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
Helena Sculpture, 2006
Installation , 3 x (100 x 185 x 212 cm)
mixed media

In 2004 Vaast Colson made 12 portraits of Helena, the 15-year-old daughter of German artist Martin Kippenberger, one of his most important examples. He calls the series Helena: The Paintings Martin Couldn't Paint Anymore. At the time, Kippenberger had already been dead for seven years. Colson is referring here to Kippenberger's series Jaqueline: The Paintings Pablo Couldn't Paint Anymore, which Kippenberger produced in 1996 as a tribute to Pablo Picasso, whose wife was called Jaqueline. Colson's series is a tribute and at the same time an attempt to come a little closer to his example with a greater understanding of Kippenberger's working methods, technique and use of materials. Since 2006, the series of portraits is stored in Helena Sculpture, an installation that serves as a vault for an artistic treasure, or as a reliquary for the artistic pilgrim. Only once a year the safe can be opened: on 24 August, Helena's birthday.