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Foreword Okwui Enwezor, Dirk Snauwaert, Tom Trevor In Progress Dirk Snauwaert Joëlle Tuerlinckx and the Exhibition Visual Impressions, Knowledge, Sensations Julienne Lorz Illustrated text Collected images #1 Everything and Nothing – The Pre-History of Zero Tom Trevor Illustrated text Collected images #2 Joëlle Tuerlinckx or the Sense of Possibility Catherine Mayeur Illustrated text Collected images #3 Index of works and documents Glossary of terms Joëlle Tuerlinckx Bibliography / Authors’ biographies Colophon


Joëlle Tuerlinckx and the Exhibition Visual Impressions, Knowledge, Sensations Julienne Lorz

1. Joëlle Tuerlinckx, entry on“EXPOSITION,” in: LEXICON – a compendium of terms for Exhibition Matters/Materials – 20.09.2012, Wiels, Brussels, 2012, p.10. See also Glossary of terms, in this publication, p.337. 2. Joëlle Tuerlinckx, “Moment #19a”, in: Moritz Küng, Jeanette Pacher, Joëlle Tuerlinckx (eds.), Moments d’espace, Secession, Vienna, Revolver Publishing, Berlin, 2011, p.88. 3. See the artist’s description in Moment d’espace, pp.86-92. 4. Ibid., p.89.

5. Ibid.

6. See also Frank Vande Veire, “Something about How a Tuerlinckx Machine Traverses the Exhibition Machine”, in: Cathérine de Zegher (ed.), Inside the Visible: an Elliptical traverse of twentieth Century art in, of and from the Feminine, MIT Press, Boston, 1996, p. 454.


The exhibition: a way of seeing, of advancing as if with eyes closed.1 Joëlle Tuerlinckx When on a sunny day in the late 1970s, Joëlle Tuerlinckx decided to capture the following scene in five black-and-white photographs entitled 4 Carrés-soleil (Four Sun Squares, 1976), she set out some of the defining parameters for her ensuing œuvre. Cutting up a sheet of white paper “(…) in two, then in four, then in eight, and so on”,2 Tuerlinckx arranged four of the resulting small squares to form a larger square, which she then placed on the ground outside, somewhere in an urban setting.3 In the image’s perspective, a broad shaft of sunlight illuminates most of the chosen space, while a building’s diagonal shadow cuts clearly across the lower left-hand corner. In the following four frames, the distance between the small “sun squares” is increased, spreading outwards quickly, seemingly doubling the outline of the square each time. These transitions are easily detectable from image to image, but the shifting of the shadow’s natural progression is almost imperceptible — only its changed edge from diffuse to sharp seems proof of its movement. Tuerlinckx recalls her intention as aiming “to save a moment of space (the parts put down on the ground, the ground exposed to the sun, the moving shadow of the building gradually gaining more of the ground). And everything followed from that… With the observation of the (partial) failure of preserving a ‘moment of time, of space, of action’. Everything started there, on the edge of the frame.”4 Aspects of time, space and action, then, as well as light and shadow, recording and preserving, all play important roles. Other attributes found in later works are already present in 4 Carrés-soleil such as the changes in scale (of the composite square) and, thereby, transformation; the relation between objects (the smaller squares in relation to the larger suggested square and to the setting); the tension between abstraction and reality (geometric forms situated in an everyday, ‘real’ environment); the altering of perspective (from the horizontal to the vertical; the ground appears as a wall), as well as the concentration on the periphery, ‘the edge of the frame’. 5 Furthermore, it is the in-betweenness of actions or moments and their recordings that are just as relevant as the foregrounded actions. 4 Carrés-soleil could also be seen as an early indication of yet another characteristic found in Tuerlinckx’s works, namely her ‘overall’ approach: paying attention to the importance and aura of details, even to those on the fringes, without losing sight of the whole.6 A sense of composition is nevertheless retained, though without creating obvious hierarchies of importance. This is particularly evident in exhibitions where Tuerlinckx skilfully combines individual artworks in such a way as to give the impression of a comprehensive spatial composition, a visual choreography that alters and develops in correspondence with the observer’s movements in the space. Here again space and time are vital components in this experience. Without wishing to neglect other, not yet mentioned components in Tuerlinckx’s rich and multilayered artworks, it is this latter aspect upon which this essay will focus, with an emphasis on specific examples: the summation of separate parts forming a comprehensiveness, as in the case of Tuerlinckx’s solo exhibitions and her presentations occupying an entire room. The exhibition in and of itself could be seen to serve Tuerlinckx as an artistic medium within which various elements and attributes unfold that are also present in her individual works of art, without forfeiting their equal status in the overarching spatial concept of an exhibition context.

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7. Cf.: Bruce Altshuler (ed.), Salon to Biennial – Exhibitions that Made art History, Vol. I: 1863-1959, Phaidon, London, 2008; esp. Bruce Altshuler, Introduction, pp.11-19. 8. Relevant to this discussion is Moritz Küng’s article on the disappearance of the exhibition entitled “Vom Verschwinden der Ausstellung. Über die Verortung des Werkes in Raum, Zeit und Kontext”, in: Kunstforum, Vol. 186, 2007, pp.132. 9. Michel de Certeau, the Practice of Everyday Life, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1984, p.117. 10. Georges Vantongerloo, Paintings, Sculptures, Reflections, Wittenborn, New York, 1948, p.38. 11. One example is the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme curated by André Breton and Paul Éluard in Paris in 1938. At the opening, viewers were given flashlights with which to see the paintings in a dark space, where also Marcel Duchamp’s 1200 Coal Sacks were suspended from the ceiling creating a claustrophobic atmosphere. Cf.: Lewis Kachur, “The Origin of Surrealist Exhibition Space: The 1938 Paris Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme”, in: Displaying the Marvelous, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2001, esp. pp.31-88. 12. Hubert Locher, “Die Kunst des Ausstellens – Anmerkungen zu einem unübersichtlichen Diskurs”, in: Hans Dieter Huber, Hubert Locher, Karin Schulte (eds.), Die Kunst des ausstellens – Beiträge Statements Diskussionen, Hatje Cantz, OstfildernRuit, 2002, p.21.

