Celine Aernoudt & Emile Van Helleputte / DANCING ON THE EDGE OF THE ETNA – Terra

An Arrangement with the Deliveryman shows the work of the first collaboration of Celine Aernoudt and Emile Van Helleputte. The work was created and produced during a 10-day residency at White Garage prior to the opening of the exhibition.

With marionet theater as a model, they use the relation of the puppet and the puppeteer as an allegory to unveil the power relations both within capitalist society and the nuclear family.

Celine Aernoudt
Celine Aernoudt (°1995, Ghent, Belgium) works with installation, performance, video, sculpture and text. In her work she refers to power dynamics, online symbols, political structures, among others. As a counter reaction to the digital overload, her work has a minimal, pared back aesthetic. When creating a performance or preparing an exhibition, she always keeps in mind the idea of (interacting) bodies. This aspect stems from her interest in attention ecology and identity politics. Her writing practice, which finds its way into performance, video and sculpture, reflects on topics such as the intertwining of digital, material and emotional spheres and terminology, domesticity, anti-capitalism and self-delusion. Based on these topics, she constructs poetic and humorous scenes that feel both recognizable and alienating. In this way she tries to provoke a critical reflex in the viewer.
Emile Van Helleputte
Emile Van Helleputte (°1992, Ghent, Belgium) lives and works in Brussels. His practice can best be described as conceptual sound art. Although the reference to sound is always present in his work, sound as such hardly ever is. Using compositional strategies, his works are visually informed by musical scores, with language acting as a bridge between the visual and the sonorous.

‘Dancing on the Edge of the Etna’ is a series of four different exhibitions, events organized in White Garage, Catania, Sicily. These will take place between April and June and are organized by Gianpiero Vincenzo and Gustave Demoen. Gustave Demoen invited Belgian artists to have a residency at White Garage and a presentation moment at the end.
The title of the series is derived from the expression ‘dancing on the edge of a volcano’, which means “walking on a thin line of something bad or great happening”. This expression is a metaphor for the exhibitions and in fact, for every artist practices. It’s always an eruption of something bad or great caused by an impulse from deep inside. Also, Catania is located on a zone at the edge of a volcano: the Etna. She is always present in the city. Directly visible or in the food and culture. Everybody in Catania has a different relation to or love for the Etna: a mistress, a mother, a goddess…
A philosopher who was also intrigued by the Etna was Empedocles. During his life he worked out a philosophy that was derived from the four elements: water, air, fire and earth. Magically, the Etna possesses all these elements: fire through the magma, water through snow, earth and wind.
Empedocles stated that death did not exist and that all matter was formed by four elements. There are several anecdotes about his death, probably made up to mock his philosophy. In a few stories Empedocles traveled and fell from his chariot and died of the injury. According to other stories, the philosopher drowned at sea or hanged himself . The last and most interesting story is that he climbed Mount Etna and threw himself into the crater to prove that he was a god. It became clear that he wasn’t when the volcano spit out a bronze sandal.
These series of stories and the notion of the four elements were taken as an excuse to always concentrate on one of the elements during an exhibition. The residing artists for the first exhibition concentrated on the element of water, acqua.


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