Starting with the DC Open, Galerie Clara Maria Sels will be presenting Belgian artist Michaël Aerts’ (* 1979, Gent) new show: Something in the Way. In new works Aerts deals with the content and the reflection of Europe's cultural history and that of other continents. For the artist architecture and art, from the Middle Ages to the present day, are concrete sources of inspiration. He playfully transmits function and meaning into the present. Aerts became known with his obelisks, constructed from flight cases, which he installed in the garden of the Belgian royal family among other places. Flexibility and mobility are typical topics of the artist. In his last series Space and Place and Maps Aerts was inspired by ancient maps from the 17th and 18th centuries. Since the dawn of time man made cards as a form of representation of reality and space. Space in which he is located or moved into. Space that needs to be conquered and used, and should help with the orientation to move from "A" to "B". For his latest works Aerts has selected the cardboard as an image carrier. An object which is known and used throughout the world, regardless of one’s social standing. We keep things in a cardboard box, we use it to transport our belongings, and to homeless people it can serve as a "shelter". The colors red, blue and white appear very often in these works, they hint to their use in our daily life: street signs, airmail, scales... and many more. Since the French Revolution they stand for freedom and enlightenment. Of course France uses them in their flag but also Great Britain, the USA and the Netherlands have these colors in their respective flags. Aerts picture-collages initially seem abstract but at the same time they project an image and bear witness to the world in which we live, a world of information and experience. They provide us with the means to communicate in this reality of a jointly defined world and are not a reference to modernism in art. Despite their abstract effect they show excerpts of an image of the world in which we live. The artist points back to the importance of the generations-lasting-power of symbols, signs and colors, which is becoming increasingly important in a globalized world of apps and symbols. In a way, this also takes us back in time to the cave paintings. People back then used paintings and images for practical purposes and to pass on their experiences, dreams and stories.
At the beginning of the Renaissance, the invention of perspective was a sensation. Michaël Aerts puts this stylistic device consciously in his works. It is the allusion to the capacity of mental mobility which now is more important in our global, rapidly changing world than ever before.