Opening One Armed Man #monster
Yay! I was invited to the opening of third edition One Armed Man’s exposition. One word: A-MA-ZING! I’ve enjoyed, laughed, been touched, feared, been taking by surprise, learned, been fascinated. In brief: veni, vidi, amavi (yes, I loooooved it!).
3 floors of artistic wonders
For one month, the beautiful One Armed Man exposition happens at top location Oude Beurs. The rusty, historic building - an artwork in itself - was a perfect fit. No setting could have been better than Oude Beurs for this monster edition: the contrast between the rough, decrepit walls created an apposite contrast with the beautiful, monstrous works of art, spread all over the different storeys. You could tell that Jens, Ine and Sofie, the three-headed brain behind One Armed Man, with their fantastic team of volunteers put a lot of effort in it. Blood, sweat and tears. And soul: they made the building alive and kicking!
The given space was made good use of. The placement of the artworks was chosen very thoughtfully, in consultation with the young artists. The interplay of lighting (or should I say darkness?) and sound complemented the exhibition. The signage with cool monstrous One Armed Man logo on it (credits: graphical designer and co-founder Jens Dawn) brought the visitor from one creative surprise to the other.
Patchwork of young creatives from various art disciplines
A beautiful collection of 50 works was shown. It keeps one’s eyes open. The creative works were divers, yet complementary. From (music) performances to fine arts, from photography to costume design, from jewellery design to graphical design, all art forms had something to do with the general theme ‘monster’. My favourites? Jo Klaps’ Fatal Attractions, Zijheefthaarnaamvergeten (Sien Vanmaele & Vaneessen Nana), Bouwlijf (Sarah Van Looy), Vlees (Zoë Kerckhof) & Achterhuis (Klaes Kirkland).
I talked to Greet from Studio Start, an organisation that supports young creatives by offering them a workplace. One Armed Man selected 1 artist from the Studio Start competition to expose during their monster edition. Lore Van Roelen is the lucky one. She thought of ‘monsters’ as ‘samples’ and made a work of art with objets trouvées. A must-see!
One Armed Man was created in love for the arts to support the variety of arts. It dreams of a future in which creatives get the (international) support and credibility they deserve and that this becomes self-evident. One of its credos is approachability. This ‘low threshold’ is extrapolated in all aspects of the exposition: the hospitality of the organisers, the personal contact with and engagement of the young creatives during the exposition, the selection of the artists by open call, the free entrance, the bar and fun collection of curosities, etcetera.
It’s very endearing to see that there are still cultural organisations solicitous about the future of art and young creatives. One Armed Man shows that Flanders is full of promising young creatives who can put Belgium on the international ‘map of art’.
More One Armed Man?
The exposition runs until the 8th of November. Don’t miss it!
Entrance is free, audience is great, the organisation is very outgoing, … so GO!
And don’t forget to buy One Armed Man’s incredible magazine to support the organisation and the creatives!
More information: www.onearmedman.be
Text by Lize Colson
Pics by Lize colson