Like neighbors behind walls, who are not seen but whose actions are well heard, artists Raffaella Crispino and Hans Demeulenaere initiated a dialogue with musicians. The interaction between them took on different forms, which led to the creation of the featured works in the publication ‘Incomplete Neighbor’.
When Raffaella Crispino moved to Brussels in 2011, she experienced difficulties creating visual works, and instead taught herself to play the Omnichord. She adopted a daily practice of composing songs, which were named after the date of their creation. The result was a vinyl album, Ogni Giorno (It. every day), which is a musical diary.
Listening to music is an experience that involves a person’s entirety: body, mind, and emotions, placing the listener and the performer in a shared time and space; an act of being in the world. In classical music, the term “incomplete neighbor tone” denotes a tone that is not explicitly written, but its presence exists in our imagination, and is understood and felt through the context of the entire musical phrase. This gap between the absent and the present, the visual and the auditory, activates our imagination and senses and it is at the core of the exhibition. Bridging the gap calls for multiple interpretations, points of convergence, and anchors.
Demeulenaere's point of departure for deciphering the relationship between the visual medium and the musical medium is a study of the playing environment and of the patterns that accompany the musicians, such as the chairs they find comfortable, the endpin stoppers used to keep the musical instrument (cello) in place, the points in the museum space where the music is heard best. One of the works featured in ’Incomplete Neighbor’ is Prototypes where Demeulenaere explored the chairs preferred by the musicians, and the created chairs in collaboration with art students inspired by iconic designers, such as Le Corbusier, Enzo Mari, Gerrit Rietveld, and Donald Judd. The artist deconstructs and reconstructs all the elements into a visual expression that leaves signs and traces of the dialogue with the musicians in the space.
Incomplete Neighbor explores how our mind complements the reality around us, how visual art and music activate our mind and trigger it to create ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Raffaella Crispino’s work emerges from a direct approach to things, stories and situations. She is inspired by the research of the sense of these and of their human aspects. Her work creates subtle links with the places and landscapes from which it emerges. Even if based on a sharp and critical point of view, through various medias, her work explores contemporary cultures in their very characteristics, offering a social and political portrayal.
Crispino’s work seeks a certain “displacement” of sense. Documentation and direct involvement play a crucial role and form primary materials to model, elaborate, in order to reveal these “displacements” and their ambiguities.
Hans Demeulenaere (Ostend (B), 1974) draws his inspiration from architecture, space and design. Rather than create something entirely new, he takes existing objects and reinterprets them in surprising ways. By deconstructing these objects and stripping them of their context, he focuses the attention on the viewing experience and calls into question our perception as visitors. His love of everyday aesthetics and the interplay between figuration and abstraction produces spirited forms, interventions and installations. Demeulenaere’s work thrives on intensive collaborations with other artists, designers and architects.
Published by Onomatopee, 24 × 17 cm, Softcover, 2023, 978-94-93148-93-2