LUSTWARANDE ‘11 – RAW

 

The first edition of Lustwarande, Lustwarande/Pleasure Garden (2000), was conceived as a refurbishment, a modern-day completion of De Oude Warande, an 18th-century Baroque pleasure garden, which was never equipped with the usual Baroque statues, fountains, grottos and follies. However, the contemporary sculptural additions to the landscape of the park functioned as disruptive elements within the Baroque garden design, modern interpretations of Baroque notions. They were stains on the pattern of the old cloth. Lustwarande ’11 – Raw explicitly focused on this disruptive quality by showing recent developments in sculpture that bear no relation to the natural character of the venue. Raw was pure and autonomous and only refered to sculpture itself.  

 

Resuming, reviewing, retrospection and re-evaluation may be seen as the most striking characteristics of contemporary art today. The question of authenticity is passé. Practices that were relatively under-acknowledged just a few decades ago, such as video and photography and, more recently, digitally produced art (including web art), have for some time now been established forms of art. Relational aesthetics was the new buzzword for about ten years, but this art too, with its explicit social engagement, has now become more mainstream. Painting and drawing, on canvas, but also in ‘expanded’ forms, sculpture in the broadest sense of the word, including installations, the relationship with architecture and reconsiderations of the concept of the monument, and the performance as art form have all once again enjoyed a place in the spotlight, and continue to do so.

 

Post-Modernism is over and has given way to an awareness of artistic practice worldwide, with the most important themes being identity, globalisation and relationships between north and south. But at the end of the first decade of the 21st century this theme is far from new. For some years, retrospective subjects of interest have included Minimal Art and Conceptual Art, as well as tendentious investigations of Asian, particularly Chinese and Indian, and African visual arts, and also the role of women artists and the Japanese and South-American avant-garde and their contemporary representatives. These elements have all played a part in shaping the multifaceted nature of contemporary art. Art history continues to re-evaluate its Western canons.  

 

Raw captured this zeitgeist of pluriformity in the visual arts, looking at the present day and the past. Variety and versatility, with a focus on clearly identifiable trends from the 20th century in works by followers and imitators, set the tone for Raw, along with the addition of time-based forms of art. This art only refers to itself and its predecessors and is therefore both autonomous and referential (Referential Autonomous Work). Next to seemingly rough montage, raw materials and raw figuration, contemporary inspirations of assemblage, Existentialist Figuration and Arte Povera, Raw presented strictly geometrical and more polished works of art, that are rooted in the heritage of Constructivism and Minimal Art.  

 

Twenty six artists took part in Raw, the majority of which has seldomly or never earlier exhibited in The Netherlands. Even as was the case with previous editions of Lustwarande, Museum De Pont functioned as an  additional venue, where a solo show by Belgium artist Peter Buggenhout was on view. Besides this solo, pavilion Grotto by Callum Morton (2009)  played a prominent role in Raw. Of the twenty four remaining works (sculptures, performances and actions) twenty wer new and for the most part produced by Fundament Foundation. In a few cases it concerned international co-productions.