is an exhibition space founded in 2019 by Sandra Meilūnaitė & Dilum Coppens, and joined in 2022 by Yannick Marien. After opening up their studio and adjoining space for an exhibition under the name "BETWEEN (STAGE)", they decided to keep the ball rolling, renovate the room and use it as an artist-run exhibition space for young and emerging artists. By hosting regular exhibitions for artists trying to do what they love, they hope to show Brussels the fresh young faces of promising creators and broaden both the artists’ as well as their own network.
passage, OPENING: 28 October 2023
LARYNX, June 2023
S.o.t.D.P., June 2023
any/way, May 2023
WORTH MORE / WORTH LESS, March 2023
Avant la lettre, November 2022
DEMOLUTION, April 2022
BruocsellA, November 2021
SEA BREEZE, August 2021
An Exhibition by Ines Thora, August 2021
State of Things, May 2021
beauty/?, July 2020
BETWEEN (STAGE), August 2019
Subscribe to our newsletter
OPENING: 28 October 2023
For passage, our latest exhibition at K.L.8, we invited 6 artists whose works evoke liminal spaces in a visual or a conceptual sense.
Walking into a liminal space is a recognisable feeling. Abandoned train stations or office corridors, where the light suddenly takes on a new unsettling quality, can strike people as ‘liminal’. An entire internet aesthetic has grown around people’s need to share images and descriptions of spaces that made them feel uncomfortable in a particular way, that appeared to exist outside of fixed reality. In part, a liminal space is also a mental space everyone carries within. All of life’s pivotal changes—puberty, falling in love, moving between apartments, spiritual growth, artistic inspiration—require some form of liminality, and many mystical traditions depend on some notion of a liminal space; in the undefined wilderness the divine, or the Other, could reveal itself to humans.
The Latin word limen means ‘the threshold’, and the liminal exists ‘between and betwixt the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial.’ It is an animated emptiness, a place between two worlds or two realities; between different stages in life, that induces fear and profound confusion, but at the same time feels replete with new possibilities, and allows for reflection.
Artists tend to have a closer understanding of liminality. Perhaps our way of living and working always keeps us one step removed from complete assimilation into the conventional; perhaps because artists need to disappear into the undefined every time they start a new project; every new work of art is a personal transformation that the artist has to see through from beginning to end on their own.
With work by Carolina Papetti, Luciana Lopez Schütz, Siska Vastesaeger, Stijn De Pourcq, Tiemke Gauderis & Wenjun Chen.
24 June - 2 July 2023
3 - 11 June 2023
Over the past two years, Dilum Coppens retreated to his studio and desublimed the different aspects of his artistic practice. “S.o.t.D.P.” is the result of this reflective period, an exhibition that combines paintings, sculpture, video, and a new experiment with virtual reality into a comprehensive installation.
To shape his research, he returned to the idea of an artefact: a historical object with a mystical or unknown meaning. This time he focused specifically on religious artefacts and the way they give an aura to prophets and the beliefs they give shape to.
“S.o.t.D.P.” visualizes the history and legacy of a fictitious prophet. Structured like a fragmentary vision, the works mimic the mysterious and equivocal cluster of meaning that archaeological artefacts and religious imagery contain. Dilum acts like an oracle delivering a message and failing to reach a coherent conclusion, and instead lapsing into a strange phase transition of narrative elements. The use of different media within this project reinforces the collage elements present in the individual works, connecting form and content. They are structured as visual riddles, laden with a playful mysticism, becoming a line of transmission for a meaning that the artist doesn’t quite grasp himself.
Dilum has always been an avid fan of fantasy novels and games. Both these cultural forms are heavily indebted to mythology and how it constructs meaning through narrative. Our ancestors created myths to explain the inexplicable and indeterminate world they were surrounded by. In that sense myths, games, fantasy novels and films offer a kind of escapism, by teasing out a sense of wonder that has largely been lost in our contemporary understanding of the world. Yet this sense of wonder still manifests itself in the gap that continues to exist between mystery and definition, between definite knowledge and bewilderment, and allows us a certain freedom. Coppens tries to recreate this sense of indeterminacy in his works, creating an archaeology of our own age.
Marx referred to religion as opium for the people, and perhaps myths used to serve the same purpose. The instability and inadequacy of meaning as a concept is expressed visually by this disjointed mixture of different media. Consequently, it shows the futility of this human attempt to impose something comforting on the bewildering world around us. Meaning is unreliable in the end. It is the stories human beings cannot help but invent: are they in any way helpful other than in the sense that an illusion is helpful and meaningful as some sort of opium?
6 - 13 May 2023
After five years, Sandra Meilūnaitė is leaving our studio (but not K.L.8). As an “adieu”, she will be presenting a new installation combining old and new works for a solo exhibition titled “any/way”.
The show will be structured like a labyrinth, an architectural phenomenon that has been present in European culture since Antiquity. Throughout her artistic development, Sandra felt constrained by the bland conventions found in most art exhibitions, and with this labyrinthine installation, she will try to move beyond those limitations.