The Phenomenon ‘Exhibition’

13. Robert Morris, “Notes on Sculpture, Part 2”, in: Robert Morris, Continuous Project altered Daily: the Writings of Robert Morris, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1993, esp. pp.15-17.

Needless to say the exhibition as such has a long history; its trajectory reaching across many centuries and numerous formats ranging from salons held in royal palaces, mass expositions such as world fairs, exhibitions in public institutions, museums, project spaces and commercial galleries, to presentations in private and domestic settings.7 This account may be further expanded if one considers the Internet as a place of exhibition, for which André Malraux’s ‘Le musée imaginaire’ (museum without walls) and in particular the artist book might be cited as precursors. Both the digital environment and the book represent a different manifestation of space, providing a platform through which it is possible to present to the public outside of the conventions of the museum. Whether actions or interventions in public space or happenings and performances should be regarded under the generic term of ‘exhibition’ as opposed to ‘actions’, ‘interventions’, ‘happenings’ and ‘performances’, is a topic to be examined elsewhere.8 When is an exhibition an exhibition? Despite their different formats, all exhibitions have in common that they are usually temporary ways of showing or presenting to someone, be it the wider public or a small audience. A public act of presentation, in other words, that requires some form of space and, thereby, the inextricable link to time. In combination, space and time suggest some form of movement or progression, as the French scholar and thinker Michel de Certeau writes: A space exists when one takes into consideration vectors of direction, velocities, and time variables. Thus space is composed of intersections of mobile elements. It is in a sense actuated by the ensemble of movements deployed within it. Space occurs as the effect produced by the operations that orient it, situate it, temporalize it, and make it function in a polyvalent unity of conflictual programs or contractual proximities.9 More directly related to objects in space, the Belgian artist Georges Vantongerloo describes this relationship thus: “By moving I obtain the feeling of existing and of space, as well as of time. (…) We need space in order to situate objects. Space, which is indispensible to us (though we cannot define it), is inseparable from life.”10 If one transfers these reflections to the context and space of an exhibition, any movement would, therefore, be generated by the visitor (though, conceivably, the exhibits themselves could move also), who strides, meanders, hovers, stands, walks around or through the space, absorbing differing lengths of time periods according to the dynamic approaches taken and according to the layout and intention of the exhibition. Though it is true that every visitor essentially enters an exhibition of their own free will, at liberty to determine his or her pace through it, artists and exhibition makers have deliberately tried to influence not only the path taken by a viewer through the space, but also the time spent within it, and perhaps most importantly, the experience that is evoked.11 As diverse as the history of exhibitions is, so has this form of control or manipulation of the spectator in an exhibition undergone many changes and developments over the centuries. Described in a starkly abbreviated way these range from the sixteenth century ‘cabinets of curiosities’12 — plentiful displays of valuable or curious objects and paintings, plethoras rather inhibiting individual contemplation, creating instead an experience of awe and wonder in the viewer — to the visually diametrically opposed development culminating in Minimalist Art of the 1960s, where the observer’s relation to the artwork and space, as well as the resulting experience, is integral to the artists’ concepts of the radically reduced forms presented.13 Whilst the differences between these two extremes in history and formats are prodigious, they nevertheless share an all-encompassing approach where the experience of the entire room or space is in close symbiosis with the individual objects being presented. In-between these are copious examples of exhibitions that function entirely differently, such as in a hierarchical, accumulative or dogmatic way, or pursuing a specific thematic or narrative. In relation

14. Entry on “EXPOSITION”, in: LEXICON, op.cit., pp.10-11.


to Joëlle Tuerlinckx’s art, however, these paradigms, though widely divergent, are of significance with regards to their amalgamation of parts, which is a notable characteristic present in a very specific form of exhibition making, namely, the ‘exhibition as medium’.


Exhibition as Medium Akin to the medium of painting or sculpture, the term medium in this context connotes the means by which artists manifest or express their artistic concerns and engagements. Coupled with exhibition, the term ‘exhibition as medium’, or, indeed, the ‘medium of the exhibition’, suggests several distinguishing aspects: specificity of space, comprehensiveness, duration, temporality, ‘choreography’, experience, memory. As opposed to (most) painting and sculpture, the exhibition as a medium is not fixed; it can never be repeated in exactly the same way, once the space has changed. An overall approach is required, since the entire space and, at times, also its context and location, will influence the outcome. The generally temporary nature of exhibitions demands a consideration for time spent within the exhibition, as well as the finiteness of the medium. Owing to the spatial and durational aspects, the viewer’s experience is bound up with the choreography, the successive staging of the content. Once the exhibition has ended, it continues to exist in installation images and other paraphernalia, but predominantly it remains as memory expressed through oral history, a mental construct that tends to alter over time. The exhibition (as medium) opens up many variables in its singular manifestation as well as its repetition in different locations. It is, therefore, inherently, a proposition, one of many possibilities. The ‘here’ and ‘now’, and ‘in this constellation’ are vital factors in experiencing this medium. For Joëlle Tuerlinckx experience is of primary importance in defining an exhibition: an exhibition is, first and foremost, an experience of space — space composed, perhaps of objects of space — that proposes action, or reaction, as a means of reflection, of thinking our human condition. as a common experience, it regards itself as public and open to all, to all forms of creation, interpretation, within a given territory or space. a survival method, a way to make do, to raise questions and find new answers in order to enlarge our possibilities for being. an exhibition is also a perpetual redefinition of things, a sort of permanent and necessary form of refutation. (…) the exhibition is this ‘extra-ordinary object’ that is at once extra, common, banal, extra, and not-so-banal, made of a spatialmatter on a 1:1 scale … albeit sometimes not so visible. (…) that’s what an exhibition is: this moment of space. vision of space, projection of space, illusion of space, manipulation of space, displacement of space, crossing space, thinking space, hearing space, calculating space, scale of space, bearing of space. (…)14 This eloquent circumscription is at the basis of all of Tuerlinckx’s exhibitions. It makes clear her commitment to what might be broadly summarised as the exhibition acting as a receptacle within which space and its multiple manifestations are experienced in a temporary, or even momentary, manner. Furthermore, it points towards the artist’s approach to the exhibition as a medium through which to explore and provide content, while the exhibition and, therefore, space, time and action, functions as content within itself, without, however, relegating or sacrificing meaning and importance of the individual works assembled in the exhibition. In this regard, aQUI HaVIa HIStORIaCULtURa aGORa 0 – a proposition for Documenta11 (History Was Here – Culture Now 0, 2002) and CRYStaL tIMES. Reflexión sin sol / Proyecciones sin objeto (Reflexions Without Sun / Projections Without Object, 2009-2010) are to serve as examples with which to explore and make transparent Tuerlinckx’s approach.

