My visit to MOCAK - Installation or Object? 18.10.2014 – 18.01.2015
Anomic Art in Anomic Art, Tuesday 3rd February 2015, Poland.
I discovered the work of Danny Devos, a Belgian artist using true crime to create art. In the corner of the room sat ‘The Red Spider of Katowice’ (1993), which was originally exhibited in Galeria Potocka. It is an installation which consists of an electric motor, painted red, with a spinning wheel attached controlling ropes to pull and release knives to make a stabbing motion as they hung over pencil portraits of young people resulting in a powerful metaphorical display of murder. The objects were committing violent acts to these young innocent faces in front of you repeatedly, until you choose to walk away, when the invigilator turns it off, resulting in involuntary participation. Lucian Staniak was a member of the ‘Art Lovers Club’, as a painter his favourite colour was red. On his victims he left behind notes which read: “There is no happiness without tears, no life without death. Beware, I am going to make you cry.”
Also going by the name of DDV, Devos is perhaps better known for his performances like ‘Yves Klein was never in art Ghraib’, a reenactment of Yves Klein’s ‘Into the Void’ stunt with a reference to one of the photos released of the U.S. military torturing Iraqi prisoners. His practise seems to take a concept far from that of Kleins. Klein, who rose to riches with his performances and reinvention of the colour Klein blue, who’s work has recently in 2012 been sold for £23.6 million. The artist had a ball during his life, dying of a heart
attack from abuse of amphetamines and living a grandiose lifestyle, so he was not too familiar to the struggles many working performance artists today go through. It could also be a play with Klein’s proclivity to have models rolling around in his blue paint. Comparing this imagery with the soldiers making their nude prisoners roll around in what is assumed excrement and making a human pile up. DDV must spend an extortionate amount of time looking into stories depicting only the worst parts of humanity. Over the last 40 years he has devoted himself to performances which tactfully depict true crime experiences, even in his down time.