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03 March 2023 - 06 May 2023

Collective Exhibition

Curated by Ann Laenen and Stefan Kolgen 

Mirila - Norbert.jpeg

Detail from MIRILA & RITUALS OF PASSAGE exhibition poster



Curated by Ann Laenen and Stefan Kolgen

Participating ArtistsRyan Falzon, Aaron Bezzina, Alexandra Fraser, Yasmine Akondo, Mladen Hadžić, and Stefan Kolgen 

The theme of this exhibition grew from a series of discussions between the participating artists and the curators. Whilst listening to each other and whilst challenging each other’s ideas, it occurred that all were intrigued by rituals and how they might bring some structure in a disrupted time. During covid people were creating new rituals to get safe and sound through the day. During times of distress, they give comfort and help us find balance in a disrupted society. 


Now post-covid one notices that covid had a big impact on our wellbeing and our mental health. Society forces us to pick up where we left off before covid, but that is a challenge. There is a lot of pressure, a lot of intrusion on our ‘being-in-the-world’. This exhibition wants to address this challenge in an artistic way by reshaping rituals. 


Defining what rituals are is complex and rather impossible as it depends on context, circumstances, background and time, though one can say that rituals are embodied, happen in a spatial setting and most often entail a repetitive action; being sequences of activities involving gestures, actions, objects and sound. Rituals are embodied interactions with the audience, performed in a specific way and possibly taking the performer and the audience from one stage to another physically or mentally. Thus finding a place for healing, ease of mind and comfort.  


Or as philosopher and cultural theorist Byung-Chal Han defines it in his book ‘The disappearance of Rituals’: Rituals transform the being-in-the-world into a being-at-home. They are to time what home is to space. This metaphor about rituals nicely connects with the way rituals are presented in this exhibition. All works involve some kind of passage towards the being-at-home. Hence ‘Rituals of Passage’ is a visual story of six artists, with six different backgrounds and six different views on rituals, all attuning with the aforementioned issues. 


The works were created with the exhibition space in mind and are placed in such a way that they interact with each other and with the viewer. Thus offering a context in which the viewer can create and experience its own passage whilst walking through the exhibition space.


This exhibition is curated by Ann Laenen and Stefan Kolgen, but is the result of a co-creative process with all participating artists: Yasmine Akondo, Aaron Bezzina, Ryan Falzon, Alexandra Fraser, Stefan Kolgen and Mladen Hadžić.


This exhibition is supported by the Arts Fund of the Flemish Community, Valletta Contemporary and Sint Lucas Antwerpen - School of Arts.

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