Goele De Bruyn

° 1963

Born in Brecht (Belgium).

Goele de Bruyn makes installations, paintings, drawings, textile works and collages. Using a minimum of points of recognition, her sculptures evoke a sense of familiarity. However, upon closer observation that initial moment of recognition becomes undermined. Anomalies in the sculptures cause viewers to doubt their first impressions. The fragments that we seem to recognize make it impossible to attach an unequivocal meaning to her works. Here, systems of signs and codes of everyday life backfire. Opposing signs combine to generate a sense of confusion.

Sculptures by de Bruyn are so 'normal' that, seen in another context, the viewer would not recognize them as 'art'. Furthermore, her choice and use of materials evoke an atmosphere of 'hobbyism', of handiwork. One may think that these works might be able to do something, that we could still 'use them'. The suggestion of a potential use creates a sense of tension: her works balance on the border between art and not-art.

De Bruyn's work is extremely varied as to form. This said, the effect provoked vis-à-vis the viewer is always similar. As a viewer, we are engaged with the sculpture while at the same time being pushed back to our position as outsider, as observer. The artist tests her audience: just how far can you attract the viewer to follow the tale the artist has to tell, without then having personal projections intrude? Meaning constantly shifts; it jumps, it pulls-up short. Our longing for meaning is encouraged only to then be thwarted. In this way, we enter into a field of tension between familiarization and understandability on the one hand, and distrust and open-interpretation on the other. What results? A world of new possibilities.

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