17-18, 28,30, 32,35 38, 40-41, 42,44, 274


15. Joëlle Tuerlinckx, “Notes Attached: The Project, After Having Seen the Space – Possibilities, Impossibilities, New Things, One or Two Observations about the Room + Intentions”, in: documenta and Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH, Kassel (eds.), Documenta11_Platform 5: Exhibition, exhib. cat., Hatje Cantz, OstfildernRuit, 2002, p.590. 16. Ibid.

17. Ibid., p.591.

18. “List of Exhibited Works”, in: Documenta11_Platform 5: Exhibition — appendix, op.cit., p.48. 19. Moments d’espace, op.cit., p.101.

20. Entry on “SEGMENT de MARCHE”, in: LEXICON, op.cit., p.22. 21. Ibid., entry on “MUSEAL STEP”, p.18.


aQUI HaVIa HIStORIa-CULtURa aGORa 0 – a proposition for Documenta11 In an open and self-reflexive manner, Tuerlinckx’s artist entry included in the Documenta11 exhibition catalogue reveals some of her artistic processes with regards to aQUI HaVIa HIStORIa-CULtURa aGORa 0 – a proposition for Documenta 11. Under the headline “NOTES ATTACHED: THE PROJECT, AFTER HAVING SEEN THE SPACE – POSSIBILITIES. IMPOSSIBILITIES. NEW THINGS. ONE OR TWO OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE ROOM + INTENTIONS”15 Tuerlinckx immediately begins with her thoughts on the designated space on the lower floor of the Museum Fridericianum in Kassel: “if possible do not conceal the way out. even if the rear door only leads to the lift or an emergency exit. the special feature of the space will, in the final analysis, be that the room starts with a door and ends with a door.”16 She continues with detailed descriptions, deliberations, and possibilities, as well as drawings of the layout and constructions to be built. At the very end of this catalogue entry, Tuerlinckx answers the question “What is my subject?” with a response she originally gave to the question “and what do you do if you are not a carpenter, who are you?”, as printed on the invitation card to her exhibition NIEUWE PROJECtEN/Nouveaux Projets D.D. at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in the Belgian Deurle in 1999: I pass through spaces and I explore parts of time that are specific to each one of these forward movements, I see how these spaces come to me… basically I observe how the space crosses the human, and how the human contains these blocks of time, themselves contained in or spilling over from these spaces. I’m working on understanding the phenomenon of the metrics of time, rather than on measuring and assessing these spaces.17 aQUI HaVIa HIStORIa-CULtURa aGORa 0 – a proposition for Documenta11 seems to do just this: provide a space filled with variable temporal blocks, which people can explore and submerge themselves in, or cross by entering and exiting from the doors at either end of the space. It is “a room of 15 min. 7 sec., in 22 steps, around a found sentence”,18 as the full description for the work reads. Tuerlinckx discovered the found sentence referred to here — aQUI HaVIa HIStORIa-CULtURa aGORa 0 – on a church’s exterior wall in Lisbon in 1998. Puzzling over its meaning,19 Tuerlinckx filmed the ambiguous words and the surroundings with slow panning shots whilst sitting on a bench in an adjacent park. Projected onto a life-sized freestanding wall at Documenta11, the sound film is 15 minutes and 7 seconds long; a white screen marks the end of this film as a visual and aural pause before restarting. It is then that the everyday noises, of traffic, for instance, enter the exhibition space through one of the deliberately open windows. Tuerlinckx identifies this subtle sensation as being “hors-champ” (literally: outside of a field or area), which, in filmic terms, refers to sounds or voices heard “off-camera”. In a very direct and humourous way, this is the case here: the main film and, thereby, the camera is momentarily switched off. The sounds heard are not merely outside of the film, but literally outside and beyond the area of the exhibition, allowing the larger context of reality and, thereby, socio-political aspects to enter the cultural space of the museum as an in-between and flighty moment that envelopes the artworks. The aspect of “hors-champ” recurs in that the film aQUI HaVIa HIStORIaCULtURa aGORa 0 (1998) formulates the conceptual focus around which the other works in the room are grouped and put in relation to. The entire constellation presents itself as a kind of stage set or mise en scène behind the implied barrier of a long white line on the floor of the exhibition space leading from one end of the room to the other: Segment de Marche (Walking Segment)20 appears to be guiding the aforementioned 22 paces,21 and is a kind of timeline. With each step taken along this mark, the scene further unfolds, revealing several smaller spaces demarcated by differently sized free-





