Early in 1992, Belgian artist Kris Van Dessel presented his so-called Isolation Project in Parbleu. 28 years later it resonates eerily with our current times. Asked how the project connects with his current work in which he amongst others curates sound works online, Van Dessel wrote the following text:
From BOX TO BOX
In 1991 I started a research project on the concept of isolation, related to the artist. Early 1992, the isolation project was created as an exhibition in Parbleu: a narrative setting of lead boxes in wooden mobile racks in the rough space of the former mirror factory. A uncanny game of heavy loaded materials and faint lighting, vaguely reflected on the rough concrete floor. Each lead box – a heavily burdened container as an inexorable black box – had a specific function within the private play of repressed romance and the materialized search for a position within Art; a marginal desire for sublimation from isolation.
After uncertain and cautious journeys within the oppressive world of painting for several decades, and several studios as ruthless laboratories, I finally opened Pandora’s box 10 years ago. A new studio became my artistic reference point within the planet, and her universe formed my range of action. Everything within this wide spectrum became material for my artistic practice: distance, scale, sound, radio waves, language, paint, concrete, internet,… My artistic evolution joined the further digitisation of our earth. At the moment I deliberately don’t have a studio anymore. Only a modest storage space, where residues from past projects form just like fossils the only tangible history: an artistic relic alongside a detailed digital archive. Google Drive is my new studio. My laptop is the interface.
Last year I organized Artist Driven Space; an autonomous artist run space. During Antwerp Art Weekend (2O19) I drove visitors around in my own car, while passengers listened to sound works by fellow artists. Since April 2020 I have been organising BO>><<, a contemporary digital box with sound works. An online sound exhibition to break the isolation of quarantine.
World Wide Web, May 2020.