SCAD Museum of Art and GARDARIN are pleased to present PINK NOISES, the first solo museum exhibition in the United States of Belgian performance-based artist Joris Van de Moortel on June 17, 2016 at SCAD Atlanta in Gallery 1600. This exhibition directly follows GARDARIN’s successful solo project with the artist, titled Rotten Sun, at UNTITLED Miami in December 2015.
PINK NOISES will include nine works by Van de Moortel from 2013 to 2015, four of which have never been shown in the US. The exhibition will run throughout the summer and close on September 23. SCAD has also commissioned the first US performance by Van de Moortel, which will take place on September 15.
Embodying the fervent spirit of concrete music and rock and roll, Van de Moortel’s process-driven work encompasses sculpture, painting and musical performance to explore the tension between the static nature of objects and their potential for energy. Van de Moortel transfigures objects, strips them of their original function and meaning and gives rise to new forms. The title PINK NOISES refers to a frequency spectrum, similar to heartbeats, which manifests itself thru the color pink.
An ardent admirer of German Romanticism, Van de Moortel seeks the intense experiences and emotions as the artists of the nineteenth century, often placing himself in danger. What starts with crashing guitars can take the artist into a hypnotic trance-like state concluding with the cathartic destruction of instruments, amplifiers, microphones, cables and often the stage itself. Although everything is smashed, nothing is lost. As an amplification of his performance work, Van de Moortel’s mixed media paintings, figurative drawings and abstract sculptures are the assemblage of those same instrument fragments, neon tubing and stage remnants, which combined achieve unexpected compositions. As an index of prior actions, he lays bare the permanent tension that exists between order and chaos.
This brutal process animates his works with no clear beginning, middle or end, only a constant and energetic flux. Yet the deft with which he treats their presentation reveals precision and a pure sense of refinement. Like Arte Povera artist Mario Merz’s use of neon, which galvanized everyday objects and fused the organic with the inorganic, Van de Moortel creates dynamic, self-contained environments and applies neon as brushstrokes that escape the contour of representation, creating a force of energy and freeing itself from the frame.
Of the nine works selected for the exhibition, Van de Moortel’s Bird House (2015) is the most ambitious work. Speakers cast in thick resin animate an orchestral watchtower. The objects and staging formerly energized by music and sound are now muted, and an aluminum bar violently pierces the objects while neon casts energetic light on the sculpture’s immaterial dimensions. The sculpture is one of a new series of six which were included in Van de Moortel’s solo museum exhibition at Be-Part Center for Contemporary Art in Waregem, Belgium.