22. Joëlle Tuerlinckx, “Notes Attached”, op.cit., p.590.

23. Ibid.

24. Entry on “STRETCH FILM”, in: LEXICON, op.cit., p.23.

25. Ibid., entry on “THEORY of WALKING”, p.25.

standing walls, low hurdles masquerading as real brick walled partitions painted white, miniature projection screens, and small u-shaped booths resembling large architectural models. Notable amongst these constructions is a man-sized black cubicle — rather like an off-centre prompter’s box at the edge of a stage, except that it is facing the audience — which the visitor can enter and view the set-up through several small holes. Light from the slide, film or overhead projectors breathes life into the other separate clusters, while monitors of various diameters placed on their own or in rows add their glow. Most devices are placed directly on the ground, with the exception of four neighbouring monitors suspended from the ceiling and one larger monitor attached to the wall. Everything in the space is in alignment with the line on the floor, thereby creating additional, parallel lines; only in a couple of instances this is disrupted by the aforementioned three-walled booths. On the whole, the room is “organized on both sides, back and front, from front to rear, from left to right, and vice versa”.22 Seen from the point of view of a theatre audience, the spatial rhythm of the differently scaled walls, projection dimensions and monitors meanders rather like a softly hilled landscape through the breadth of the room, culminating in or beginning with a high point represented by the hanging monitors, depending from which direction the space is traversed. Each of these islands functions as independent spheres — or “micro-spaces”23 as Tuerlinckx calls them — whilst being simultaneously caught up in a conceptual web of rhetorical reiterations. The aforementioned “found sentence” of aQUI HaVIa HIStORIa-CULtURa aGORa 0, for instance, is recaptured with three further sentences in the space such as “‘YOU ONLY HAVE TO CHOOSE A MOMENT’ — found sentence in a pocket (by Orla Barry, 1995)” or “Anything, Anywhere, Fast”. Instead of being shown as filmic documents, these texts are handwritten on overhead transparencies and each is beamed directly onto the wall. Tuerlinckx’s Stretch Films (1999, 2000-2001) pick up on various aspects present in the space, such as the observation of the line in different formats, be it drawn or in object form, or the subject of scale. In one scene, for example, two paper circles are placed next to each other: one is white, about the size of the hand touching its edge, the other is green and somewhat larger — this moment is displayed on a monitor at ground level and simultaneously projected almost double in size onto a rectangular sheet of paper fixed to a thin floor-based panel of about one meter in height. Interesting here, too, is Tuerlinckx’s description of her deliberations concerning Stretch Film: “how the projected image influences the architecture of a given space. how the latter increases and decreases in volume: illusion of magnitude and infinity. (…) how the formation of these images influences real space.”24 Other elements such as the wall return as thematic investigations in different guises, be it the church wall in the film aQUI HaVIa HIStORIa-CULtURa aGORa 0 or as the simulation of a real wall such as the different white brick wallpapers respectively covering the inside surface of one and the outside surface of another of the booths. Also Tuerlinckx’s Stretch-Film série coloriage noir/blanc (Stretch-Film, Black/ White Colouring Series, 2008) refers to the wall: the sounds and gradual progression of the tip of a fat felt-tip pen are recorded in close-up and projected. The film covers the surface in such a way as to suggest that the pen is repeatedly painting the wall, alternating from black to white. Much as the sentence in question, this simple and mesmerising act seems to speak of the futility of permanence and duration. In combination with all these aspects, the act of walking — and indeed Tuerlinckx’s theory of Walking, “a ‘practical’ based on not-knowing and on action as a mode of knowledge”25 is included here — appears to be key in this work. Walking or moving through a space affords different experiences, different points of view, different dynamics and durations; it, as well as all the other elements in this work, could be seen to represent what Sarat Maharaj describes as: Countermeasures for perspectives that are completely irreconcilable with the way in which the world is built up on retina-based systems for us, when we think of the disruptions, which are caused by different ways of experiencing the world





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26. Translated, Sarat Maharaj in conversation with Amine Haase, “Fragen an die kartesianische Logik, ODER: ‘BISWEILEN MÜSSEN WIR VERSUCHEN, AUS DER VERBANNUNG AUSZUBRECHEN’”, in: Kunstforum, Vol. 161, 2002, p.94.

27. Cf.: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía’s website, http:// www.museoreinasofia. es/museo/sedes_en.html (last accessed: 03/04/2013). 28. Lynne Cooke, CRYStaL tIMES. Reflexión sin sol/ Proyecciones sin objeto, accompanying exhibition leaflet, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2009, n.p.


to which she applies her standard of “volumes of reality”. (…) the “shredder”, as I would call it, of the systematised mode of thinking about the world and the creation of alternative methods to measure the world, to recognise and to quantify, that which resides outside of the strict geometry of inherited Cartesian knowledge. (…) It is a knowledge that slips through the web of normal knowledge systems and is frequently considered so insignificant, trivial, secondary or simply so small that one does not even notice it.26 This questioning and reinterpreting of conventional knowledge and accepted truths is an important current in Tuerlinckx’s entire œuvre. CRYStaL tIMES. Reflexión sin sol / Proyecciones sin objeto Whereas aQUI HaVIa HIStORIa-CULtURa aGORa 0 – a proposition for Documenta11 comprised one room within a large group exhibition, Tuerlinckx’s solo show CRYStaL tIMES. Reflexión sin sol / Proyecciones sin objeto (2009-2010) took place in several spaces in two locations in Madrid: the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) situated in one of the city’s public parks, the Parque del Buen Retiro, as well as three spaces in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía’s Sabatini Building. Reminiscent of the much larger Crystal Palace (1851) in London, the Palacio de Cristal was designed by the architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco and erected in 1887.27 Its iron and glass construction allows for a maximum of natural light to enter the space, a characteristic that for Tuerlinckx would be pivotal in that the space is, therefore, ever-changing in its appearance. Particularly on sunny days, the architecture’s construction casts shadows that during the course of a day move across the floor and any persons or objects within it. In what the exhibition’s curator Lynne Cooke identifies as “a fictive scenario — at once studio, gallery, and archive”,28 Tuerlinckx installed three works entitled Rayon noir – 107 éléments (Soleil #1), Rayon orange – 64 éléments (Soleil mobile #2), and Rayon ‘blanc’ – 16 éléments (Soleil #3) (all 2009). With respectively black, orange and white clusters of nylon strings stretching from ceiling to floor, Tuerlinckx simulated rays of sunshine penetrating the space at different points, from different angles, and with different intensity. Minimal, and on a cloudy day nearly invisible, these interventions correlated directly with the building’s special quality of admitting the daily weather conditions and the, thereby, ever-fluctuating light situation. Other objects, seemingly carelessly scattered, were distributed sparingly on the grey concrete floor of the large open space, such as Modèle Originale (Original Model, 2009): a large clear glass bottle sitting just off-centre on top of an acetate circle; black ink seeping from under the receptacle and puddling onto the transparent circle. A long and rusty metal blade with a wavy serrated edge and oblong holes at either end balanced on a glass marble stuck in the bottle’s mouth. It is an arrangement nearly identical to an illustration printed in a book lying open at the page ‘L’Aimant et la Boussole’ (The Magnet and the Compass) underneath a worn-looking wooden table covered with white splashes of paint. Elevated on a low plinth and encased in Plexiglas, the book and the table, upon which a palm-sized compass is placed, comprise table d’orientation ‘Palacio de Cristal’ (2009). Translating literally as a ‘table for orientation’ and being placed so close to the entrance, the work seemed to wish to serve as a navigational tool for points of interest within Palacio de Cristal. And, certainly, both the compass and the topic of the book set the scene for the other objects and dials painted on the floor as instruments with which to determine due north. Though since all the pointing devices of these makeshift compasses indicated this cardinal point differently, they succumb to mere semblances of certainty rather than reliably functioning instruments. As Cooke points out: Although (…) the combinations of a sun-beam and a compass have the potential to serve as time-pieces — sundials — they will in fact never prove reliable.

