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Les Fleurs du mal 

Pieter Vermeulen joins Ballroom Project as a curator, bringing his expertise and vision to the forefront for his curated show Les Fleurs du mal.

Concept

Drawing inspiration from Charles Baudelaire's renowned poetry collection, Les Fleurs du Mal brings together a select number of contemporary artworks. The book was considered an insult to public decency upon its release in 1857. The French Ministry of Justice banned the publication for its subversion of bourgeois norms and values by exploring themes of eroticism, sin, violence, decadence, death and decay. 

Set in the grandeur of a former neoclassical courthouse, this exhibition seeks to articulate a delicate balance between ethics and aesthetics from a distinctly artistic perspective. Against a backdrop of increasing polarity, adversity, and turmoil, viewers are prompted to reflect on the nature of evil, the notions of disavowal and dissociation, the power of ambiguity, and the enduring relevance of art and beauty.

 

With works by Angélique Aubrit et Ludovic Beillard (Wouters Gallery), Fia Cielen (DMW Gallery), Bert De Geyter (Settantotto), Dodi Espinosa (Galerie Fleur & Wouter), Yorgos Maraziotis (Base-Alpha Gallery), Joost Pauwaert (Barbé Gallery), Eliza Pepermans (Schönfeld Gallery), Ulrike Rehm (Go Mulan), Sam Samiee (No Man's Art Gallery), Pascal Vilcollet (Ballroom Gallery), Colin Waeghe (Galerie Zwart Huis) and Harm Weistra & Eddi Bal (Gallery Joey Ramone), Luzia Simons (Galerie La Patinoire Royale Bach).

 

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About Pieter Vermeulen

 

 

 

Pieter Vermeulen (BE, 1983) is an art critic, lecturer, researcher and curator. He is currently affiliated to PXL-MAD (Media, Arts & Design faculty) in Hasselt, where he teaches contemporary art & theory and acts as artistic director of university gallery KRIEG, where he realised solo exhibitions with Julien Meert, Pilvi Takala, Wesley Meuris, Ryan Gander, Grace Ndiritu, Assaf Gruber and The Book Lovers. Additionally, he teaches courses in artistic research, art theory and self-organization at St Lucas School of Arts in Antwerp. Pieter works as a writer/editor for, among others, the Belgian contemporary art magazines HART and Rekto:Verso and his writings have been published in numerous art catalogues.

As a curator, Pieter set up exhibition projects at MOCA Shanghai/Buda Kortrijk (2009), Bund18/World Expo (Belgian Pavilion, Shanghai, 2010), Extra City (Antwerp, 2011), BE-PART (Waregem, 2012), SAVVY Contemporary (2013), Marres House for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, 2013), Museum of Post-Digital Cultures (2014), La Cambre (Brussels, 2015), HISK (Brussels/Ghent, 2021) and De Garage (Mechelen, 2023). Pieter Vermeulen is an alumnus of the ICI Curatorial Intensive (New York City, 2011) and former resident at Vessel (Bari, 2011). Between 2013 and 2015, Pieter worked as a curator for De Nieuwe Opdrachtgevers (The New Patrons), providing professional mediation for public art commissions. He is the co-founder of POPPOSITIONS (off-fair in Brussels since 2012) and the BORG biennial in Antwerp (2014-2018). In 2021, he was appointed as curator at the HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts).

After his graduation in Philosophy and Cultural Studies, Vermeulen worked at the School of Arts (KASK/Conservatorium) in Ghent (2008-2011), Ghent University - S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts and Media) (2013-2017) and the Master of Research in Art & Design at St Lucas School of Arts in Antwerp (2014-2019). In those capacities, he moderated and co-/organized several international conferences and research seminars. In 2019, he was a guest tutor at the Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art in Berlin.

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