculptures, photographs and video.
A richly illustrated catalogue accompanies this exhibition (D/F/E, 176 p., Uitgeverij Lannoo).
Chantal Akerman, Francis Alÿs, Alioune Bâ, Sarah Baker, Michael Borremans, Claude Cahun, Tom Callemin, Robert Capa, Roy de Villevoye, Jim Dine, Desiree Dolron, Marcel Duchamp, Tracey Emin, Gao Brothers, Marc Garanger, Siebe Wiemer Glastra, George Grosz, Seymour Jacobs, Gert Jochems, Nicolas Karakatsanis, Willy Kessels, Meiro Koizumi, Frans Masereel, Paul McCarthy, Boris Mikhailov, George Minne, Lauren Moffatt, Hans Op de Beeck, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Félicien Rops, Tammo Schuringa, Jan Sluijters, Miroslav Tichý, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, Philippe Vandenberg, Jan Van Imschoot, Ina van Zyl…
On 30 September 2015, it will be 200 years that the mentally ill were released from the shackles in the crypt of the medieval Castle of Gerard the Devil in Ghent. Canon Triest and the Bothers of Charity were the instigators. This event can be seen as the beginning of psychiatric care in Belgium.
By means of photographs, film, testimonials, etc., Out of the shadows shows the degrading way in which mentally ill people were treated in the past, and also too often today. The exhibition looks at the differences in approaching mental illness worldwide, and shows the many forms in which chains nowadays appear and are broken.