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".

Vaast Colson

Het middelpunt van de belangstelling, 2014
Painting , 164.5 x 122 cm
oil on panel

Vaast Colson & Dennis Tyfus, ever partners in art crime, have again joined forces for the project ‘Radikaal & Radikaler’.  These artists, each in his own way, critically call into question the commercial circuit while remaining allergic to 'recuperation', in whatever guise.  And they often express this in a way that runs from fresh-faced humor to dark irony.  In ‘Radikaal & Radikaler’ they resolutely take on the total notion of the 'art scene' in all its many permutations: drawing, painting, the artist's copyright, price determination, the market, the image… Colson & Tyfus each made a series of drawings on paper, that they at once crumpled up and hid in a grab bag full of paper shreds.  Next, they took turns removing one of these squashed papers and using it as the basis for a painting: so it could be that Colson painted a drawing of Tyfus, or vice versa.  Or they would both work on a single piece.  This painting is one of this series.  The project kicked off in the Trampoline Gallery.  Each work had a number, and each visitor to the gallery could (or can) designate one or more works that they might be interested in buying.  For this, each candidate-buyer would then dip into a second grab bag and pick a piece of crumpled paper with the price - from 100 to 10,000 euro.  If you're lucky, and you like the price, the purchase is yours...

The grab bag is in a way a reflection of current society: everybody grabs and rummages to their heart's content; you might pick a winner, if not, just throw it away.  And the paper shredder plays its role too, as we read in the small, but splendid, gallery catalogue.  For inspiration, Colson & Tyfus avidly mine the cliché-like and the freshness that so typifies 'new painting'.