Karen Vermeren: Prachovské skály in PRÁM

Karen Vermeren’s exhibition “Prachovské skály in PRÁM” is the culmination of her residency stay at the PRÁM Studio. The gallery installation should relocate the space of PRÁM Studio into the environment of Prachovské skály and thus provide the chance of experiencing the natural setting of sandstone rocks in the middle of Prague’s industrial neighbourhood of Vysočany.

Opening: August 25 at 7 pm, PRÁM gallery

Exhibition: August 25 – September 7






Karen Vermeren (°1982, Ghent) obtained her Master’s of Art degree at LUCA School of Arts, Ghent (2005). Further on she studied in the Kunsthøgskolen in Bergen with a research grant, followed by several residences (Isola Comacina in Italy, Glasmalerei in Munich, Masereel Centre in Kasterlee, Iceland, Spitsbergen).


Since 2009, she was appointed researcher as part of the research platform Horizontal Drawing at St. Lucas School of Arts, Antwerp. Regularly she shows her work (such as LUCA Biënnale in Leuven, Coup de Ville in Sint-Niklaas, CIAP in Hasselt, Beursschouwburg in Brussel, Lieux-Communs in Namen). Recently she won the International Glass Prize.



A Deep Sense of Place


1. looking for cracks
“Vermeren is looking for cracks. From a geological perspective, cracks or so-called faults emerge after a conflict between two geological plates. These are intersection lines, witnesses of a brutal surface tension. We must note however, that Vermeren is not an urban stoller who reads ‘urban cracks’. The approaches to the residual, raw space in urban planning are nevertheless extremely helpful when looking at Vermerens work. All describe a succession of events going from a conflict, to the creation of a void, which in its turn becomes a potential space. This sequence is at the heart of Vermerens practice.”


2. A twofold strategy. Fault Fold Unfold.
“While Vermeren in an initial phase recreates that sense of deep space, in a second phase, she intervenes in the raw material. Her collection of stones and dust, so to speak, are subjected to the rules of map-and bookmaking. Through a technique of folding her working material, Vermeren creates visual hierarchies on the paper plane. New artificial coordinates are set out by the artist. Folding thus is the activity of making form out of rawness.”


Elke Couchez concludes in her text ‘A Deep Sense of Place’: “Vermeren wants to question the tradition of landscape painting in her research. Vermeren rather is a scientific traveller. She designs cartographies of raw space. The picture plane exists of reliefs and fault lines. It shows the deep layers of the earth simultaneously, just like a geologist would like to do. Yet, the lines on the maps are no coordinates that simplify the road trip. Instead of stressing the optical organisation of space, this is a haptic experience. Raw, unorganised and always becoming.”


⇾ www.karenvermeren.be

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