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We are delighted to present a group exhibition ‘ɔːtəˈmatɪk’ (automatic) with works by Benoît Platéus (BE, 1972), Xavier Mary (BE 1982) and Jens Kothe (DE, 1985).
Automatic, as in ‘working by itself with little or no direct human control’. A topical matter unraveled by the combined works of Benoît Platéus, Xavier Mary and Jens Kothe that make up a compelling exhibition: photographic images manipulated to investigate the relationship between the original and his copy, jugs filled with urethane as a reminder of the days when photographs still needed developing, sculptures that simultaneously glorify the esthetics of the automobile business while at the same time pop the bubble of its all too convincing stories of accumulating power… All of this is counterbalanced by physical, tactile wall objects that refer to the human body as something fragmented, as something in between the organic and the industrial.
Benoît Platéus is born in 1972 in Liège, Belgium and currently lives and works in Brussels. In his work he investigates and plays with the spaces and relationships between mediums, exploring abstraction in form and content.
A member of the generation that witnessed the digital revolution and the explosion of the image, Platéus fully embraces the creative possibilities of analogue and digital technologies in order to wrestle the question of the original, which he deforms, saturates, disfigures, dazzles, enlarges, erases or reverses. As a result, his images are always transitive. Reproduced endlessly but never identically, they highlight the poetic force of the accident, of the trace, of imperfection.
This remarkable artistic practice, which relies as much on the heavy artillery of cinema as on simple automatic drawings, seems to probe a certain sense of the beyond. From the interstitial spaces of the city to the meanders of the psyche, Platéus sets out in search of new forms of representation that bear witness to another reality, still fragmented and always in a state of becoming.
His work has been exhibited at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Mu.ZEE, Ostend; Karma, New York; Almine Rech, London; Galerie Albert Baronian, Brussels; Annarumma Gallery, Naples; and Galerie Jeanroch Dard, Paris, among others. He is included in several museum collections around the world, including the Fond National d’Art Contemporain, France and the Musée d’Ixelles, Belgium. Most recently (2019) he has had his first museum retrospective at the WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels, which was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog and later traveled to Bonner Kunstverein in Germany.
The work of Liège-born, Brussels-based Xavier Mary (1982) oscillates between post-industrial sculpture and post-apocalyptic realism, his smart and street-savvy installations existing as powerful poetry for the motorised age.
Underpinned by a fascination with all things car-related, his practice celebrates the country’s automotive obsession in all its glory, repurposing disused and disregarded highway stalwarts to create a damning discourse of the modern and motorised civilisation.
His work has been exhibited at Palais des Beaux Arts, Bruxelles; WIELS Bruxelles; Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin; Galerie Albert Baronian, Bruxelles; La Maison Rouge, Paris, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen. His work is included in various private collections and museum collections, e.g. La collection de la Province du Hainaut, Musée d'Ixelles and Musée en Plein Air du Sart-Tilman. In 2019 Xavier Mary has had his first solo museum exhibition where he took over the two large rooms of the BPS22, the Museum of Art of the Hainaut province, Belgium.
Jens Kothe (Germany, 1985) lives and works in Bochum and Düsseldorf. His work examines the "bodyness“ and sensuality of materials and objects from daily life like easy fabrics, tiles, glass and wood.
He examines his environment, objects or bodies by taking photos,modelling with clay or taking moulds from body parts where he tries to document atmosphere. Jens Kothe's objects work like pictures but mainly as "persons opposite“. The objects creates a physical presence in the room and so the aspect of atmosphere becomes relevant again. With all presence, the objects are also fragment like structures that arrouses tension. Tension between the observers eyes, that strives for entirety, and the picture he is confronted with.
In 2019 Jens Kothe had a solo at Berthold Pott in Cologne, Germany and in 2020 he participated in the group shows 'Drink Liquid' at Kunsthaus Essen and 'SQUISH' at Efremidis Gallery, Berlin