What is the burgling of a bank compared to the founding
 of a new bank?

3rd edition of
 POPPOSITIONS, April 24—27, 2014.
DEXIA Art Center (now Vanderborght Building), Brussels

What is the burgling of a bank compared to the
founding of a new bank?

Bertolt Brecht


photo © Maxime Dendraen

Occupying the premises of a bank that went bankrupt and was then bailed out by the Belgian national government, POPPOSITIONS explores the critical potential of site-specificity. In line with the previous editions, it aims to establish an edgy alternative to the city’s art fair frenzy. Following a dynamic of constant renewal, this year’s POPPOSITIONS is profiled as an assembly of galleries and hybrid art spaces, accompanied by a programme of panel talks and performances.

The former Dexia Art Center is situated in Brussels historical center close to Central station, Monnaie/Munt opera house and Bozar. This remarkable building, commissioned by the Vanderborght brothers in the 1930s for a furniture shop, used to contain the collection of the former Belgian bank Dexia, which was the first casualty of the 2011 European debt crisis. After hosting several cultural events, it is said that it will temporarily be welcoming the Belgian modern art collection in a near future.

Criticising the art world’s commercial excesses certainly comes as no surprise in times of crisis. Even contemporary art guru Charles Saatchi, in a 2011 opinion piece, described the art world as “hideous” and “vulgar”: during London’s Frieze Art Fair, he did not fail to state that “art fairs are not fair to art”. His position is rather symptomatic of an irony or sarcasm that lives amongst most of the contemporary art world’s members. This cynicism, according to thinkers such as Sloterdijk and Žižek, has turned into a ruling ideology. Instead of being subversive or critical, cynicism has become a way of playing the game in the most efficient way. Everyone is well-aware, but no one seems to care.

In an attempt to come to terms with the times, POPPOSITIONS will – implicitly and explicitly – address different issues that are currently at stake. How do we avoid cynicism? Is there still a genuine possibility of critique or subversion, and, if so, what would it consist of? How do we activate this critical potential? What is to be called ‘public’ these days, and how do we (re-)claim it? Do forms of self-organisation and itinerancy constitute a viable alternative? POPPOSITIONS 2014 takes as its tagline a notorious quote from Bertolt Brecht’s 1928 Threepenny Opera: “What is the burgling of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?



10/12 (BE): Petko Ognyanov (BG) • ABEL NICOSDRIOU PROJECT (BE): Lukas Hoffmann (CH), Aggtelek (ES) • ABILENE GALLERY (BE): Leo Hoffsaes & Louis Clais (FR), Raphaël Lecoquierre (FR), Sébastien Bonin (Be), Benjamin Hugard (FR) • BEC ZMIANA (PL): Richard Grandmorin (FR), Hubert Czerepok (PL), Marian Misiak (PL) • BUENOS TIEMPOS, INT.: Überknackig, Marnie Slater, Alberto Garcia del Castillo • Cimatics (BE): Felix Luque Sanchez (ES), Dries Depoorter (BE) • D+T PROJECT (BE): Federico Martinez Montoya (MX) • JEUNE CRÉATION (FR): Benoît Pype (FR), Marion Brusley (FR), Margaret Dearing (FR), Rémi Uchéda (FR) • LES COMMISSAIRES ANONYMES (FR): Hannes Bernard (SA), Guido Giglio (BR) • MILLINGTON MARRIOTT (UK): Erchen Chang, Kitty Clark (UK) • MUSEO APPARENTE (IT): Alessandro Sau (IT), Enrico Piras (IT) • OUTLANDISH (BE): Hana Miletić (BE/HR) • PARK (BE): Caroline Van den Eynden (BE), Pascal Petrus (BE) • RAUMTE (DE): Joachim Beens, Karina Beumer, Karolien Chromiak, Winnie Claessens, Sara Clissen, Valerie de Ghellinck, Kylian van der Have, Alex Herzog, Jonathan Huygens, Pieter Jennes, Liesje De Laet, Karina van Leengoed, Rogier de Maker, Mathias Mu Unbekannt, Maxime Peeters, Yasmin Van der Rauwelaert, Dennis Ramaekers • ROSA BRUX (BE): Jeanne Gillard (FR), Nicolas Rivet (FR) • SECONDROOM (BE): Roeland Tweelinckx (BE), Kris van Dessel (BE), Thomas Raat (NL), Odilon Pain (FR), Geraldine Gliubislavich (FR), Sofie Hassaerts (BE), Marcus Bering (DE), Marc Van Tichel (BE) • SILS (NL): Robert Bresson (FR), Marte Eknæs (NO), Kym Ward (UK), Jean-Charles de Quillacq (FR) • STILLL GALLERY (BE): Egon van Herreweghe (BE), Dominique Somers (BE) • Showroom supported by ACTIONFIELDS (BE): Timo van Grinsven (NL) • TEMPLE (FR): Nicholas Gottlund (US)


In parallel with:
A mobile café Broer Bretel
El Turco’s vegetarian buffet
Pop-up restaurant by Joris Vermeiren
Halo Publications

Performances and Panel Talk


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