Castle of Vooruit

Ahmet Ogut, The Castle of Vooruit!, heliumballon met een diameter van 8 m., in opdracht van S.M.A.K. voor TRACK, 2012, foto Dirk Pauwels

Castle of Vooruit

24/05/2015 - 31/05/2015
14:00 - 16:00
Curator: Nick Aikens

Heliumballon gaat de lucht in

On the 24th May Ahmet Ögüt 's giant helium balloon, Castle of Vooruit can be seen floating above the Dommel next to the Van Abbemuseum. Staying there for two weeks, this ambitious project is the final instalment of Ögüt's exhibition, Vooruit!

The Castle of Vooruit was originally commissioned by S.M.A.K for the exhibition TRACK in Ghent in 2012. The project takes the socialist history of the Belgian city as its starting point. On top of the balloon is the Vooruit, the cooperative where Ghent’s working class assembled from the end of the nineteenth century until the early 1970s. It was also the base for the socialist newspaper by the same name. More recently it serves as a cultural centre in Ghent. The building sits on top of a giant rock, a reference to Le Chateau des Pyrénées (1961) by the Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte, with the image of both socialist and surrealist ideals floating in the air.

The title of Ögüt's exhibition takes its name form the Castle of Vooruit, with the question of how we relate to or question notions of progress being a core concept of the exhibition. More specifically this ambitious project allows us to reflect on the story of the Vooruit building - once a site of a political co-operative now a cultural centre -  within the Van Abbemuseum's own interest of thinking through the relationship between art, art history and the political. That this is done in such a captivating, expansive way is credit to Ögüt's ability to mediate complex ideas in an engaging, accessible way.


14:00 Hoisting of the balloon

14:30 Curator Annie Fletcher discusses Castle of Vooruit and general artistic practice with Ahmet Ögüt



Castle of Vooruit

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