Vortex-Cortex (part 1) B 8 Sart Tilman

Temporary Isolation Part 1 has been set up in the Sart Tilman Open-Air Museum.

The device created by Djos Janssens on the 2nd floor of the student halls of residence is also a bipolar arrangement: two bedrooms, like two shelters, open onto either side of the vast space of the former university restaurant kitchens. They form two reflection/contemporary rooms, one with the whiteness and intense light of an operating theatre, the other plunged into the half-light of an initiatory cavern. The spectator is invited to pass from one to the other, into light or darkness. The path is spatial and becomes that of a thought, which progresses and is brought into motion by the work. Djos Janssens is in perfect control of this role-play: he borrows elements from an “open” demonstration, but it is not a discourse with certain meanings, more fragments chosen from an interrogative weltanschauung. Everyone can take part in this: in formal terms the work is highly pared down, yet it provokes a semantic eruption. Through a subtle interplay of oppositions and encounters (heart/mind, individual/cosmos, etc.), the artist arranges fragments from a romantic declaration, weaving ties between the elements of a couple, the individuals who comprise it and the way this relationship interacts with its biotope, in the literal and wider sense of the term. Vortex — Cortex can be seen as a reinterpretation of the complex interaction of combinations and relations between the macrocosm and the microcosm. From Democritus to the Renaissance, the connections between mankind and the world form a highly pervading organisational structure, whose “englobing” nature generates harmony. Modern science has swept all of that away: by objectivising reality, scientific discourse produces efficient techniques whilst effacing the paths which ran between these spheres.

Such is the dialogue that Djos Janssens is restoring, which sits quite naturally with the theme of RECIPROCITY DESIGN LIEGE 2018. All of these threads of Vortex — Cortex are spun into a fine web to capture emotions, as fragile as a mirror, a melting glacier, a heart breaking with grief or a painful memory that is rekindled or dispelled. Art can also sometimes be a medicine.