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A stream of images as a frame of reference

Focus Presentation #2 sheds light on Berlinde De Bruyckere’s work process. In the Collection Pavilion she shows us a selection of the images that make up her artistic frame of reference: images from which her works are born, which document her artistic process and link her works together.

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Focus on the work process

Each Focus Presentation examines a specific aspect of an artist’s practice. In Focus Presentation #2 this is Berlinde De Bruyckere’s work process. Not the physical process of making moulds and sewing blankets, but that of amassing inspiration, developing ideas, elaborating on themes, asking questions, looking for forms and telling a story.


Tragic but inspiring images

For this presentation, the artist combines the material from the archive portfolio for her 1995 exhibition at the Middelheim Museum with the images she surrounds herself with in her studio. It is a careful selection that displays her interest in art, the body and the tragedy of being human. We see images of art and history, often with a focus on the body and suffering and mortality. We see images of current events, of refugees on the road or stranded somewhere, of people struck by disaster. We see images of bodies, human and animal, living and dead, beautiful and distorted.


An interwoven stream of images

Together, they form a stimulating stream of images from which artworks are born. There are images that inspire and images that document the work process, which in their turn also provide inspiration. Anyone who is even a little familiar with De Bruyckere’s work will recognise many of them. Motifs including blankets, draped cloth, trees, flowers, horses and the human body. Themes such as suffering, mortality, fragility, tragic humanity. But there is more: you see how wide-ranging sources become interwoven in a process of creation, and in the same way link individual artworks to each other. In the film made specially for this presentation, Berlinde De Bruyckere explains these connections in greater depth. 

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Berlinde De Bruyckere

The artist as a guide

In this film you will discover how ideas take shape in Berlinde De Bruyckere’s mind and how her artworks are related to each other.