Poppositions 2019 – Capital of Woke

The 8th edition of Poppositions opened on 24 April in Brussels. Poppositions is an alternative art fair parallel to Art Brussels. The format is less strict than a regular fair and more organised as an exhibition. This year’s subtitle was “Capital of Woke”, which in short refers to the awareness of whether or not certain social privileges are granted, and how this awareness can also be used/abused for commercial purposes. The concept was interpreted in a broad and diverse way. 25 art spaces from 12 different countries were present and almost all with a solo presentation. Among them from The Hague 1646 and Billytown.

For those who missed it, below a visual report of a selection that caught my attention including links to more background information about the artists involved:

The interior of the location was sometimes so dominant that it was difficult to separate it from what was shown, as was the case with Joey Ramone. It showed works of Roi Alter which were used as props in his contemporary staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Franz Müllers Drahtfrühling.

Roi Alter at Joey Ramone
Roi Alter at Joey Ramone

Billytown had organised a display of black chairs stacked on top of which four artists (Kim David Bots, Maja Klaassens, Marius Lut and Bernice Nauta) have hung their work. The project, called Studio Schottenheimer, is the result of meetings of small groups that are held on a regular basis within this collective, in which assignments are given to each other, which are then discussed. A good way to keep each other sharp and to pull each other out of each other’s comfort zone.

Billytown
Billytown

Also my friends from The Fridge from Sofia (BG), showed work by Voin de Voin, including a series of glass New Sexual Organs that seemed to form a metropolitan skyline in this arrangement. An interview with Voin de Voin on his contribution can be read at ‘Happening

Poppositions 2019 – Capital of Woke
The Fridge with Voin de Voin
The Fridge with Voin de Voin
The Fridge with Voin de Voin
At Showroom MAMA you could get a playlist of a number of unknown bands from the global south, made by Caetano.
1646 showed two disturbing video works of Tamy Ben-Tor
The works of Cole Lu at Syndicate intrigued me although, or maybe because I found it hard to grasp. And also here the dominance of the former gymnastics area was present.
Syndicate with Cole Lu
Syndicate with Cole Lu
Vleeshal with Alexandra Phillips
Wildpalms with Mauricio Limon
Poppositions 2019 – Capital of Woke
Grace Ndiritu with a Pay what you want sweatshop at Manoeuvre Kunstenplek vzw Ghent