Performing Abstraction

Personally, I'm Most Interested in the Shapes and Colours
A book and a lecture performance

Published in 2015, marking a symbolic hundred years since Malevich painted his iconic Black Square, this book investigates the continued potential of abstract art as a disruptive art practice.

Twelve authors and six artists respond to a theoretical proposal put forth by the Belgian artist and curator Ludovik Vermeersch. Vermeersch suggests that in order to allow paintings to successfully "perform" their abstraction, one has to subvert the narrative framework they operate in. The book is a carefully composed attempt to do exactly that.

In a lecture performance that accompanies and complements this publication, Vermeersch performs the script that the book embodies, as an effort to revalidate both the spiritual aspirations and the deregulating, ambiguous and irritating qualities of abstraction.

Title: Personally, I'm Most Interested in the Shapes and Colours
Language: English

Editors: Ludovik Vermeersch, with Emily Doucet and Zoë De Luca
Contributors: Sarah Bal, Emily Doucet, Anna Ernst, Sarah Hayden, Marc Holthof, Kristof van Baarle, Charlotte Van Buylaere, Pieter Vermeulen, Aleksey Miroshnichenko, Erik Porath, Jens Presser, Stefan Römer, Rahel Schrohe, Yulia Seghers, Martin Steffens, Ludovik Vermeersch, Radoslaw Kosiada
Featuring the work of: Sarah Bal, Marc Bergson, Anna Ernst, Aleksey Miroshnichenko, Stella Pinson, Jens Presser, and Ludovik Vermeersch

Published by: Kunstraum Ossastraße and MER. Paper Kunsthalle
304 pages (192 in colour)
Dimensions: 16.5 x 23 cm

In the eponymous lecture performance that accompanies this publication, Ludovik Vermeersch interweaves a theoretical reflection on abstraction with a personal account of his curatorial collaboration with the six artists featured in the book, using footage of discussions and studio visits to reveal their different artistic struggles. As his lecture proceeds, Vermeersch's overall narrative invites different levels of speculation, gradually drawing the viewer into a bewildering experience of "contextual" abstraction.

Language: English (with Dutch subtitles)
Duration: 90 minutes

Past performances:

2 April 2017, 4.00 pm
The performance was followed by a discussion between Rahel Schrohe, Jens Presser and the author
me Collectors Room Berlin / Stiftung Olbricht
Auguststraße 68
10117 Berlin

26 October 2016, 8.45 pm
Articulate deSingel
Desguinlei 25
2018 Antwerp

6 March 2016, 10 am
Interrupting the City
Stadsfeestzaal Antwerpen
Meir 78
2000 Antwerp

3 June 2015, 8 pm

The performance was followed by a discussion between Erik Porath, Ying Sze Pek and the author
Karl-Marx-Allee 36
10178 Berlin

22 May 2015, 7 pm 
The performance was followed by a discussion between Pieter Vermeulen and Stijn Van Dorpe

Lucas Munichstraat 76/82
9000 Ghent

21 May 2015, 6.30 pm 
The performance was followed by a discussion between Kristof van Baarle and the author

Lombaardstraat 23
3500 Hasselt

8 May 2015, 7 pm
The performance was followed by a discussion between Greg Nijs (c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e, Brussels), Alan Quireyns (AIR Antwerpen), and Marc Holthof ((H)art)

Eikelstraat 31
2600 Antwerpen

This project is the outcome of an artistic research project funded by the University of Antwerp and Sint Lucas University College of Art and Design Antwerp, which took place in Berlin between 2011 and 2013.