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THE HOARDERS see this page in ENG/FR/NL

8.06 - 20.07.23

Boiler Room / Galeria Jaqueline Martins

Wolstraat 14
1000 Brussels



Hoarding is a condition that urges one to collect all kinds of objects and goes beyond the dimension of a hobby. It involves a compulsive, obsessional activity that gets in the way of functioning outside of it. Independent of their value, the objects collected are elevated to be untouchable and worshipped like a relic. One of the causes of hoarding can be found in trying to avoid to lose a particular memory.


"The Hoarders" winks at this condition by drawing a parallel with the art world: the exhibition deals more specifically with the particular motive of building a collection, through categorisation or cataloguing. Consider, for instance, Seth Siegelaub's love of textiles (founding the C.S.R.O.T. - Centre for Social research on Old Textiles in 1986, resulting in an eventual bibliography of 7300 pieces and a collection of 750 textiles) or Hilla and Bernd Becher's topologies industrial heritage (characterised by series of 8*10-inch black-and-white photographs arranged according to physical likenesses).


Accordingly, The Hoarders exhibits the work of five artists, Béatrice Balcou, Marlon de Azambuja, Peter Downsbrough, Rokko Miyoshi et Stéphanie Saadé, whose work addresses the urge to collect, resulting in physical objects or visual motifs.


The exhibition is taking place at Jaqueline Martins' Boiler Room, the Brazilian gallery's project space that occupies the basement of its Brussels satellite. Using the domestic typology of the basement as a storage place, the scenography is built around the idea of archiving.


Common threads throughout the exhibition are found objects. Found objects belong to the realm of readymades, with which Duchamp contrasted the physical and intellectual labour of the creation of art. He described these as 'these things... to which no art terms applied'.[1]  It is therefore about proposing new ways of seeing the art object.

The visual sequences in the photographic work of Peter Downsbrough and Rokko Miyoshi can be considered readymades: they form a collection of found or collected configurations or even better déjà-vus that make (invisible) patterns visible. Porcelain birds stare at concrete bars that are the same height and width as themselves: Do Marlon de Azambuja's figurines stare at their abstract likeness or at their predestined pedestal? Béatrice Balcou's transparent, glass tubes allow us to see traces of restorers' artworks up close, like relics of a bygone mental space. In this way, then, new avenues of thought for the art object are proposed: are the "Logic Remains" of "trace searcher"[2] as the artist Stéphanie Saadé claims to be, the remains of industrialised society? Her "A Rebours" confronts us with a collection of editions of the same book, where the main character described in 1884 by Joris-Karl Huysmans retreats into his own ideal world of intellectual and aesthetic contemplation.


This artwork can be seen as a double affirmation of the exhibition's theme where object and concept come together - thus closing the circle between image and imagination. Together, the artworks on display constitute a thought exercise in the distinction between that which we sought and that which we hoped to find.


[1] Marcel Duchamp, in Pierre Cabanne, Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp, New York : The Viking Press, 1971, p.48

[2] Antoine Compagnon, Les chiffonniers de Paris, Gallimard, 2017.


Els Vermang

Béatrice Balcou
Marlon de Azambuja
Peter Downsbrough
Rokko Miyoshi
Stéphanie Saadé

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