ALEXIS DESTOOP - FOUR DIRECTIONS OF HEAVEN
Opening: Saturday January 28th 2016 // 18:00 - 21:00
Central in the multilayered oeuvre of Alexis Destoop (b. 1971, Kortrijk) is the experience of time, the functioning of the memory and the related processes of recognizing things. In the mid-2000s the focus in his work shifts from performance to a fascination with the landscape, which is anchored in painting, literature and film. In photographs, texts and videos fictitious elements freely intermingle with documentary information in order to question the compositional elements of storytelling. That is also true of the work on view at Argos.
Residing alternately in Brussels and Sydney, Destoop travels back and forth between Europe, Asia and Oceania—and these long stretches of time on the move have direct implications for his work.
Four Directions of Heaven features a cluster of new and recent works that mock our expectations. Underlying the work there is a long-term research project concerning the status of landscapes in transition: the Australian outback, the cosmopolitan town of Hong Kong, as well as regions in Norway, Russia and other parts of Europe. These images are juxtaposed with private testimonies, experiences and findings. But the artist also intervenes, assembles and abstracts. Thus individual voices turn into a composite of fragmented comments and stories that bear witness to a strong commitment with regard to (neo)colonial and ecological issues, as well as the economic value and geopolitical importance of a landscape.
Four Directions of Heaven is also a virtual walk in which the idea of transformation predominates. Indeed, Destoop’s suggestive and subtle digital interventions create a border area in which micro- and macro-level tumble over each other and the border between real and artificial dissolves.