The Rumour

Luc Tuymans


Installation, 91.56 x 516 x 6.5 cm.
Materials: ink, paper, plexi, wood

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0287).

This edition was created after the 2001 exhibition of the same name at White Cube Gallery in London. The theme is the cult of carrier pigeons and pigeon fanciers. This is a series, which is a usual working method for Luc Tuymans. By collecting and juxtaposing several images the content of the individual images can be reconsidered, as well as the psychological relations between the depicted subjects. This does not happen without a struggle, however: associations can lead to discrepancies in our thinking. The dove can be seen as a symbol of peace, and can also be linked to virginal whiteness. During the French Revolution these birds were killed so as to prevent the free spread of information. Today we think of urban pigeons as pointless disease carriers. Have they become a metaphor for ourselves? Or should we cast our eyes on the portrait of the aristocrat, the pivotal power figure, who regards us with haughty anticipation? He determines not only the direction the pigeon flies in, but also the way rumours make a place for themselves in a society. His gaze exacts obedience, as do the eyes of the pigeon. This authoritarian figure (midway between Giscard d’Estaing, Adenauer and Mitterrand) contrasts sharply with the other image, of a twisted body bending over forwards. The Rumour appears to refer to ghostly visions of oppression. Tuymans presents these frightening ideas in ordinary and easily recognisable forms.

Media View all

Events View all

Ensembles View all

Actors View all