The works of four artists, Wesley Meuris, Merge Monko, Zbyněk Baladrán and Daria Melnik will be gradually introduced within the temporary structure called “display”. They all share a strong interest in ways of “showing” something that intentionally apply subliminal influence on our perception. The second common motif of the addressed artists is their exploration of how some of the fixed rules of “showing” reflect the relationships of power and subordination, freedom and control in modern human society.
“In English, the word ‘display’ stands not only for the computer screen, but is also used for ‘posting’, ‘interpreting’, ‘exhibiting’ works of art as well as products in a shop window, or ‘manifesting’ courage or ignorance. The modes of presentation are always governed by certain rules that are ideological, just like cartomancy or flying a flag always bear some kind of a message.
Wesley Meuris is the first artist to create such a presentation structure for PLATO. His sculptures and installations often make an impression of a mere exhibition itinerary or fragments of architecture. Life-sized, but following the mode of mock-ups and models, of materials impractical for maintenance and with colour-blended surfaces, they abstract how our behaviour and perception of the environment are influenced by the architecture of institutions such as museums, zoos, archives, and perhaps even swimming pool changing rooms.
Meuris’s work is to a great extent a criticism of these institutions of seeing, but at the same time, and perhaps even more so, of supervision; of institutions that first appeared and established themselves, together with department stores, in the same period as modern prison complexes, barracks, educational institutes and mental asylums. One of PLATO’s main goals is not to merely present artifacts made by artists, but specifically to research possible forms and contexts of exhibiting. The core of Meuris’s monumental installation is therefore primarily in the viewers themselves.”
Wesley Meuris (*1977, Lier, Belgium) studied sculpture at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels. His work is of a strictly architectural, sometimes even scientific nature. At first sight, it looks like a device or structure intended to present other artifacts. However, they are artworks standing on their own that uncover the mechanisms of display known from different types of modern institutions. His work has been included in many important collective exhibitions, among others at the Kunsthalle, Vienna and Kunsthal, Rotterdam. He has had individual exhibitions in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland.