POPPOSITIONS is an annual assembly in Brussels of galleries, artist initiatives and project spaces. Conceived as an experiment with the art fair format, it is both a curated exhibition and an ongoing critical dialogue.
POPPOSITIONS’ 7th edition took place at the Ateliers Coppens, centrally located at the heart of the Dansaert neighborhood, from 19 until 22 April 2018. With the leitmotiv “In Watermelon Sugar” as a leading principle, the jury sought for proposals that engage in world-making projects. Proposals that address matters of care and shared concern in a world that is facing the unprecedented and rapid depletion of life forms and the degradation of biodiversity on a global scale, moving in tandem with the increased instability of environments and ecologies due to the negative impact of fossil-fueled economies. On this premise, the jury selected 29 project spaces, artist initiatives and galleries that re-envision what it means to be grounded, accountable and active as part of a community with shared hopes and aspirations.
VITRINE presented a solo booth of Charlie Godet Thomas. For his installation, Thomas brought together a series of 2- and 3- dimensional works which answer the posited question: “How do we envision a future beyond the ever-growing ruins of capitalism?” with the retort “A future in which our ruined world will show the cataclysmic scars of our greed.”
In his series of small painted works on paper, collectively titled ‘Illuminated Manuscripts’, Thomas uses the archaic form of the illuminated manuscript to join writing and imagery. The pieces focus on illustrating Thomas’ writing, in a style alluding to the tradition of hand-drawn comic books and newspaper cartoon strips. Although painted, the heavy outlines of the imagery and series of boxes in which the text itself is situated reinstates the importance of drawing in Thomas’ practice.
In these, Thomas uses the archaic form of the illuminated manuscript to join writing and imagery, summoning to fore the voice of William Blake whose “Songs of Innocence and Experience” were a rethinking of Milton’s existential-mythic states of “paradise” and “fall”.
For POPPOSITIONS, Thomas presented a series of these Illuminated Manuscripts that reflect mournfully in a collective voice from an imagined ruined future. The works confessed regretfully in statements such as: “The acidity of the rain / wore away at Limestone busts / of other people’s heroes”and “Every waking moment / a wish to be asleep / so far gone / that I went unseen”.
Accompanying these framed work was a new cast concrete sculpture titled and spelling out ‘And So On And So On’ bringing to mind the stoicism of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Worstword Ho’ in which his protagonist states “I can’t go on, I’ll go on”.
23, Place du Nouveau Marché aux Grains