CURA.

HELMUT STALLAERTS
AL DIWÂN

Parliament, Paris
11 Dec, 2020 – 13 Feb, 2021

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Press release

Al Diwân, by Belgian artist Helmut Stallaerts, is the second exhibition of Parliament Gallery, on view until February 13, 2021. Her closed world is looking for an opening. There, between her hand and lap, it will arise. While the darkness is restrained, he walks around the corner. Looking through his eyes she gets into the picture. The light always wants to gain access. Does not tolerate prohibition. Seeks free play. Will invade, scattered by the sun, sheltered on the blanket, flattered as a butterfly. Until the light finally finds her, lying on a divan, back from long gone. When the world of desire and projections about the ideal woman emerge, an immense height comes into view. The unlived imagination frees itself into mutual salvation.

Projected on the retina, shaped in his hands. Every other existence is erased. An unforeseen fall into the elusive shadows. Until his gaze becomes focus again. Rediscovered by the brush. Where the light was still present. In both Persian and Arabic, Diwân may represent a collection of poetry or prose. Well-known is Hafez (1315-1390) an important Persian poet. Themes such as love, despair, hypocrisy, fate and mysticism, are flourishing in ingeniously constructed and emotionally appealing poems. All presenting ecstasy and freedom from restraint. Egyptian poet Ibrahim al-Mazini once defined the meaning of diwân as a collection of poetry in which people write down what wells up in their minds and what makes man hover over life, forcing him to feel what he has seen, to see what he has felt, to imagine what he has known, and to know what he has imagined.

Divan is also a low resting bench that differs from conventional models. Usually covered with a blanket or large pillows. The classic image of a patient lying on a couch telling his stories to the psychotherapist is mainly due to Sigmund Freud. Both meanings Diwân/Divan are embedded in the latest paintings of Helmut Stallaerts filled with opposite components competing with each other. Man versus woman, symbols versus icons, hell versus heaven, gods versus wicked and dark versus light. His practice deals with the human figure and explores the relationships between individual freedom and societal constraints, power and established systems of order. His compositions convey a strange, ambiguous and at times dark atmosphere. Man–often alienated, blurred or absent–is undoubtedly the central motif in his complex and broad oeuvre.

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Installation view, Helmut Stallaerts, Al Diwân, 2020, Parliament, Paris. Photo: courtesy of the gallery 
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Installation view, Helmut Stallaerts, Al Diwân, 2020, Parliament, Paris. Photo: courtesy of the gallery 
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Installation view, Helmut Stallaerts, Al Diwân, 2020, Parliament, Paris. Photo: courtesy of the gallery 
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Installation view, Helmut Stallaerts, Al Diwân, 2020, Parliament, Paris. Photo: courtesy of the gallery 

Featured image: Installation view, Helmut Stallaerts, Al Diwân, 2020, Parliament, Paris. Photo: courtesy of the gallery

OTHER TIPS
C L E A R I N G, Brussels
MACRO, Rome
Wschód, Warsaw
Liminal website, Online
Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan
Clima Gallery, Milan
The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
CRAC Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée, Sète