The exhibition project Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna is a collaboration between M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp) and the cultural centre de Werft in Geel. Middle Gate II is the follow up to the exhibition Middle Gate, curated by Jan Hoet in Geel in 2013. The exhibition concept is closely tied to the legend of the holy Dymphna, saint of the possessed, the mentally ill and patroness against epilepsy and insanity. The legend of Dymphna shares a strong connection to the identity of Geel, "the charitable city".

Middle Gate Geel '13

Wp 2014  0102 collectie S.M.A.K., Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, image: (c) Willy Peeters
Nocturnal Garden Scene, 2005
Installation , 162 x 221 x 130 cm
metaal, steen, zand

Mark Manders is a Dutch artist, living and working in Belgium. Since the late eighties, Manders is working on a project he calls ‘self-portrait as a building’. All his later works are fragments of this imaginary house, which contains the artists dreams, thoughts, fears and memories. Manders’ architectural approach to self-results is an art form that uses sculptures as physical interpretations of intimate emptions. Besides the spatial aspect (vagueness), time (indeterminacy) is also an important concept in Manders’ work.

Through his obsession with time, Mark Manders is constantly looking for ways to circumvent or play with this dimension. He can freeze it, but also split it up into moments. In Nocturnal Garden Scene a cat and a loose hanging piece of string are placed in the same moment on the same spot in an obscure and perplexing scene. The choice to split the cat in two, was a logical choice for the artist  - the perfection and the tension of the hanging piece of string dissapears once cut into two, while the cat will always be a cat, regardess of the fact that it is in one piece or split in two.  This is Manders’ way of questioning the way humans give meaning and significance to objects and their surroundings. Additionally this is the artists’ way of researching the boundaries of giving meaning to objects.