38, 40-41, 42,44, 274





29. Ibid.

30. At the time of visiting the exhibition, in February 2010, the remainder of this top floor’s exhibition spaces were empty. Passing through these bare rooms, one first came across the model before entering the visually very full corridor of Tuerlinckx’s exhibition. 31. Cooke, op.cit.


Instead of mechanistic ways of calibrating the passage of time, time here will be apprehended experientially. Rooted in memory, anticipation, sensory and bodily processes, it will be experienced as duration, as a matter of reflection and projection, speculation and conjecture. Tuerlinckx thus proposes alternatives to a dependence on scientific tools: finding one’s way and hence determining one’s position in the world require additional forms of knowledge; alternatives to purely instrumental tools for thought.29 The Palacio de Cristal was permeated with a delicate attitude of questioning and doubt that Tuerlinckx transferred in very different ways to the museum’s spaces. At the very top of the Sabatini Building, Tuerlinckx occupied a corridor and two rooms named respectively Study Room I (Corridor), which included a vitrine, Study Room II and III. These small spaces were densely packed with content in an archival mix of museum and scientific display, using plinths, salon hang, didactic panels, projections, specimens, science and educational books, atlases and dictionaries. All types of rational knowledge, doctrines and encyclopaedias pertaining to, for example, physics, mathematics, astronomy, metrology, but also to sculpture and modelling, flows into Tuerlinckx’s presented works, where this knowledge is manipulated, added to, exposed, covered up, juxtaposed or illustrated with simple everyday materials, found objects, and artistic assemblages or manifestations. The artist also included her own theories such as theory of Vision and the aforementioned theory of Walking. Notably, American nuclear physicist and Nobel prize winner Steven Weinberg’s book, or rather, the inner front pages displaying the title of the French translation, Les trois premières minutes de l’univers (1977) (the First three Minutes: a Modern View of the Origin of the Universe), appeared three times in the exhibition. In the first two instances, the actual book was placed sideways in the vitrine of Study Room I (Corridor), and in Study Room II, the same page, but with the second page half cut off, was presented as a large digital print covering the entire back wall, upon which Tuerlinckx’s three minute video aBStRaCt FILMs ‘noir-blanc’ – Reina Sofía/ Salas de Estudio CRIStaL tIMES (2009) was projected. Thirdly, the simulation of this latter space with the book pages acting as wallpaper was also one of the few features included in an otherwise mostly bare architectural model of the galleries, which was exhibited under Plexiglas directly on the floor of an empty space adjacent to the corridor.30 Also visible in the model were a small compass in the corner space, a simulation of the work Metrum ‘Sofía’ (2009), as well as pencil drawings of overlapping, handdrawn sloping grids reminiscent of hatch marks on the corridor walls — all of which were presented in the actual exhibition. The effect of the latter, the wall drawing entitled Murs encyclopédiques ‘CRYStaL tIMES’ (Encyclopedic Walls, 2009), is, as Cooke writes, that Tuerlinckx “mak(es) the gallery space visible as a sculptural volume (…) revealing the basic conditions of spectatorship”. 31 This mode of perception is reiterated in the model, but also on the pages of Weinberg’s book, which reveal the artist’s pencilled notes and sketches of Palacio de Cristal with the fake sun rays’ possible placements. Similarly to her artist entry in the Documenta11 catalogue, here, too, Tuerlinckx makes her thought processes transparent by incorporating her initial ideas for the interventions at the crystal palace in varying formats. In Study Room III, Tuerlinckx rehearsed her fake rays of sunshine ideas in abstracted form amongst a dense sculptural constellation elevated on a low white platform: Volume d’étude – pour Faux Rayon ‘Cristal Palacio’ 1 élément jaune et plante vivante (Volume Study – for Fake Ray ‘Cristal Palacio’ 1 yellow element and living plant, 2008-2009); Volume d’étude – pour Faux Rayon ‘Palacio de Cristal’ 5 éléments noir (Volume Study – for Fake Ray ‘Palacio de Cristal’ 5 black elements, 2008-2009); Volume d’étude pour Lumière blanche – Rayons blancs ‘Palacio de Cristal’ (Volume Study for White Light – White Rays ‘Palacio de Cristal’, 1992-2009). Each work represents the crystal palace as a void cube formed from either metal or wooden L sections, across the top of which different types of sticks partially dipped in

