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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 emerged following a series of discussions between the participating artists and the curators. The resulting conversations revealed that all were intrigued by the concept of rituals and their potential capacity to help people find balance during tumultuous times. During COVID-19 people were forced to create new rituals in order to maintain some sense of normality. 


Now, post-COVID-19, one retrospectively notices the large impact the pandemic had on people’s wellbeing and mental health. Society forces us to pick up where we left off before COVID-19, but that is a challenge. This exhibition aimed to address this challenge creatively by reshaping – and reframing – rituals. 


Defining what rituals are is complex as it can depend on the specific context, circumstances, background, and time of said ritual. Though, one may say that rituals often entail a repetitive action, i.e. a sequence of activities involving gestures, actions, objects, or sounds. Rituals are embodied interactions and can often involve finding a place for healing, ease of mind and/or comfort or, in some cases, finding oneself.  


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 intriguing metaphor about rituals connects with the way rituals are presented in this exhibition. All works involve some kind of passage towards this idea of ‘being-at-home’. Hence ‘Rituals of Passage’ is the visual story of six artists, with six different backgrounds and six different views on rituals, all tackling the issues mentioned above. Each addresses the topic in a uniquely personal way. 


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

This exhibition was curated by Ann Laenen and Stefan Kolgen, though is the result of a collaborative process with all participating artists. It was supported by the Arts Fund of the Flemish Community, Valletta Contemporary and Sint Lucas Antwerpen - School of Arts.


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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