United We: Ante Timmermans

Back to main page United We: click here

The Belgian artist Ante Timmermans is one of the most active figures of the contemporary drawing scene at this moment. Using very simple techniques for his drawings, which are almost entirely black and white, and obsolete technology in his installations (record players, overhead projectors, etc.), he serves as an accurate eyewitness of our modern times; the role of entertainment, our ennui and boredom.

He notably focuses on issues surrounding the nature/culture debate, and the representation of the modern city as a ghost city, a landscape of numerous skyscrapers, a no-man's land. Both poetically ironic and disenchanted, his work is also a meditation on the pregnancy of language and words in our lives.

Ante Timmermans is interested in systems, social systems such as cities or politics, but also in systems as an almost metaphysical instrument that governs our ways of thinking, working and living. In his works he is often looking for and playing with the moments when these systems crack, when they loose control over us. 

As stated in the introduction of this exhibition guide, Timmermans' fascination with social systems touches upon the duality present in United We: on the one hand collectivity is an alternative to current, prevalent systems that might fail us or disappoint us but then again, any collective organization becomes, in the end, again a system with rules and mechanisms.

In one of his moving drawings, we see Timmermans writing with two hands simultaneously. He is writing a palindrome in Dutch: dream (droom) and murder (moord). Every actualization of a dream is also its termination, and the beginning of the search for a new dream.

In this work, but also in a more recent work where the artists played a game of OXO against himself, he forms, so to speak, the smallest and most intimate collective imaginable. The members of this collective are his right and his left side. You can never win. But neither can you loose.