Alexis Destoop (°1971, BE) Lives and works in Sydney, AU and Brussels, BE
Since my first travels in Australia my work has taken what one could call a political turn. There, I discovered a country defined by frontier myths and ruled by a prevailing colonial mindset - represented by the extractive industries which constitute the true economic heart of the country. But its remoteness and vastness allow for the devastating impact of a negligent relation towards land and culture to remain largely out of sight, covered in the willful ignorance of wealth and comfort, thus fulfilling the deceitful ambition of a colonial utopia.
Having worked on the intersections of colonial history, ecology and extractivism throughout various projects in contentious regions in different continents, the invitation to join the collective research of On-Trade-Off presented me with the possibility to investigate a missing link, to dive into the blind spot of my life in between Australia and Belgium, and explore the resonances of their particular colonial histories under current circumstances, i.e. with the new-found dominant role of China and the “new world” that it projects, however much this new world is predicated on old and worn power structures.
Recent disruptions have tested our mode of civilization predicated on the idea of control and containment. Departing from the premise that current challenges spell out the need for a different understanding of and a different relation to what we call “the world” - that which grounds us and binds us – my project will explore which visions, which stories may exist to guide us through the dystopian barrage that obstructs our horizon.
Recent solo shows and presentations include: Between the Colours that are Suspended, at Chaufffeur, Sydney (2020) Northern Drift at IFFR – Bright Future (2020), Northern Drift, Beursschouwburg, Brussels (BE), 2019; Field Meeting at Concrete, Dubai (2019), Plouton at Chauffeur, Sydney (2018), Four Directions of Heaven at Argos Centre for Art and Media, Brussels (2017)
Group exhibitions include: LCCA, Riga (2020) Z33, Hasselt (BE), 2020; Pikene pa Broen, Kirkenes (NO), 2020; Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), Moscow (RU), 2019; Contour Biennale 9, Mechelen (BE), 2019; ACAW at Concrete, Dubai (UAE), 2019; 1st Riga Biennale (LV), 2018; Contour 556, Public Art Biennial, Canberra (AU), 2018; CC Strombeek (Brussels) & S.M.A.K. Ghent, Brussels (BE), 2015; UNSW, Sydney (AU), 2015; Asia Society Museum, New York (US), 2014; Galerie Emergent, Veurne (BE), 2013; 18th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (AU), 2012; W139, Amsterdam (NL), 2012; Carriageworks, Sydney (AU), 2010; Museum MARTa, Herford (DE) 2009 - 2010; SMAK Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent (BE) 2009; Grand Palais, Paris (FR), 2008-2009; Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing (FR), 2007; Beeldenstorm, Kortrijk (BE), 2005