Who rules at ‘Freestate’ (Ostend)? 21 young Belgian artists trying to make an impression

Finally. I finally managed to make that trip to Ostend. For Freestate, that summer exhibition (through September 11) presenting young Belgian art (21 artists selected by 5 curators) at several locations (warehouse, chapel, boat & bunker). It certainly is an interesting and varied exhibition, offering the visitor the opportunity to discover what young Belgian artists (and foreign artists working in Belgium) are up to, but nevertheless I was slightly disappointed. Maybe I had been building up my expectations a bit too high? Once again Matthieu Ronsse was the one who managed to intrigue me. I liked his over the top approach, part artist part charlatan; boyishly trying to impress and at the same time wanting to give the impression of not giving a shit. Ronsse came up with a wall with lots of paintings in different styles and added other stuff too – beer bottles in cement, an stale croissant. It seems as if all of it is quickly thrown together, but look closely and you’ll see he has paid attention to the way the light falls on his wall and through the holes in a painting attached to a window.

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