press release

Occupie Paradit
An exhibition with Alex Cecchetti and Laure Prouvost
08.02.2020 - 21.06.2020

"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.

From the May 3, 2020, the space will also host Love among the Artists, an ongoing project by Laure Prouvost. Friends are invited to inhabit and respond to the portrayed paradise. Love among the Artists takes the title of the book by George Bernhard Shaw as its point of departure. It questions with a sense of humor the peculiar position artists are considered to play within society.

Occupie Paradit is curated by Piet Mertens and Pieternel Vermoortel.

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.

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.