This comprehensive show of Koenraad Dedobbeleer’s oeuvre (b. 1975 in Halle / BE, lives in Brussels) focuses primarily on work from recent years and was developed in cooperation with Kunst Museum Winterthur and Wiels contemporary art center. Sitting at the heart of Dedobbeleer’s artistic practice is the question as to what, nowadays, might possibly be added to all the things or (art) objects produced for the benefit of everyday human life, edification and luxury. Dedobbeleer looks to the origin of these things or – as the title indicates – for the “thing” in itself. Formally, his work draws no distinction between artworks formed from found objects, those made by hand or with a machine. High and low are humorously interwoven with one other.
The exhibition takes the form of an individual, museum-like presentation and brings together exhibits ranging from a depiction of an ancient hairstyle to a plaster model of the goddess Diana with a new nose, to large objects reminiscent of gymnastics equipment and sculptures containing nuts or fresh fruit. Several objects in the exhibition have a display function of their own (taking the form of tables or other constructions) and showcase other collected items including found and made objects, reproductions, or photographs.
Dedobbeleer’s “Gallery of Material Culture” merges cultural-historical habits of seeing with European conventions of art presentation to form a very unique, imaginary yet also very real exhibition that not least ties in with modernism and novel forms of exhibition-making that art theorist Alexander Dorner developed with artists in Hanover.