A cat, a plant, a home, life and art. What is important?

In for something strange, this weekend? For a show that will undoubtedly make you think again about the answer to that good old question ‘What is art?’ Why don’t you pay a visit to What is important, René Van Gijsegem’s open house in Aalst then? The Flemish artist (who teaches at Ghent’s art academy as well) invites everyone over to his home. You’re welcome to spend as much time as you want to. You can even sleep over, if you wish. Van Gijsegem doesn’t want to differentiate between art and life, so his show is a performance as well. He plans to take a bath, for instance, even if there are 20 people in his bathroom. His house is filled with ‘shrines’ that are personal reflections on life and art. Somewhere along the stairs, for instance, you’ll find a pile of rubbish that is an ode to his father. You are welcome to rummage through his closets, watch his dvd’s and ask any question you might have about his life. ‘It’s supposed to be a sort of house-search.’ What is important is an artistic diary of Van Gijsegems recent years. As he wants to start a new chapter, he plans to throw everything out on Monday. Art? Philippe Van Cauteren, director at SMAK (Ghent), certainly thinks so. As I spoke to him about this rather bizarre event he likened this to the work of Paul Thek and Jason Rhoades. (René Van Gijsegem, ‘What is important’, Drieveldenweg 44, Aalst, Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 August, 12.00-22.00; info here)

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