42 42




32. Joëlle Tuerlinckx in conversation with Heinrich Dunst, “Joëlle Tuerlinckx – My Viennoiseries”, in: Spike, No. 16, 2008, p.79. 33. Tuerlinckx’s photographic series MONStRatIONs, for instance, is a case in point. In close-up, the artist utilises various objects such as sticks, pens, gloved fingers, rulers or even knives as pointing tools in order to draw the attention to a picture, words or both.

white paint or coloured blue rest. In correspondence with the works’ titles, differently coloured nylon threads are attached to these sticks, stretched diagonally across the volume and fixed to the cube’s floor — simulating the ‘real’ simulation of rays at the Palacio de Cristal. By continuously cross-referencing the two spaces—the Palacio de Cristal and the museum—in this way, as well as through the thematic and visual language present in both the locations, Tuerlinckx achieved a close link in form and content, despite the fairly large physical distance and the considerable architectural differences. Furthermore, she emphasised the necessary transferral of perception between actual and abstracted spaces, much as science demands theoretical, mathematical or abstract understanding of real phenomena. In addition, Tuerlinckx demonstrated the conventions involved in the perception of space that exist between the viewer, the artwork and the institutional frame. Despite the multiple spaces in CRYStaL tIMES. Reflexión sin sol / Proyecciones sin objeto, or perhaps even because of the different locations and the multipartite aspects of this exhibition, Joëlle Tuerlinckx follows a line of enquiry that she then represents in all its diversity and complexity by generously and gently, but persistently and consistently filling one’s mind with visual impressions (be they fake or real), knowledge and sensations. Tuerlinckx: “I try to give the observer a location, to include him/her and to convey the experience of a space that I also have had.”32 The ‘act of showing’, which is essentially what an exhibition is, is at the forefront in Tuerlinckx’s exhibitions, as well as in many of her works.33 By opening her processes and displaying her way of thinking, questioning and assembling, Tuerlinckx offers the spectator not only an insight into her artistic concerns, but also different ways of perceiving and experiencing. Every work has its role to play within CRYStaL tIMES, and yet each could be considered on its own merit and content, rather like each star holds its own in a cosmos of stars. In this spatial and temporal constellation they comprise Tuerlinckx’s particular intention, just as the separate artworks are accumulated to result in aQUI HaVIa HIStORIaCULtURa aGORa 0 – a proposition for Documenta11. Tuerlinckx’s current retrospective exhibition, which, significantly, has a slightly different title at each of the three venues — WOR(LD)K IN PROGRESS? (WIELS, Brussels); WORLD(K) IN PROGRESS? (Haus der Kunst, Munich); and WOR(L)D(K) IN PROGRESS? (Arnolfini, Bristol) — exemplifies the artist’s approach of melding distinctly singular works into a consummate experience in space and time; of making use of the exhibition as a medium in and of itself. Rather than deciding on a fixed selection of works appropriate of a retrospective and suitable for all three institutions, Tuerlinckx conceives of each architectural setting individually, revisiting and re-examining her œuvre as well as the exhibition contexts in which the artworks were originally shown and the different roles they have played within them. Whilst there are artworks that will be shown in every location, Tuerlinckx makes adjustments to the exhibition according to the specific spatial contexts, placing different emphases each time by adding and subtracting to the core list of works. As is reflected in the titles, in ever-changing constellations each exhibition represents an idiosyncratic, temporary proposition, one possibility of many; spatial and temporal processes then that, according to Tuerlinckx’s question mark at the end, may or may not be declared as progress.








List of works and documents pp. 11, 12, 25 4 Carrés-soleil, 1976 p. 17 Archival exhibition slide material ‘Documenta11’ (Found sentences) p. 18 Archival exhibition slide material ‘Documenta11’ (Cabine d’exposition [Exhibition cabin] and Segment de Marche [Walking Segment]) p. 21 Found sentence ‘Anything. Anywhere. Fast’, archive material p. 22 Found sentence ‘Zero’, archive material p. 27 ‘Drawing Inventory’, The Drawing Center, New York, USA, 2006 (detail) pp. 28, 30 ‘around AQUI HAVIA HISTORIACULTURA AGORA 0 – a proposition for Documenta11’ (detail), in: “Documenta11”, Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, Germany, 2002 p. 31 top: ‘Superbody Lexical Room or The Human Theater, acts I-IX’ (detail), in: “SuperBodies”, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium, 2012 bottom: Segment de Vision [Vision Segment], in: “Brussels Body Speech”, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2010 p. 32 ‘around AQUI HAVIA HISTORIACULTURA AGORA 0 – a proposition for Documenta11’ (detail), in: “Documenta11”, Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, Germany, 2002 pp. 33-34 STRETCH FILMs Scale 1:1 – ‘Lines.Dots.Figures 2000-2001’ (detail), in: ‘Drawing Inventory’, The Drawing Center, New York, USA, 2006 p. 35 top: ‘around AQUI HAVIA HISTORIA-CULTURA AGORA 0 – a proposition for Documenta11’ (detail), in: “Documenta11”, Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, Germany, 2002 bottom: STRETCH FILMs Scale 1:1 ‘Coloriage – série ‘le Présent absolument’, on Ecran technique [Technical screen] ‘double bord noir’, in: ‘Le Présent Absolument’, Galerie nächst St.Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna, Austria, 2008 p. 37 ‘After Architecture, After’, deSingel Internationaal Kunstcentrum, Antwerp, Belgium, 2006 (detail) p. 38 Modèle original, 2009, in: Palacio de Cristal, ‘CRYSTAL TIMES. Reflexión sin sol/Proyecciones sin objeto’, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía,

Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain, 2010 p. 40 Rayon noir – 107 éléments (Soleil #1) (detail), 2009, in: Palacio de Cristal, ‘CRYSTAL TIMES. Reflexión sin sol/Proyecciones sin objeto’, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain, 2010 p. 41 Table d’orientation ‘Palacio del Cristal’, 2009, in: Palacio de Cristal, ‘CRYSTAL TIMES. Reflexión sin sol/Proyecciones sin objeto’, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain, 2010 p. 42 top: Vitrine [showcase] with the book ‘Les trois premières minutes de l’univers’, p.4-5, in: ‘CRYSTAL TIMES. Reflexión sin sol/Proyecciones sin objeto’, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain, 2010 bottom; Study room I (detail), in: ‘CRYSTAL TIMES. Reflexión sin sol/Proyecciones sin objeto’, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain, 2010 p. 44 top: Metrum ‘Sofía’, 2009, in: ‘CRYSTAL TIMES. Reflexión sin sol/Proyecciones sin objeto’, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain, 2010 bottom: Study room II (detail), in: ‘CRYSTAL TIMES. Reflexión sin sol/Proyecciones sin objeto’, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid, Spain, 2010 p. 45 Collage ‘1 2 3 4’, 1978 p. 46 Vitrine-plate with ‘Moment d’exposition [Exhibition Moment], original material for invitation ‘Drawing Inventory’, The Drawing Center, New York, USA, 2006 p. 47 ‘Le visiteur parfait’, Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst Münster, Münster, Germany, 2005 (detail) p. 48 Plate [Flat] series ‘Mur’, studio archive p. 49 ‘La Otzi. Traditional stone with natural Cross and bronze Pocket’ (NOM), in: ‘Le Présent Absolument’, Galerie nächst St.Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna, Austria, 2008 p. 50 ‘Instant Academy, a proposition for ACADEMY. Learning from Art’, (detail), in: “ACADEMY. Learning from Art”, MuHKA, Antwerp, Belgium, 2006 p. 51 Theory of Vision series ‘Vienne’ #22

p. 52 Theory of Vision series ‘Vienne’ #15 pp. 53-54 Croix-adaptés, original material for Academy Croix p. 55 Titre-salle [Room title], in: ‘Instant Academy, a proposition for ACADEMY. Learning from Art’, original material from the catalogue ‘ACADEMY. Learning from Art’, MuHKA, Antwerp, Belgium, 2006 p. 56 ‘After Architecture, After’, deSingel Internationaal Kunstcentrum, Antwerp, Belgium, 2006 (exhibition poster) p. 57 ‘After Architecture, After’, deSingel Internationaal Kunstcentrum, Antwerp, Belgium, 2006 (detail) p. 58 Mur [wall] NO IMAGE, ‘After Architecture, After’, deSingel Internationaal Kunstcentrum, Antwerp, Belgium, 2006 (detail) p. 59 Titre-salle [Room title], detail from ‘un ensemble autour de MUR’, in: ‘Inside Installations, Collectietentoonstelling’, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium, 2010 p. 60 ‘1/MUSEUM’, in: ‘un ensemble autour de MUR’ – scénario 10 (detail), in: ‘Inside Installations, Collectietentoonstelling’, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium, 2010 p. 61 Film Études coréennes [Korean studies], from catalogue ‘argos festival 2005’, argos, Brussels, pp. 200-201 p. 62 ‘Points de vue’, Galerie Schmela, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2005 (detail) pp. 63-64 original material for Study Films – series ‘Lignes’ in: ‘Brussels Body Speech’, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2010 pp. 65-66 Study Films – series ‘Lignes’, in: “Brussels Body Speech”, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2010 p. 67 Planche explicative [Explanatory plate] ‘BILD, oder [jtwo]’ p. 68 Planche explicative [Explanatory plate] ‘BILD, oder [jtwo]’ (detail) p. 69 Theory of Vision series ‘Marcheur Homme-Cravate / Ligne Flottante’ p. 70 Theory of Vision series ‘Marcheur Homme-Cravate / Ligne Computer’ p. 71 ‘BILD, oder MIT DEM FUSS IN DER REALITäT:’ (with Willem Oorebeek), Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2004 (detail)

p. 72 Theory of Vision, since 1990 p. 73 Theory of Vision, from 1990 p. 74 Theory of Walking series ‘Electrostatique’, 2010 Theory of Walking series ‘Prolongation’, 2012 p. 75 Original material for catalogue ‘Catalogue D.D.’, 1999. (Exhibition: ‘NIEUWE PROjECTEN/ Nouveaux Projets D.D.’, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium, 1999) p. 76 ‘Un coup de dés’, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria, 2008 (detail) pp. 77-78 A THEORY OF WALKING, exhibition material, from: “Documenta11”, Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, Germany, 2002 p. 79 ‘WOR(LD)K IN PROGRESS?’, Wiels, Brussels, Belgium, 2012 (detail) p. 80 Original film material ‘STRETCH FILMs – série coloriage journal Toronto’, 2005, in: ‘WOR(LD)K IN PROGRESS?’, Wiels, Brussels, Belgium, 2012 p. 81 Theory of Walking series ‘le présent absolument’ p. 82 Planche archivale [Archival board] – original material STRETCH FILMs (detail), in: ‘WOR(LD)K IN PROGRESS?’, Wiels, Brussels, Belgium, 2012. p. 83 Pre-Theory of Walking A(B), 1990 p. 84 Pre-Theory of Walking A(B), 1990 (‘facsimile’ verso) p. 93 Overhead Projection ‘Found Sentence’ (detail), in: ‘Drawing Inventory’, The Drawing Center, New York, USA, 2006 p. 94 Barres de langage [Language bar], Barre d’infini [Infinity bar], in: ‘BILD, oder MIT DEM FUSS IN DER REALITäT:’ (with Willem Oorebeek), Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2004 p. 95 A THEORY OF WALKING, exhibition material “Documenta11”, Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, Germany, 2002. p. 96 ‘a-a Vitrine’ (Belgium version) (detail), in: ‘Drawing Inventory’, The Drawing Center, New York, USA, 2006. p. 97 ‘a - a’, since1995, in: catalogue ‘Rift / Gap / Hinge A’, Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess AG, 2010, pp. 66-67


