Belgium

The Art of Corporeal Experience: Berlinde De Bruyckere Puts Flanders on the Map

Berlinde De Bruyckere (°1964) works and lives in Belgium’s Flemish territories, where she is highly valued and well known. De Bruyckere has developed a consistent oeuvre on thematics such as vulnerability, transience and solitude. Deformed bodies of human beings and animals are dominant pictorial motifs in her work. Inspiration is drawn from cultural forms of expression in which Flemish culture in Belgium excels such as literature, film and dance. A universal recognizability is created by the visual language’s expressionism and self-evident character. With this, the artist follows in the footsteps of the old Flemish masters. Interest from abroad in the work of De Bruyckere and Flemish culture in general is continuously growing. Tilburg, Istanbul, Melbourne and Peking have already embraced it and London is next in line. De Bruyckere’s exhibition… in the Venice Biennale …is Flanders’s moment to establish its rich culture’s name and fame internationally. The Biennale’s visitors will be struck by an enduring, deeply humanitarian commitment within Flemish culture and a very powerful solo performance. Finally, all art is subjected to the communitarian conflict in Belgium – especially the art works that speak from an autonomous position. Is there such thing as an art form that speaks the language of the same manipulation?

BAVO

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Pavilion

Organizer/Commissioner:
Flemish Minister for Environment, Nature and Culture
Artist:
Berlinde De Bruyckere
Curators:
J.M. Coetzee; Philippe Van Cauteren
Budget provided by the state:
Undisclosed
Open Call?
Yes
Selection procedure:
The Flemish and Wallonian Ministers of Culture alternate as the commissioner. This year the Flemish Minister for Environment, Nature and Culture selected the artist following the advice of a jury of experts. Museum S.M.A.K. acts as organizing institution.

Curator

Name:
Philippe Van Cauteren
Gender:
Male
Born:
Belgium, 1969
Lives and works in:
Belgium
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Curator

Name:
J.M. Coetzee
Gender:
Male
Born:
South Africa, 1940
Lives and works in:
Australia
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Berlinde De Bruyckere
Gender:
Female
Born:
Belgium, 1964
Lives and works in:
Belgium
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
3
Represented by galleries in:
Beijing/ Le Moulin/San Gimignano, London/ New York/ Zürich

Politics & Economics

State System:
Federal parliamentary constitutional popular monarchy
Ruling Political Party:
Grand coalition of six parties including Social Democratic, Christian Democratic and Neoliberal Parties
Population (World Bank, 2011):
11,020,952
GDP per capita (World Bank, 2011):
$46,608
Unemployment (World Bank, 2011):
7.1% of the labor force
Net OECD ODA Aid Donated (2011):
$2,303,470,000
Military Expenditure (SIPRI, 2011):
$5,086,000,000

Alliances


International Criminal Court recognized
NATO
OECD
WTO

Conflicts

Country independent since:
1830 (from the Netherlands)
Colonial History:
Former colonial power
Former Colonies:
Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi.
International Court of Justice cases:
7
Global Militarization Index (BICC, 2011):
108
Nuclear Force?
No
Ongoing Conflicts and Disputes:
Political strive between the Flemish-speaking north and the French-speaking south. The current coalition took a record-breaking 541 days of formation.
Participation in Multinational Missons:
NATO mission in Afghanistan. UN peacekeeping missions in Congo, Lebanon, and Israel & the Middle East. EU anti-piracy mission and EU mission in Somalia.