The circus comes to town: Craigie Horsfield’s colossal tapestries at M HKA (Antwerp)

When is art just a gimmick? And what does it need to exceed the gimmick? How does one recognise the difference? Just a couple of questions that sprung to my mind as I was walking among the monumental tapestries of Craigie Horsfield at M HKA (Antwerp; on view till January 16). The British artist takes pictures (mostly video stills) and blows them up to colossal tapestries with the help of Flemish textile company Flanders Tapestries. Some of them have a really eerie quality (the circus scenes), others fail to become more than just that gimmick. And talking about a gimmick: in my opinion there is no need for that annoying sound scape that is trying to fill the rooms as well. It’s an extra layer that fails to add something to the power of those works of art that really do affect you. Of course, I’m focusing on just a couple of elements here. There’s more to the art of Craigie Horsfield than just that. If you want to know more about the artist, you’ll find an interview here and here. For info about Confluence and consequence at M HKA, and more pictures, click here.

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