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

(c)image: M HKA - Courtesy Vansteensel & De Caigny Gallery
Old Town Canoe, 2015
Sculpture , Variable dimensions
Concrete, plastic, metal, LED

In Vaast Colson’s opinion, a piece of art is not a finished product but part of his practice that can change shape and can be reactivated at different times.  Old Town Canoe is in a third phase.

Initially, the canoe is located as a piece of text alongside a pond in Hoboken during the outdoor exhibition ART-FORT/FORT-ART in 2012. The words Ginds weet men raad [They know what to do there] have been cut out of the bottom. At the same time, however, this message of hope undermines the canoe’s main role, namely sailing. In a second phase, Old Town Canoe is given a more permanent character in the shape of a sculpture. After all, a canoe can serve as a boat, but also as a hollow mould. Only a concrete cast remains.

Playing with language plays an important role in the work of Colson. The artist cuts the original sentence in two and puts it back together as follows: Dada men r ginsweet. By placing hooks in various places, Old Town Canoe becomes an accumulation work. The addition of a book on Dadaism gives the work an associative dimension. Visitors, however, can also activate Old Town Canoe by attaching objects to it or using the concrete blocks as seating.

Donation of Vrienden van het M HKA