Her artistic practice resembles a labyrinth in various ways. Sandra’s paintings reflect a continual search for means and techniques that allow her to reveal an undiscovered mental space, structured with formal aspects found in maps and aerial views of our planet. And while her paintings start out with a clear composition, the final result is never predictable. The goal is both unattainable and unknown. Sandra keeps being lost in the labyrinth of her own creation.
Historically, labyrinths were seen as places of great peril. The Labyrinth of Knossos acted as a prison for the Minotaur and at the same time trapped the human sacrifices that were fed to the monster. Nowadays, labyrinths have been converted into entertainment at amusement parks or scientific tools intended to test a guinea pig’s problem-solving abilities.
Being lost, wandering without aim, is considered a waste of time in our productivity-obsessed society, but how can we change and reinvent ourselves without periods of doubt and uncertainty? Precisely this is what intrigues Sandra: being stuck forever while having fun searching for the perfect way, the perfect form, the perfect composition; in pursuit of a space beyond everyone’s reach. The labyrinth, as well as the exhibition, will show the formal imprint of her thinking as an artist.
WORTH MORE / WORTH LESS
26 March - 9 April 2023
For this group exhibition, we show artists whose work reflects on the concept of ‘value’ in art. In what sense can you say that an artwork possesses worth? And does this need to be limited to monetary and material value, or can art have other kinds of value, such as social value, spiritual value, emotional value, ...?
For over a century, the boundaries of this concept have been investigated by a diverse array of artists. Duchamp started out by using an industrially manufactured object for his Fountain instead of creating a traditional, unique art object. Conceptual artists Sol LeWitt and Lawrence Weiner sold written instructions to gallerists and institutions, and considered the physical execution of these instructions to be of secondary importance. With Merda d’Artista, Manzoni sold his own tinned excrement at the gold price, while recently Maurizio Cattelan had a golden toilet plumbed into Blenheim palace and managed to generate an inordinate amount of attention for a banana he duct-taped to the wall at an art fair.
Historically, there have always been gatekeepers with the power to determine the value of an artwork—from the wealthy patrons in ancient Greece and Rome, the Catholic Church, over Renaissance aristocracy, to feudal rulers and emperors. Today might not be that different: those with capital exercise considerable influence in the contemporary art world, and established commercial galleries and well-funded museums govern the market.
Despite such confinements, modern and contemporary artists have widely experimented with value in their works, challenging the conditions that can decide the nature of value, still eliciting discussion and outrage. We are curious what the new generation of artists has to add to the conversation. Surely they are met with the same problem as ever: the possibility that their work is ignored or deemed worthless by the current gatekeepers. In our modern economy, raw materials are usually transformed, through labour and engineering, into products that are more valuable than the sum of their components, yet many artists buy their art supplies and transform them into something that loses almost all of its original economic value.
The artworks engage with this complex and elusive notion of value in art, and contribute an unexpected point of view to an over-used question: ‘In the end, what is it worth?’.
With works by Andrea Balladelli, Chris Dennis, Daniëlle Raspé, Giovanni Casu, JaZoN Frings, jo+kapi, Jorden Boulet, Lea & Adrian, Maria Konschake, Nathaniel Trost, Obed Vleugels, Pancho Westendarp, Rabten Tenzin, Ringo Lisko, Simone Marconi & Yique.
Avant la lettre
29 October - 6 November 2022
Written Word and Image: these are two fundamental components of the known history of art. Both possess different powers, connotations, impediments, advantages, and have different ways of establishing meaning. Whenever they are brought together in a work of art, tension is inevitable, and throughout various cultures their relationship has taken on surprising shapes.
For our newest exhibition, Avant la lettre, we will show the work of 19 artists who incorporate (hand)writing / type / text into their practice, and who explore the interaction between the written word and visual art.
The Image came first, without a doubt. Our ancestors left paintings on cave walls, carved animal bone into effigies, thousands of years before the invention of the first writing systems. But writing got the upper hand, myths and holy Scripture came to determine how human beings related to their surroundings and to each other. We explored the world and aimed to capture all of creation in taxonomies, botanical treatises, laws of physics. Only the supposed truth was ever written down.
In the Modern age however, the power balance started to shift. The written word no longer maintained its precedence over other modes of representation, and the author (who was of course white and male) was no longer accepted as the all-determining voice, whether in academia, film or journalism. Now, under the aegis of new media like television and the internet, the Image appears to have emancipated itself, and has gained an unprecedented ubiquity in all parts of the cultural landscape.
None of us have been taught as children how to interpret images, but reading and writing on the other hand are acquired skills. Does this mean that looking at a painting requires more spontaneity? Is reading more challenging? Can written words offer more meaning than images? We are curious what associations or prejudices contemporary artists have about these two extraordinary human devices. What are their respective powers and shortcomings? And what processes are set in motion when the two are combined into one single piece of art?
With works by Algolit, Andrey Rylov and Maxim Mezentsev, Ash Bowland, Christina Mitrentse, Christine van Poucke, Daniel Arthuus, Daniëlle Raspé, Éanna Mac Cana, Gabriel René Franjou, Hyunbok Lee, Jing Wang, Laurence Petrone, Laurent Fiorentino, Leda Woloshyn, Maarten Inghels, Marija Rinkevičiūtė, Martina Stella, Oliver Doe & Teresa Weißert.