JOS DE GRUYTER & HARALD THYS

DER SCHLAMM VON BRANST, 2008
DAS LOCH, 2010
Video screenings, duration 45 min
Theatre Bagatela, Sarego 7, Kraków

 

The collaborative work of Belgian artists Harald Thys and Jos de Gruyter is rooted in a folksy, tragicomic sensibility honed into an experimental dramaturgy. Their video and photographic work uses simple, symbolic sets, including the paradigmatic spaces of home, battlefield, urban periphery and community hall. They have engaged a recurring cast of non-professional actors as well as invented or adopted personae spanning the forms of puppets, dummies, plush animals, makeshift robots and rejected toys. These characters continually rehearse power dynamics and emotional entanglements, creating worlds not unlike our own, yet more focused, bizarre and bleak. The artists seek ways to confront marginal, incapacitated, lost and alienated subjects without defining these ‘others’ in sociological terms. In this sense, and especially in their novel use of ghoulish humour, Thys and de Gruyter broaden the scope of reflection on socially produced behaviour.

 

Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys (Belgium), still from the video ‘DER SCHLAMM VON BRANST’, 2008
Courtesy of Isabella Bortollozi Gallery (Berlin) / Micheline Szwajcer Gallery (Antwerp)

 

 

Harald Thys (b.1966) and Jos de Gruyter (b. 1965) live and work in Brussels and have been working together since the mid-1980s. Their work has been widely exhibited, including solo exhibitions at Le Plateau Paris, Artspeak Vancouver, Kunsthalle Basel, Culturgest Lisbon, Kestnergesellschaft Hanover, Muzee Oostende. Their work has also been included in exhibitions such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Berlin Biennale, Manifesta Trento, The Power Plant, Toronto, and the IAC Villeurbanne, among many others.

Project Radical Languages subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and the National Heritage,
Flemish Representation  at the Belgian Embassy and the Mondriaan Fonds.
Partner: Barka Alrina, Bęc Zmiana Foundation.
Media patronage: Program 2 Polskiego Radia, TVP Kultura, TVP Kraków, Radio Kraków, Gazeta Wyborcza, Karnet, O.pl, Cracow-life.com, Purpose.com.pl, E-splot.