April 2019


(Time Contingencies)

Location: Drongenhofkapel Drongenhof 15, 9000 Gent

5-22 April 2019

The exhibition inquires on different ways of approaching to the concept of time. This is a concept that revolves on other notions, such as death, ruin, change, memory, amongst others. A photograph with fungus, an old found object, an old document and a fragment of an old building are examples of matter that transforms its essence to become materials to work with as through the lens of the artist, they retain traces of the passage of time, giving her/him the opportunity to play with such concept. In this exhibition, artists from Colombia, Belgium and the U.K. show several ways on the notion itself and how matter can be related to it.

Many of the works are about architecture: questioning what is a ruin, what it means to build and how architecture changes over time. Other works revolve around old objects and their matter itself. What makes an object to be considered old? What changes in the matter makes us believe that time is passing?  Finally, somehow the works relate to the consciousness of one’s  own temporarity, which implies consciousness of time.

The Drongenhof chapel is a late Gothic chapel with a single hallway and an impressive wooden spire, of which the ribs rest on corbstones with blazons.  The building has pointed arch windows typical for the period. On the facade one can find glazed bricks that date back to 1607. Various bricklayers can be seen in the side walls. The floor is made of sand. 

In the only window of the church there is a stained-glass piece made by the artist Wim Delvoye.
This location was of great importance for the exhibition, all the works and the place were in dialogue and connected. 


Drongenhof 15, 9000 Ghent

Size: 221m2 (25 m x 8,85 m)

Ghent: The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie. In the Late Middle Ages it became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe. This is the reason that nowadays, you find lots of medieval buildings in the city center, including many churches, cathedrals (the St. Bavo Cathedral displays the famous "Ghent Alterpiece": 'The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb' by the Van Eyck brothers), fortresses (one with a fire breathing golden dragon on top)  and castles.

Débris (time contingencies)

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
T.S. Eliot. The Waste Land. 1922.

Débris exists out of broken or torn pieces of something larger that at some point in time was complete (more or less). One can think of the ruins of old buildings, sculptures or even whole cities. A century ago, T.S. Eliot already saw in the remnants of great civilisations the possibility to make visible the fear and doubt of his time. In summoning fragments of old greatness, now turned into dust, he expresses the bitter taste of time passing as well as the beauty in it.

Today, still, the artist finds in the débris of things a way to give form to inner doubts and fears. The effect of time on the material, a random process, provides a background where the artist can work with and build her or his own story on.

What remains

Débris (time contingencies) tells the story of materials enduring the effect of time. What remains carries the memory of things and people it has outlived. It exists out of things that are left behind. It’s no different for whoever keeps the object and gives meaning to it. We are filled with memories, and it is never easy to remember what is lost.

Architecture takes a central role in the exhibition. It is the artform that surrounds us, defines us and survives us. It is witness to an endless stream of human life and tells its stories. These are the buildings we live in and that are made from the most resistant materials and structures we can think of and yet they are just as fragile as we are, given enough time passes.

The exterior of a building has very clear signs of wearing down. One only needs to look around to see the diverse changes the materials go through. Every place ages in a unique way because no place exists under the exact same conditions. This can be said of humans as well, albeit less visible on the outside.


Débris is an obvious image of the passing of time. One can see (or investigate) what is broken, what remains and what is lost. The artist finds in the débris of things a way and a material of representing the less obvious. 

What changes


Nothing, I feel sure, lasts long under same appearance.Ovid, Metamorphoses, 8 B.C.


The exhibit revolves around the idea of the passage of time affecting materials and objects but also around the human action that takes place in this process. This action includes finding, collecting, forming and changing materials. Human, artistic involvement in the life of the object gives meaning to it. When the individual decides to work with the material, he/she gives it a life, a story.Nothing stays and nothing really leaves either. Ovid already had this wisdom centuries ago. In his lifework “metamorphoses”, by telling the ancient stories, he gives form to the changing nature of things. He focuses on transformation as an intrinsic part of human life. Nature is in constant change and so is everything that stems from it.

Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2003.

The artist, having the creative opportunity to do so, transforms as well. By collecting something, working with a material or even making something from scratch the artist decides what and how something is “metamorphized” into “art”.

It is the decision, the idea and the person (the character) that changes the object or material. This is not only a formal, exterior change but an interior transformation as well. The object changes in meaning, in purpose and in how the spectator sees and perceives it.

Flesh and stones

Every life is, more or less, a ruin among whose debris we have to discover what the person ought to have been.
José Ortega y Gasset, El Quehacer del Hombre, 1933.

Ovid tells the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha. They survive a flood and remain as the only two humans left in existence. Distraught by sadness they call upon the gods and are told to walk on the stones of the (mother) earth. By doing this, the stones slowly turn into humanlike figures and finally into people of flesh and blood. People are strong and can endure a lot, Ovid says, not unlike the material we once came from.

Text by JOLIEN VERDOODT, ART HISTORIAN. Master in the Arts (Ghent University, 2019); Bachelor in the Arts (Ghent University, 2017). Intern and volunteer at SMAK Ghent (Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art Ghent).


Leyla Crdenas (COL)

Cárdenas installation, sculpture, mixed-media work delves into urban ruins and cities landscapes as indications of social transformation, loss and historical memory. Remains, fragments, discarded structures, are used as material for her work, with a sculptural strategy that is as much destructive as constructive.

