“Ordalie” is David Crunelle’s first solo exhibition since the presentation of the series “Intarsia” in 2019. This time the Brussels-based artist is interested in the great figures of Belgian history, whose past glory is confronted with the management of the current health crisis in his country. What remains of the legacy of these national “heroes” when a country regularly makes the headlines in the foreign press because of a disastrous human toll?
With his scalpel, David Crunelle strips these historical figures of their iconic aura of yesteryear and reduces them to the level of today’s decision-makers, mere human beings powerless in the face of a phenomenon that is completely beyond them. By exploiting the visuals of the series “Nos Gloires”, published by Artis Historia between 1949 and 1962, the artist denudes in this way national symbols, yet so dear to the eyes of a generation laminated after a year of hazardous management.
The title “Ordalie” takes a harsh look at political action in the context of an unprecedented crisis. Roughly put to the test, the response of our rulers seems to rely on a form of divine judgment whose outcome no one can predict.
The exhibition runs from May 21 to June 26 (opening on Thursday, May 20) at the Zedes Art Gallery in Brussels and coincides with the scheduled reopening of the cultural venues.