Narcisse Tordoir. LABOR AND PRODUCTION 1987-1998

This page is part of our exhibition archive. The exhibition took place from 03-12-2021 to 23-12-2021

Narcisse Tordoir. LABOR AND PRODUCTION 1987-1998The exhibition presents a broad selection from the MQ-series by Narcisse Tordoir, a set of 118 models realized between 1987 and 1998. In 2019 the artist donated the greater part of it to the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA). Since then this collection has been held by the Flemish Centre for Art Archives (CVK).

The MQ-series offers a rare glimpse into Tordoir’s artistic process. Initially these three-dimensional sketches functioned as a means to perfect the strictly modulated serial assemblages with transverse boards which the artist made at the time. At first they thus served as merely supportive scale-models. Soon, however, this work evolved towards a more autonomous, experimental practice, whereby different pictorial operations and plastic arrangements were tested. This practice allowed to work fast, regardless of exhibition opportunities. The models attest to an unrestrained pleasure in making and a remarkable artistic spontaneity, yet also to a deliberate and investigative approach.

The exhibition includes over seventy works from the MQ-series. Six thematic tableaux entitled MIRROR, ICON, DANSE MACABRE, STUDIO, SHATTERS and ASSEMBLAGE, offer a panoply of mutually related models. Specific issues such as “the model as thought appliance”, “the place of the image”, “the outline of a persona”, “the representation of scale”, “from studio to museum”, “the working process”, are addressed, and presented in showcases by means of original material. Additionally, some larger pieces are put on display. Even though these fully belong to the MQ-series, they exemplify the individuation that occurred in the course of this work’s development: they dissolve the distinction between model and artwork.
The project of this exhibition was prepared in the academic year 2020/21 during two MA research seminars at the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ghent University. The exhibition is curated by Guy Châtel and Adriaan Verwée, in collaboration with Narcisse Tordoir, and realized with the support of M HKA, CVK and VANDENHOVE.

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