The project The Return of O, which Annelies Vaneycken realised at FLACC, is being presented at WIELS from 4 – 22 June. The opening is on 4 June at 18.00. WIELS, Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Van Volxemlaan 354, 1190 Brussel.
Travel plays a prominent role in the work of Vaneycken. She identifies conflicts or problems in particular cultures and makes them visible to a larger audience. Conflicts one only learns about when physically present in the places they affect, and through direct contact with the local inhabitants in the conflict area. Her travels, in this way, have taken her from the favelas in Brazil, to the pastoral communities in the Pyrenees.
But what if travel is temporarily made impossible? How can one deal in a meaningful way with the information and experiences one has? The artist explores the conflict between the daily grind of life, transience, quietude, immobility, and the ever-present hunger for innovation and progress, on the basis of the trips she has made in the last ten years. She draws a parallel with Odysseus, who after his victory over Troy took a 10-year journey home. A journey full of adventures that, if anything, made him more human. How can any kind of order be brought to this experience, its essence made apparent? How does the journey affect one as a person? The artist, in her book, tries to combine a number of ordering systems in an attempt to understand in what way, and to what extent, her childhood travels have shaped her. In this way, she tries to answer the question why travel is so important in her practice as an artist and, similarly, how she can approach this given when she will have ceased travelling, temporarily or otherwise.