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the good the bad and the ugly - tentoonstelling met waterdieren (exhibition with aquatic animals)


images and sound below

Expo @Stormkop Anwerp 22/05/2022 - 31/08/2022

press release:

Because of its rectangular shape (3x9 meters), the surrounding water and glass ceiling, the former gas storage facility by the Droogdokken, just outside Stormkop and near the Kattendijkdok, is reminiscent of an aquarium.

Artist Rose van Bergen selected this particular space to make the exhibition ‘the good the bad and the ugly… exhibition with aquatic animals’.

The main focus of the exhibition are murals of fish, amphibious creatures, marine mammals and abstractions of aquatic animals. The creatures originally appeared in the small book of the same name, featuring  drawings by Rose van Bergen, in which all types of creatures (fish, frogs but also horses and hippo’s) are looking for their spot within the pages, be it in preconceived exhibition spaces or on the canvas.

In Stormkop, the pages have been replaced by the walls of the ‘aquarium’, which itself has been drained. What is left, are the stories.

A flaunting veiltail radiates a pink hue across to the adjacent wall, a reference to a previous work, de Jurk. On the ceiling, a large body of a fish doesn’t quite seem to fit inside the walls, like a perpetual passer-by, it seems indecisive as to whether or not to participate or leave, to be a part of something or to distance itself. Other residents from the book are the Common Ray, Crooked Cookie #1 and #2, Sardines and Tailfish.

A new animal has been made specifically for this exhibition: Fish, reclining (Seabass). It is the only three dimensional, life-like creature present. A reference to reality. Since a couple of years and due to improved quality of the water, the seabass has returned to the waters of de Schelde. But here, this fish is the only one devoid of life. Stranded. 

Rose van Bergen creates out of the nostalgia for child-like wonder, a deep admiration for unknown beauty and mysteries of untouched areas such as the underwater world. There is a longing to understand these enigmatic places, but also the realisation that it is better left untouched in order to sustain its existence.

During the opening, musicians Dries Laheye and Adriaan Van de Velde performed and recorded soundscapes, based on recent discoveries about the sounds produced by cods and burbots. A low-frequency, rhythmic plucking of the swim bladders which is verry different to the more well-known melodic sounds made by whales.   


sound: audio recording of the live performance by Dries Laheye and Adriaan Vandevelde during the opening

images: Maxim Hectors