Philip Janssens

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philipjanssens

Philip Janssens’ body of work tends to evoke a certain frustration with its audience. He distances himself from methodologies inherent to conceptual art; his objects should not be considered as mediums carrying meaning and mental concepts waiting to be revealed. They rather question the true nature of the object itself and the essential contradiction they bear, of objects always being subject to the subjectivity of perception. His work explores the notion of the simulacrum, whereby the object itself only functions as a trigger for the mental image constructed in the mind of the viewer. The relationship between the objective image and its subjective memory stands at the foreground of his praxis, heavily inspired by Kant’s philosophy. Alluring aesthetics attract a hypnotized gaze from the viewer but cause confusion, manifest in the incapability to understand and regain focus over the presented objects. We are constantly challenged to construct a clear overview, but our focal point keeps shifting due to the lack of hierarchy in the composition. This provocative attitude is idiosyncratic in the sense that the work needs the perception of the spectator in order to be activated, to establish itself in a mental imprint and hereby finding existence. Philip Janssens (b. 1980, Lille) studied Philosophy before moving to In-Situ (Site-Specific Installation) at Antwerp’s Academy of Fine Arts. Recent group exhibitions include Workspace Brussels. Working Title Situation #4 (Quincallerie Van Der Eycken and Beursschouwburg, Brussels) and Spatial Sublation (WIELS Project Room, Brussels). He also had solo projects such as Summer Studio (Moonens Foundation, Brussels) and at Platform 102 (Brussels). He was artist-in-residence at AIR Antwerpen and at WIELS.