Recent projects include: Cuenca Bienal in Ecuador: Estructuras Vivientes in 2018. In 2017 her work Excision was part of the exhibition Home-So different, So appealing; shown at LACMA as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA del Getty and at Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). As well in 2017 she participated in the California Pacific Trienal -Building as Ever- at OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art).

Cárdenas work can be found in public and private collections in Colombia, South America , Europe and throughout the States.

Sonja Geens


Sonja is a visual artist. She paints with acrylic paint and adapts skinny paint layers with water, sandpaper and resin. She also works with fragile materials such as beeswax, old paper, gauze and antique textiles.

She finds her inspiration in the small and in coincidence, from which she filters images of a shaky reality or of a place in the memory. Her work is sober, monochrome ,vulnerable and dubitable.

Gert van Dessel


Gert is a lighting designer and visual artist. He works with synthetic resin and found objects. His nomadic search provides an archive of weathered materials. He manipulates the old findings and combines them with new materials through which he connects past and present. His traditional method of working and extensive material research gives unexpected textures and connections.

Lia Garcia


The main axis of Lia's work is to name, number and classify the world starting from a drawing in order to understand it, know it and project it.

Through different series of drawings that she has made, she tries to create relationships that encourage the viewer to read the work not as individual pieces but as a collective that generates a certain concept, and that allows the viewer to organize and reorganize the information and charge it with meaning taking into account their point of view and relating to their own experience.
Her work constitutes a reflection on the landscape, both urban and private. Her drawings allude to that other landscape that does not appear on postcards, that is not portrayed, and that sometimes wants to be ignored and replaced by other more traditional configurations of it.
In this sense, the periphery in her work is a place of exchange that breaks the physical delimitation of "form" or "morphology" and that reconfigures her perspective on her surroundings out of fragments. 

Camilo Bojaca (COL)

Camilo explores different techniques of drawing, animation and video from which he builds a relationship with the world. In his work, the landscape of the city is a recurring theme. He draws elements attending to the problems of the city: to make a comment, a remark or simply to question the image as such. Another element he works with is the image of scale and power. He is interested in the drawing as a work space as well as a mental space and the material of which this is composed. In his last intervention projects like “errors that are consumed by the time” and “Garden of weeds” he approaches the relation between nature and architecture to explore new political notions and landscape.

Marcela Varela


Marcela's work has focused mainly on drawing, which is a tool that allows the creation of multidisciplinary proposals. During the last years she has developed installation projects, ceramics and video, departing from topics such as the everyday life, trivial things that draw her attention, and particular stories of the places where she carries out projects. These stories are narrated in series of line drawings, ceramics and fiction stories transposed to video, where she exposes fantasy mixed with reality. In all her work the color, the detail and the material play an important role for the development of each piece.

Lee Cutter (ENG)

Lee is a curator, self-published writer, events producer and a visual artist working with drawing, sculpture and installation.

His work is about social reform and raising awareness to the hidden, and often unheard voices, of those from marginalised groups. Recent projects draw attention to the everyday of prison culture in Britain.

Time is imperative to the structure and daily functioning of prison and yet time can also begin to dissimulate when locked away in a small cell. He reflects on his own experience of isolation by using prison soap and prison bedsheets to explore time, and the timelessness, of dreams and memory.

Joan Casas (COL)

Joan's work consists of installations, photographs, drawings and paintings. It proposes in an effective way how to present the concrete contents of each work, which will determine the medium that the artist will ultimately select. The scale can vary from the size of a small drawing, painting or of a large installation that will surround the largest space available. The artist not only uses a wide variety of media but also uses multiple aesthetic forms, ranging from an economic language, minimalist visual overload, exaggerated designs, always with the aim of articulating the content of the work as accurately as possible.

Laura Peña Murcia


Laura's work is an approach to how our existence is modeled and defined throughout life by notions of meaning that decide what is considered "reality". She is interested in the way in which subjectivity and our perceptions have been conditioned by instructions, knowledge, prejudices, rites and myths that are rehearsed and apprehended throughout our lives. This is reflected in her work as a poetic in which revelations and concealments make it possible to believe that reality is not as we see it, leading to the consciousness of a reality that does not exist as determined by that consciousness.


A ruin is only a ruin if in the eyes of someone something fell, decayed... There is only a ruin if it is observed, but, independent of the observer, the matter exists.

Widy Ortiz and

Daniela Carreño


Carreño & Ortiz, is a duo of artists, composed by Daniela Carreño Reina and Widy Ortiz, which was created in 2018 from the idea of ​​gestating artistic projects, where it predominates more than the interest in the techniques, the ideas of sharing personal experiences of each one with respect to their lives, arriving at the concretion of two thoughts, that are intertwined in compound works.  Note: for the moment the duo is paused.

Project direction and art works selection by



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realising the participation of our specially invited artist Leyla Cárdenas from Colombia and attending and supporting our opening reception

For this project we thankfully received support of:

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News item by Canal SimiTV


The exhibition was based on the connections of people from different places. The project is organized on the basis of collaboration, from our own funds (by way of self-management) and the funds of the artists. We are trying to collect some recourses in order to assist some artists with covering part of their travel and transportation costs. If you want to support us, in general or for a specific project, please follow the link below to find out how.

© 2018 by Parce

Ghent, Belgium.

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