Where do you draw the line? Bertrand Lavier’s tablecloth and Eva Berendes’ curtain

What is art, and, is this art? If that’s the sort of discussion you tend to have with your friends, I suggest you take them to two new gallery shows in Brussels, just to fuel those discussions a bit more. Go for a beer, then show them an Ikea tablecloth and a black and white curtain, and see what happens next.
The Ikea tablecloth is hanging on a wall at Xavier Hufkens (through July 16). It’s by French artist Bertrand Lavier, who has just added a couple of strokes of paint to it, thereby bringing that piece of fabric inspired on the work of Piet Mondriaan back to the world of art. You’ll see paintings he came across in a Mickey & Minnie Mouse cartoon (as they were walking in a museum of modern art), or a canoe restored as if it was a relict from the past, and even a motorcycle helmet on a pedestal. Art? And what’s with the fetishism of the art object?
Then take your friends downtown, to Elisa Platteau & Cie. All you’ll see is a giant black and white curtain cutting the gallery into two halves: The Somerset Curtain, by Eva Berendes (through August 31). The German artist is interested in the almost archaic traditions of artisanal production and deliberately plays with the boundaries between design and art (the black-and-white pattern on the curtain is of course referring to Malevich and Russian suprematism). Food for thought.


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