Occupie Paradit

Alex Cecchetti and Laure Prouvost

"Come, come, come to paradise,” called the siren from the rooftop. Lonely and invisible, she longs for love and empathy. The world is presently cold, desolate and hard. "There is no space or time left, so come and occupy me," the institution shouts. Here representation soon becomes reality, fiction reveals itself as the life of the artists, as your life.

Occupie Paradit is a palate cleanser, taking away conventions and conformism and the bad taste this might leave. Instead you will be introduced to all the secret little passages of our paradise. Snakes will implore you to avoid the apple of knowledge: "don’t waste your time with it," they will say, "because far better is the joy of wine."

For the exhibition Occupie Paradit, artists Alex Cecchetti and Laure Prouvost transform the space of Netwerk Aalst into an immersive multivocal installation providing a space for discovery and social encounter, a "fantastical" yet occupied paradise. The artists lead you through secret passages and strange environments where you hear stories about the cosmos and love. There you can drink potions in the Love Bar and feel time stand still, albeit just for a while. A Community of Snakes conceived by Alex Cecchetti will on various occasions activate the paradise and its fruits, providing guidance, confusion and new insights to the brave visitors open to perdition.

Occupie Paradit is curated by Piet Mertens and Pieternel Vermoortel.

Love Among the Artists

Occupie Paradit is also home to Love Among the Artists. For this ongoing project, Laure Prouvost invites a number of artists to inhabit and respond to the imagined paradise.

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Laure Prouvost

Laure Prouvost lives and works between Monaco and Belgium. She makes video, boobs, sounds, tea cups, objects and installations. Here a long list of museums and institutions. A line, interesting things, a coma, a line, a list of residencies and prizes. A selection of solo projects including: a Deep See Blue Surrounding You in Venice, a Waiting Room with Objects in Minneapolis, a New Museum for Granddad in Milan, a Tearoom for Grandma in Derry, a Karaoke Room in Brussels, a New Octopus Ink Vodka Bar for Gregor in Rotterdam, a Travel Agency for an Uncle in Frankfurt, a Lobby for Love Among the Artists in the Hague and Luzern... tea bags, and wet floors.

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Alex Cecchetti

Alex Cecchetti (1977-2014, Terni, Italy) was an artist, a poet and a choreographer. Difficult to classify, his work can be considered as the art of the un-representable: tactile and poetic, aesthetic and materialistic, it creates mental and physical environments in which the spectators are often part of the work. Invited to walk backwards into a garden, to sleep to the sound of a choir singing in the deep of the ocean, or take a dance class from stones and staircases, the spectators are no longer confined to the role of the beholder. The artist died for the first time in 2014, for unknown reasons, though he keeps producing new works, presenting new performances and publishing new poems.

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With the support of

Traudi Messini, Pinus Cembra, Cedrus Libani, Cypress, Agne Bujniak, Lucia Pietroiusti; The Community of Snakes, 3D Wood GmbH, A Tour De Bras (ceramic studio, Paris), Guido De Bruyn and Alain Verleysen, Studio Laure Prouvost (Maud Gyssels, Mia Tamme, Fran Hawker, Dóra Benyó, Jan Van den Bosch, Tom Hallet, Katrijn Van Bree, Ciaràn Wood), Kunstgieterij De Clercq – Ginsberg, Kaatje en Zoon (Stained glass studio), Quartz Céramique Bruxelles, Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris and Brussels), Lisson Gallery (London, New York and Shanghai), Guido De Bruyn, Alain Verleysen, and carlier | gebauer (Berlin and Madrid).