Exhibition Baroque Brutalities: Imagining Violence in Art (17th Century & today)

VANDENHOVE Centre for Architecture and Arts, Rozier 1, Ghent

Thursday & Friday 28 & 29 March, 2-6 PM and Saturday 30 March, 10 AM – 5 PM.

The exhibition shows 17th-century prints from the UGent University Library and works by Simon Pummell (video), Doina Kraal and Kevin Simón Mancera Vivas (peep-show box), Abattoir Fermé (performance stills).

Poster Inger Leemans Imagineering Violence 2019 Amsterdam-02

 The early modern period witnessed a true explosion of images on pain, suffering and violence across painting, print, theater, and public space. The public had plenty to choose from: sieges, executions, massacres. Violence fascinated the early modern spectator, yet it simultaneously conjured up numerous questions, some of which are not unlike those posed today.

How can violence be represented and imagined? How can an artist document the violence of the times? What about the numerous ethical implications? When does a spectator become a voyeur? When does violence turn into spectacle? Can violence be aestheticized? Does an artist have a duty to document contemporary violence? These questions saturate modern art, from the horrors of War in Goya to the racial violence in Edward and Nancy Kienholz’s ‘Five Car Stud’.

Baroque Brutalities not only shows how violence is represented in works of art from about 1650, but it also deals with the above-mentioned social, cultural and ethical questions concerning the representation of (extreme) violence today and in the Baroque era.

This exhibition is an initiative of the Dutch-Belgian research group ITEMP: Imagineering Violence – see: https://itempviolence.wordpress.com.