The exhibition D POSSESSIONS lures us into an allegorical scenography consisting of newly produced sculptures and collages related to the inflation of political and spiritual crises. Like a modern-day exorcist, Danai Anesiadou attempts to purge and transform not only her material possessions but also the energy flows vibrating around us.
Over the last fifteen years, Danai Anesiadou has developed a range of metaphysical and personal concerns into a seductive and mercurial body of work referencing cinema, occult sciences, Greek antiquity and contemporary affairs. A “21st-century European poster girl for crisis”, her work is highly perceptive to both the political and the invisible fabric of reality. Armed with a keen interest in historiography and deep politics, she questions what we consider to be true, pointing to the double standards and false dichotomies of the dominant discourse.
In an effort to comprehend humanity at present, Anesiadou looks towards Hindu cosmology and its mention of the Kali Yuga, the worst in a cycle of four ascending epochs. Believed to be the age of iron, discord and darkness, its depiction of an inverted reality—where consciousness is at its lowest and materiality at its highest—resonates deeply with her.
Like a modern-day exorcist, Anesiadou attempts to purge and transform not only her material possessions, but also the energy flows vibrating around us.
For her WIELS exhibition, Anesiadou attempts to encase the entirety of her material possessions: household objects, shoes and clothes, prized belongings—everything is solidified in exuberant assemblages made from resin and large quantities of metal shards. At its core is a desire to rid herself of all personal belongings by converting them into orgonites. These energy-transforming devices, originating from the theories of the psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), are meant to capture a cosmic ‘orgone’ current, transmute it into positive life energy and then disperse it. Producing these ‘healing’ orgonites is however an inherently toxic process, a ‘contradictio in terminis’ which is not lost on Anesiadou. Her resistance to binary thinking is further evidenced by the inclusion of two functioning guillotines courtesy of the artist Ryan Cullen. WIELS is transformed into a ghost busting pressure cooker, compelling the audience to a restorative reset.
Co-production by WIELS and EΜΣΤ | National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens.
Curator: Helena Kritis
About the artist
Danai Anesiadou (BE/GR) works and lives in Bruges and Brussels. She studied at KASK (Ghent, BE) and DasArts (Amsterdam, NL). Her work and performances have been shown at Documenta 14 (Kassel/Athens, GR), Kunsthalle Basel (CH), 5th Berlin Biennale (DE), WIELS (Brussels, BE), Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (Paris, FR), MuHKA (Antwerp, BE), Netwerk Aalst (BE), Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam, NL), David Roberts Art Foundation (London, UK), Royal College of Art (London, UK), Etablissement d'en Face (Brussels, BE), Kiosk (Ghent, BE), LUX/ICA Biennial (London, UK), Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna, AU), Swiss Institute (New York, US), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, FR) and Casa Luis Barragan (Mexico DF). She has been in residence at ISCP (New York, US) and Fogo Island Arts (CA).
With the generous support of:
In the framework of:
Watch and listen to additional videos and sounds around Danai Anesiadou's exhibition at WIELS.