Philippe Van Wolputte
We did it / Disputed territory
13 March – 5 April 2010

Chert is glad to present the first Berlin solo exhibition by artist Philippe Van Wolputte (Antwerp, 1982. Lives and works in Antwerp and Amsterdam).

The exhibition will feature all new works connected to a site-specific intervention made inside the gallery.
“We Did It / Disputed Territory” is dividing and reopening the gallery space. In doing so, the artist reenacts the phenomenon of shrinking cities.

The show consists of documentation of this intervention, represented by photographs, video and collages.
Philippe Van Wolputte’s interventions draw attention to the existence of vacant, disused spaces by making them accessible again for a short period of time. Using narrow corridors and holes, he creates new passageways and infiltrates nearly impenetrable spaces, giving them a new temporary function as a fictional exhibition space. The artist’s interpretation of his experiences in creating his interventions and the intimate manner of viewing these spaces characterize his work.

In the case of “We Did It / Disputed Territory”, the intervention seems to open itself as a question towards what is public and what is private, fusing some of the principal points the artist has been working on in the recent past: the contrast between a space and a “non-space”, between an art-dedicated context and a temporary created exhibition space.

In a place as public as Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn corner, the artist places the first object constituting the exhibition. The sign “we did it/disputed territory” gives an inequivocable direction to the intentions of the project.
Pointing in the direction of the gallery, but without giving any further information, this street-specific piece completely loses its function, becoming an abstract object. Its unpredictable destiny emphasizes its non-function as well, in contrast with its appearance as an informative object.

Entering the gallery one is confronted with two different scenarios, again a reinterpretation of the contrast between public and private.
The upper floor of the gallery is transformed into an abandoned room, dark and dirty, seemingly closed since long. A hole into a wall reveals a passage into the lower space, a clean, white and welcoming exhibition space.

The artworks here presented share the same process making of the upper floor of the gallery: with an intentional elaboration the artist makes them look old and dirty.
In this direction, the space itself becomes a camouflage for the artist, a stage where questions about use and interpretation can arise, reflecting on the idea of authenticity and aesthetic honesty of the artistic practice.

Philippe Van Wolputte recently finished his residency at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.
Recent exhibitions include ‘Not Created By Human A Hand’, Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam (NL), ‘Zero Budget Biennial’, Rockeby Gallery (UK), schleicher+lange, Paris & Carlos Cardenas, Paris, ‘Exhibition in a Matchbox’, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp (BE), ‘Pleurer et Bonheur’, Vienna International Apartment, Brussels (BE), ‘A Bridge Too Far’, NICC, Antwerp (BE), ‘Dragged Down Into Lowercase’, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (CH), ‘Academy’, Muhka, Antwerp (BE).

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