Colophon This publication is released on the occasion of the exhibitions: WOR(LD)K IN PROGRESS?, WIELS, Brussels, Curator Dirk Snauwaert 22 September 2012 to 6 January 2013 WORLD(K) IN PROGRESS?, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Curator Julienne Lorz 9 June to 29 September 2013 WOR(L)D(K) IN PROGRESS?, Arnolfini, Bristol, Curators Tom Trevor and Axel Wieder 7 December 2013 to 9 February 2014 © 2013 Joëlle Tuerlinckx, WIELS, Haus der Kunst, Arnolfini, authors and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln Studio Joëlle Tuerlinckx Exhibitions WIELS and Haus der Kunst team of assistants and friends Matthieu Bollaert, David Catherall, Anthoni Dominguez, Laurent Dupont-Garitte, Valentin Fayet, Christoph Fink, Alice Gadrey, Nicolas Geiser, Quentin Gubin, Marie Lécrivain, Hannelore Mattheus, Catherine Mayeur, Patrice Neirinck, Emmanuelle Quertain, Juliette Thomas, Caroline Wolewinski WIELS Contemporary Art Centre npo Director Dirk Snauwaert team Devrim Bayar, Emiliano Battista, Wim Clauwaert, Martine de Limburg Stirum, Michael Dewit, Caroline Dumalin, Nadia Essouayah, Elena Filipovic, Eva Gorsse, Fredji Hayebin, Ari Hiroshige, Kwinten Lavigne, Micha Pycke, Sophie Rocca, Michèle Rollé, Cédrik Toselli, Frédéric Versaen, Tine Verschaeve Avenue Van Volxemlaan 354 B-1190 Brussels, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre is supported byVlaamse Gemeenschap, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale/Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie BrusselBruxelles, Loterie Nationale/ Nationale Loterij, Levis, Wilgelover, the WIELS Club and the WIELS Business Club The exhibition was realised thanks to the generous support of BNP Paribas Fortis. The publication received generous support of the Willame Foundation.

Stiftung Haus der Kunst München, gemeinnützige Betriebsgesellschaft mbH Director Okwui Enwezor team Tina Anjou, Stephan N. Barthelmess, Daniela Burkart, Sylvia Clasen, Arnulf von Dall’Armi, Patrizia Dander, Elena Heitsch, Tina Köhler, Anton Köttl, Isabella Kredler, León Krempel, Teresa Lengl, Anne Leopold, Julienne Lorz, Iris Ludwig, Karin Mahr, Marco Graf von Matuschka, Miro Palavra, Glenn Rossiter, Andrea Saul, Anna Schüller, Martina Schmid, Cassandre Schmid, Ulrich Wilmes Prinzregentenstr. 1, D-80538 Munich, We would like to thank our shareholders for their annual support of the program: Freistaat Bayern, Josef Schörghuber Stiftung, Gesellschaft der Freunde Haus der Kunst e.V.

Arnolfini Director Tom Trevor team Samuel Aldridge, Celia Archer, Lisa Ashman, Lucy Badrocke, Peter Begen, Roxanne Brennan, Juliet Burke, Al Cameron, Snoozie Claiden, Charli Clarke, Katarina Complova, Jenny Cooper, Charles Crosley-Thorne, Aimee Davies, Helen Davies, Nick Dixon, Fraisia Dunn, Jamie Eastman, Rosie Faragher, Charles Farina, Andy Field, Christopher Fleming, Anton Goldstein, Helen Grant, Rowan Green, Mark Harris, Jon Hill, Rose Jackson, Ellie Jeffs, Lauren Jury, Catherine Knott, Jamie Lewis, Ewen Macleod, Judy Mazillius, Rose Mazillius, Brenda McLennan, Chloe Mills, Suzanne Moon, Christian Naylor, Carl Newland, Lucy Odlin, Phil Owen, Ali Pothecary, Faisal Rahman, Rose Robbins, Jessica Robins, Kate Robinson, Jess Rolls, James Sargent, Ed Sheppard, Roz Stobart, Savannah Theis, Kamina Walton, Rob Webster, Axel Wieder, Ellen Wilkinson, Caroline Willatt, Vicki Woolley 16 Narrow Quay, UK-Bristol BS1 4QA, Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts is supported by Arts Council England and Bristol City Council

Editor: Julienne Lorz Authors: Julienne Lorz, Catherine Mayeur, Tom Trevor, Dirk Snauwaert, Joëlle Tuerlinckx Copy-editing: Uta Hoffmann (English), Myriam Ochoa-Suel (French) Translators (French to English): Emiliano Battista (Glossary) and Claire Cahm (Catherine Mayeur) Proofreading: Jenifer Evans Concept & Design: Thomas Desmet and Joëlle Tuerlinckx Production: DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH Published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln Ehrenstr. 4, 50672 Köln T +49 (0) 221 / 20 59 6-53 F +49 (0) 221 / 20 59 6-60 Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at Printed in Germany ISBN 978-3-86335-380-3 Distribution Switzerland AVA Verlagsauslieferungen AG Centralweg 16 CH-8910 Affoltern a.A. Tel. +41 (44) 762 42 60 Fax +41 (44) 762 42 10 UK & Ireland Cornerhouse Publications 70 Oxford Street GB-Manchester M1 5NH Fon +44 (0) 161 200 15 03 Fax +44 (0) 161 200 15 04 Outside Europe D.A.P. / Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. 155 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor USA-New York, NY 10013 Fon +1 (0) 212 627 1999 Fax +1 (0) 212 627 9484 Credit Photo: Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna and Galerie Nagel Draxler / Carine Demeter (Galerie Stella Lohaus, Antwerp), Roman Lores (Reina Sofía, Madrid), Karen Reimer and Tom Van Eynde (Renaissance Society, Chicago), Serge Verheylewegen (archive images) and Christoph Fink (H.B. 50!).