Exhibit A: an enormous tractor tyre by Michel François (‘Pièces à conviction’, Xavier Hufkens)

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Even highbrow art connoisseurs sometimes can’t hide a childlike sense of wonder. It was funny to see how at the opening of Pièces à conviction, by Belgian artist/sculptor Michel François, everyone just had to go to that big window and stare smilingly at that enormous tractor tyre in the garden (diameter: 2,58 meter). Pièces a conviction (at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, through January 12) is about how simple gestures can change the status of an object. François started out from a series of photos he took at the Palace of Justice in Brussels, of pièces à conviction (pieces of evidence; exhibits): documents or objects that are used in court as evidence. Putting that label on those simple objects changes the way they are perceived. The other work that had everyone smiling? A torn bag with peanuts spilled all over the floor. Plain peanuts? No: bronze ones. You’ll find a picture after the jump.

 'Pièces à conviction' (Michel François, Xavier Hufkens)

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