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Exhibition “Kristina Benjocki”

12/03/2022 h 05/06/2022 F Add to the calendar 2022-03-12 2022-06-05 Europe/London Exhibition “Kristina Benjocki”

AT SUNSET WE RETREAT ONCE AGAIN, UP THE HILL, TO WHERE WE CAN WATCH THE SKEINS OF WATER REFLECT COLOURS WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE

Kristina Benjocki’s work explores the political mechanisms of forgetting and remembering in the context of former Eastern and Western Europe, and materializes through installation, audio, textile and film. Engaging with the local history of the cloth industry in Eupen as well as her own biographical attachments to textile production, the exhibition at IKOB is a poetic interrogation of how textiles and the very practice of weaving intersect with technological progress, political histories, and the construction of cultural identity. The central work of the exhibition is Tableaux VI-VII, La composition (2022), a new installation of large-scale, two-sided tapestries. Using her own loom to weave these rugs by hand, the artist reproduces knowledge and movements that have been employed, mostly by women, since ancient times. The patterns are based on a series of grid drawings for rugs woven in the Pirot kilim tradition, manufactured in the artist’s home country of Serbia. They can be traced back to pre-Islamic Ottoman rule in the Balkans and were later used to construct a post-Communist national identity, pointing to how textiles are intimately intertwined with migration, trade, and political power. Benjocki employs methods similar to those of an archaeologist, with a particular interest in the overlooked, the hidden, and the repressed. The story of human evolution often focuses on hard materials such as stone, bronze or iron. But without perishable materials woven with thread, produced mostly through women’s labour, civilization is unthinkable. Up to this day we depend on clothing, furnishings, and fabric of all kinds to survive and function. Following the threads that coil and twist themselves through history, Benjocki’s work complicates the frequently subordinated position of textiles and urges us to take a closer look at how they are part of the very fabric of our lives. Generously supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Kristina Benjocki (b. 1984, lives and works in Amsterdam) studied at the University of Arts in Belgrade, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She has also been an artist-in-residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Benjocki’s work has been exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (Croatia), the American University of Beirut Art Gallery, and Izolyatsia in Kyiv. Besides her 2022 presentation at IKOB, she is preparing solo exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Legat Čolaković and at the National Museum Zrenjanin. From 2019 until 2023 her practice is supported by the Mondriaan Fund.

© Kristina Benjocki

Practical information

IKOB, Rotenberg 12b 4700 Eupen IKOB

AT SUNSET WE RETREAT ONCE AGAIN, UP THE HILL, TO WHERE WE CAN WATCH THE SKEINS OF WATER REFLECT COLOURS WE’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE

Kristina Benjocki’s work explores the political mechanisms of forgetting and remembering in the context of former Eastern and Western Europe, and materializes through installation, audio, textile and film. Engaging with the local history of the cloth industry in Eupen as well as her own biographical attachments to textile production, the exhibition at IKOB is a poetic interrogation of how textiles and the very practice of weaving intersect with technological progress, political histories, and the construction of cultural identity.

The central work of the exhibition is Tableaux VI-VII, La composition (2022), a new installation of large-scale, two-sided tapestries. Using her own loom to weave these rugs by hand, the artist reproduces knowledge and movements that have been employed, mostly by women, since ancient times. The patterns are based on a series of grid drawings for rugs woven in the Pirot kilim tradition, manufactured in the artist’s home country of Serbia. They can be traced back to pre-Islamic Ottoman rule in the Balkans and were later used to construct a post-Communist national identity, pointing to how textiles are intimately intertwined with migration, trade, and political power.

Benjocki employs methods similar to those of an archaeologist, with a particular interest in the overlooked, the hidden, and the repressed. The story of human evolution often focuses on hard materials such as stone, bronze or iron. But without perishable materials woven with thread, produced mostly through women’s labour, civilization is unthinkable. Up to this day we depend on clothing, furnishings, and fabric of all kinds to survive and function. Following the threads that coil and twist themselves through history, Benjocki’s work complicates the frequently subordinated position of textiles and urges us to take a closer look at how they are part of the very fabric of our lives.

Generously supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Kristina Benjocki (b. 1984, lives and works in Amsterdam) studied at the University of Arts in Belgrade, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She has also been an artist-in-residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Benjocki’s work has been exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka (Croatia), the American University of Beirut Art Gallery, and Izolyatsia in Kyiv. Besides her 2022 presentation at IKOB, she is preparing solo exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Legat Čolaković and at the National Museum Zrenjanin. From 2019 until 2023 her practice is supported by the Mondriaan Fund.

© Kristina Benjocki

Practical information

IKOB

IKOB – MUSEUM FÜR ZEITGENÖSSISCHE KUNST

Our museum is located in the city of Eupen in the German-speaking community of Belgium, close to the German and Dutch border. Its programme focuses on emerging and leading contemporary art through the constitution of a significant collection – in progress – and temporary exhibitions – in dialogue. Thus, functioning as a discursive platform for contemporary art with its multidisciplinary and thematic exhibition programme and highlighting critical and socio-political issues, the IKOB attempts to reflect upon the matter of the frontier.

HISTORY AND FURTHER SELF-PRESENTATION OF THE MUSEUM

The IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art began as an idea of the artist, art teacher and subsequent museum director Francis Feidler. The institution was conceived as a center for border-transcending exhibitions out of which a later museum collection could be successively built up – augmented by purchases and loans, as well as by donations especially from exhibiting artists. The first milestones for the Eastern Belgian art center were the sculpture exhibition Kontakt 93 at the park facilities in Eupen as well as the project Volle Scheunen (with 12 installations respectively in the Ardennes and the Eifel), which was realized in collaboration with the former head of the Documenta Manfred Schneckenburger.
The IKOB established itself quite early on as an internationally oriented exhibition platform as well as a promoter of the regional art scene. Already back then, the special characteristic of how the museum would like to be perceived and how it operates lay in its active approach toward artists in the region. They were often featured in pioneering exhibitions shortly before they achieved an international breakthrough. These presentations gave rise to the collection of the institution, which meanwhile comprises more than 400 works. In 1999, the IKOB acquired a fixed domicile in a commercially used building near the old Schlachthof. In 2005, the collection received official recognition, and the International Art Center of Eastern Belgium was renamed the IKOB – Museum of Contemporary Art.
The museum considers its proximity to international borders as a point of departure for serving as a cultural mediator between the various regions of Belgium and engaging in a fertile exchange with the artistic scenes in Germany and the Netherlands. Inasmuch as it invites visitors to investigate political, social and cultural developments in an informal atmosphere, it strives to make an active contribution to society – also in the framework of its exhibitions. In three to four large shows per year, the museum displays contemporary art in the best sense of the term, with the main exhibitions being accompanied by individual presentations of works from the permanent collection.
The IKOB, however, does not intend simply to organize and document contemporary art but instead, through the choice of themes and artists for its exhibitions, to discover and convey new artistic tendencies. Through a constant shifting of focus onto current themes that are handled by diverse artistic media, the museum moves in close contact with both the established and the up-and-coming art scenes. In 2018, the IKOB has celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding; over the years, it has become a well-known name in the Euregio Maas-Rhine region.

OGuided tour for the general public

Every second Sunday in the month of an exhibition at 1:00 p.m.

OGuided tour by the director

On the last Sunday of each successive exhibition, our director Frank-Thorsten Moll conducts a guided tour that offers a final assessment of the closing show and a preview of the coming program.

OGuided tours for groups

Whether for young or old, birthday party or company excursion – we offer guided tours for all current exhibitions and collection presentations.

3 B

Practical information

IKOB

Rotenberg 12b
4700 Eupen

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