‘The best way to predict our future, is to invent it’

Issue no1
feb - mrt 2023

‘Please knock on our door’ ended Boris Debackere his speech during the opening at V2_Lab Show last Thursday. With a new Lab space V2_Lab is ready for the future and invites everyone who wants to accede to come in and join forces. As together you can do more than alone. It seems to be the slogan of contemporary times. Only if we work together we will make it. The two new large windows that now provide a view to the inside from street level work as perfect metaphors for this approach.

Intimacy White (2010) from V2_ on Vimeo.

To celebrate the birth of this new space, their past achievements and their future ambitions, V2-Lab selected a variety of works from the last five years to give an insight on the many different things they do. Some works are commissioned, some stem from a residency or the talent-development program and some are the product of a large technical research. While entering the space you feel like nothing is impossible, instead of multiple problems, there are only solutions here. Next to the large windows, The Iron Ring Project is installed. It’s the outcome of Cecilia Jonsson’s research during her Summer Session Residency 2013 at V2, on how contaminated mining ground can benefit from the mining for jewellery. As a true lab installation she shows every step that has been taken from the search for the right plant with the contaminated ground to the small iron ring. It’s just a matter of reversing the logic. Next to the installation you can watch the video of this fellowship of the ring. To get to the bar you have to bend your head a bit as a strange looking boat with a long tail is hanging in the air. It is a Protei, one of the projects of Open Sailing. Open Sailing is an international community that deals with the development of an ocean station as an open-source project. Until summer 2011 the team collaborated with V2_Lab and designed the first prototypes. The Protei one sees here is an autonomous inflatable sailboat that collects oil spills from the oceans. And although the technology that was used for this boat seems quite logical and simple in the video on the wall, I’m sure they have put a lot of thought into it. Since it is an open source project, more versions of Protei with different purposes will be designed. For one thing, it is clear that they encourage everyone with a great idea to participate.

Protei_006 Collaboration Design Process (2011) from V2_ on Vimeo.

Not everything has a function or is a solution for a problem though. The most enchanting work is Solace, an installation by Nicky Assman in which soap is the core medium. An apparatus is constantly creating screens made of soap as a kind of mirror. As soon as the screen is expanding, your view is caught by the liquid movements of colours which are characteristic of soap bubbles. You get enchanted by it, and then suddenly it’s gone. It’s an intriguing choreography that plays with the way you see and experience the space you are in. Solace was Assman’s graduation piece for her Master in Art science in 2011, and in collaboration with V2_Lab she fine-tuned it. [figure 11435_12219__MG_3808_V2labshowklein.jpeg][figure 11435_12216__MG_3752_V2_Labshowklein.jpeg] Until 23 November. More information here.
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Metropolis M Tijdschrift over hedendaagse kunst Nr 1 — 2023