Today, space travel is all over the news. Cosmic space has always appealed to the imagination of writers and artists, but it is only since the middle of the last century that it has become the scene of a political space race. Recently, private players have joined the action, bringing space tourism and planetary exploration ever more within human reach.
Aside from the ethical and legal questions raised by these developments, the visualisation and mapping of space has become an ingenious technological issue.
In his solo project Probes, Wesley Meuris draws on his fascination with the way in which cutting-edge technology has become an extension of our human concept of space, while at the same time radically altering it. It seems that our conception of the cosmos today is increasingly technologically mediated by ingenious devices such as satellites, drones and robotic vehicles. How can we incorporate the technoscientific complexity of these devices and their data into an artistic and critical perspective? Probes aims to shed light on the optical mechanisms that transcend our human and even planetary perspective, partly out of a sense of wonder but also out of a desire for rethinking or reorientation. Probes is looking at the future, but also harks back historically to the first space explorations of the 1960s and 1970s. For KRIEG, Wesley Meuris will be creating a “critical scenography”, which will integrate various elements of his artistic practice and incorporate public activities.
Wesley Meuris (b.1977) is a visual artist based in Antwerp. He is conducting visual research into the functioning of exhibition mechanisms and the production and presentation of scientific knowledge. In the past year, he has expanded his oeuvre to include a new chapter, which has previously led to the exhibition Verticality (Annie Gentils Gallery, 2020) and an eponymous publication (2021).
Meuris studied Sculpture at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels and attended the post-academic programme HISK in Antwerp. In 2017 he obtained a PhD in the arts at Sint Lucas Antwerp and University of Antwerp. Currently he conducts a postdoctoral research and is tutor at the Advanced Master in Sint Lucas Antwerp. Wesley Meuris’ work has been exhibited in several exhibitions and individual installations at SMAK in Ghent (2020), Centre Pompidou (2018), Musée des Arts Contemporains du Grand Hornu (2017), WIELS in Brussels (2017), Kunsthalle in Vienna (2016), Confort Moderne in Poitiers (2016), ISCP in Brooklyn (2016), Mu Zee in Ostend (2015), BF15 in Lyon (2014), Kunsthalle Rotterdam (2014), Casino Luxembourg forum d’art Contemporain (2012), M HKA in Antwerp (2010), De Bond in Bruges (2010), Fresnoy in Tourcoing (2010), MAMAC in Liège (2010), Art & Essai Galerie in Rennes (2010).