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  July-August 2020


Location: Sint-Amanduskapel Verkortingstraat 11, 9040 Ghent

24 July - 10 August 2020


This exhibit revolves around art, especially painting, looked at through the concept of deconstruction. We want to analyse the materials that are the building blocks on which painting exists and has existed for centuries but also the concept of painting itself. What is it and how does it give or create meaning? How complex is the meaning painting generates and can we even be sure of it?

Since Derrida used the notion of deconstruction in the 1970’s it has influenced and dominated art and literature. This exhibit will focus on what form deconstruction has taken today and what it means for contemporary artists and art.  


The Saint-Amanduskapel towers high above the monumental Campo Santo cemetery, which has a total of 131 graves.

The Chapel (built around 1480) was originally part of the monastery of the Alexian Brothers, where they, amongst others, took care of the ill and gave religious teachings. These monks were both beloved and detested throughout history, because they cared for plague victims and buried the dead, but they were also seen as a risk of infection.

The Chapel was destroyed in the Great Iconoclasm, but shortly after that the monks managed to reconstruct it. About 200 years later though, the French revolutionaries chased the monks away and took their teaching rights. The chapel then became in use as a military prison and later as a mental institution. After that, in 1863, it became again in the hands of teaching monks, who transformed the Chapel into a school and called it the St. Amandus Institute. Recently, it became property of the City of Ghent and, as such, an exhibition space.

Address: Verkortingstraat 11, 9040 Ghent, Belgium

Size: 128m2


Mateo Cohen (COL)

Mateo Cohen is a visual artist living and working in Berlin, Germany and Bogotá, Colombia. He studied at Los Andes University in Bogota and the university of the Arts in Berlin, where he received his master’s degree in the fine arts in 2012. He was a nominee for Nominee for the Residence scholarship „Junge Kunst in Essen and the „Meisterschülerpreis des Präsidenten“ of the University of the Arts Berlin in Berlin in 2012. 


Mateo: "I paint images that seek to not put objects in front of the viewer's gaze. I clear out the surface of object-like painterly impressions in order to keep the image empty and to escape from any figure-background relationships. Thereby, the viewer enters through the surface of the painting into the image's space and comes out to the surface leaving the image behind. In other words: we experience (while moving with perception) the image as within a given surface (matter) and the surface as the construction of a given image (composition).

This attempt could be understood as a simple exercise of arranging the painting's building parts, that leads to nothing else but to painting itself. However, the resulting works seem not to be easily defined under this category. The use of frames, canvas and paint sets a context for my artistic practice and in the search of ways to relate these “materials” with one another, keeping borders, frames or definitions between means of image-making (drawing, sculpture, painting...) is no longer relevant.

For me, it seems more relevant to unfold the complexity of the surface and explore, through the act of painting, how space is concealed and disclosed by matter. In other words: how images come into being."