New Songs for Old Cities

Aziz Hazara, Che-Yu Hsu, Dani Ghercă, Diego Lama, Dries Boutsen, Elisa Pinto, Gaëlle Leenhardt, Hadassa Ngamba, Helen Anna Flanagan, Katya Ev, Luca Vanello, Nikolay Karabinovych, Nokukhanya Langa, Olivia Hernaïz, Oussama Tabti and Paulius Šliaupa are the participating artist of the group exhibition New Songs for Old Cities.

Find their biographies underneath or download the PDF file.

Aziz Hazara

Aziz Hazara is an interdisciplinary artist based in Kabul. He works across mediums including photography, video, sound, text and multimedia installations, exploring questions of identity, memory, archive, conflict, surveillance and migration in the context of power relations, geopolitics and the panopticon. ‘The visual exploration of my work is deeply entrenched in the geopolitics and the never-ending conflict that afflicts my native Afghanistan. The relevance of such issues, however, overcomes geographical specificities and appeals to a contemporary condition that is globally shared.’

Dani Gherca

Dani Ghercă belongs to the emerging generation of Romanian visual artists who share an interest in linking documentary photography with theoretical and conceptual approaches. Starting with his yearly practice, he developed an interest in the idea of agglomeration. Human condition from living to being is at its core practice trying to interrogate the dialogue between human density and physical spaces. Recently he started to be interested in mixing classic mediums like photography and sound with new visual technologies like Virtual Reality. His current research is focussed on questioning the protest theme with a specific view on the physical presence in opposition with the virtual presence.

Diego Lama

Diego Lama (1980) is a Peruvian artist who studied in Belgium, the US and Peru. His body of work is often characterized by the use of cinematic language in analogies where representations of power structures are subverted to reveal different articulations of the human condition in politics, the artworld, and technology, while often featuring references from cinema, science and philosophy. His work has been exhibited in major international venues such as the Havana Biennial, the Triennial of Contemporary Art in Prague, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne and The Getty Center in Los Angeles. Lama has received several awards and his works are included in several international collections such as The Getty Center, the Caixa Forum, the Cervantes Institute and the Museum of Art of Lima. He is currently based in Belgium.

Dries Boutsen

Dries Boutsen (1993, Belgium) lives and works in Ghent. His work unfolds around the practice of collage. Dries reuses materials directly related to his personal life and our collective past. By formally deconstructing these materials and rearranging them into abstract collages, he allows himself and the audience to objectify this past, while at the same time uncovering its context. His practice includes small collages, life-size sculptures and site-specific works. The translation of his paper collages into public sculptures is a literal transformation from a somewhat closed private to an open public platform. Dries completed his master's degree in fine arts at KASK Gent in 2019 and has been a candidate laureate at HISK since January 2020. His first solo show took place in September 2020 at CC Scharpoord in Knokke-Heist.

Elisa Pinto

Elisa Pinto Delgado (1985, Aguascalientes, Mexico) has a degree in Visual Arts from the Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico. At the moment she is doing a postgraduate at the HISK in Gent, Belgium. She lives and works between Belgium and Mexico City. Her artistic practice has been a constant search for personal images, a questioning of her reality and identity. In this sense, her work is above all autobiographical, and many of her pieces are conceived as acts of healing. She mainly uses collage, graphics and sculpture creating new meanings from decontextualized and reassembled elements. Her recent works focus on materialising lost childhood memories, in search of a sense of wholeness and belonging. Recent exhibitions include Art Cares Covid at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (2020); Under Certain Circumstances IKOB, Museum of Contemporary Art. Eupen, BE (2020); Bodega ACME Mexico City, MX (2019); We were never nothing Mexico City, MX (2018) She has been recipient of the Artistic training abroad scholarship (PECDAZ 2019) and Emerging Artist Production Grant (PECDAZ). Zacatecas, Zac., MX (2015).

Gaëlle Leenhardt

Gaëlle Leenhardt is a French artist, born in 1987 in Paris. She studied sculpture at ENSAV La Cambre in Brussels, lives and works between France and Belgium. She was in 2019 for 3 month in Residency in Marfa Texas, and currently following the HISK residency (Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent) . After her graduation, Gaëlle lived for 7 years in Belgrade, Serbia. The historic nature of this city and ex-Yugoslavia gave a significant turn to her artistic practice. Dig is the verb that epitomizes her practice in the most concise way. Her projects are mostly rooted in the environment in which they are produced. Their historic, archeological, architectural, sedimentary and human characteristics are key facets for her production. The work takes the shape of site-specific installation and is made through different mediums. The materials used by the artist are often found on site and/or are related to the construction field: concrete, plaster, lime... Photography is also an important part of her work. She only uses analogue films. Up until now a big part of her sculptures had a limited lifespan due to their weights and sizes, or frequently being on the edge of falling and breaking down. Photography allows for their continued existence. She also keeps a trace of all the places that can cross her way. Storing them as archive images. Those images can sometimes be used for sculptures, or books. Her approach to artistic work is very close to the practice of an archeologist. It involves surveying, excavation, archiving.

Hadassa Ngamba

Hadassa Ngamba (1993) is a visual artist from Congo. Before starting her artistic career, she studied criminology at the University of Lubumbashi. Currently, she is following a post-graduate degree in her final year at HISK. She was previously a resident at WIELS in Brussels. She participated in the 5th and 6th Biennale of Lubumbashi (2017 and 2019) and articles about her work have appeared in The New York Times (2019) and HART (2020). Hadassa's work consists of drawings, paintings, photo, video, installation and performance. In it she runs off with capitalist factors that control strategic places, such as reclaimable land and mineral resources.

Helen Anna Flanagan

Helen Anna Flanagan (1988, Birmingham) combines real events with fictitious narratives to produce video, installation and performance. By constructing and imagining scenarios – often making use of the category of the absurd – she looks to investigate social structures and the political subtext of the everyday, focusing on affects and emotions, labor and the body. She has exhibited widely and shown in a number of international festivals, such as Go Short International Film Festival (NL), Sharjah Film Platform (AE), November Film Festival (UK), Proyector Plataforma de Videoarte (SP), Film and Video Poetry Symposium (USA), Plymouth Contemporary (UK) and Art Rotterdam (NL), among others. Helen is the winner of the 2019 IKOB Feminist Art Prize and the VISIO Young Talent Acquisition Prize 2020. She was part of the post-academic residency at HISK in 2019 and 2020.

Che-Yu Hsu

Che-Yu Hsu works as an artist who primarily creates animations, videos and installations that feature the relations between media and memories. What matters to the artist is not simply the history of events traceable through media, but also the construction and visualization of memories, be they private or collective. Che-Yu Hsu had solo exhibitions at Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2015), SAT Society for Arts and Technology (Montreal, 2012). Che-Yu participated in NYFF New York Film Festival (2020), IFFR International Film Festival Rotterdam (2020, 2018), Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin (2020, 2019, 2018), Shanghai Biennale (2018, 2012), London Design Biennale (Somerset House, 2018), Bangkok Biennial (2018), Osmosis Audiovisual Media Festival (Moscow, 2018), Asian Art Biennial (National Taiwan Museum, 2017), Public Spirits (Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, 2017), Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition (CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, 2016).

Katya Ev

Katya Ev (1983, USSR) lives and works between France and Belgium. She is currently a candidate-laureate at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Gent, Belgium. She graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris (2012) and holds a Master in Political Science from Lomonossof University, Moscow (2005). Katya Ev develops time-based, performative practice and explores such fields as institutional critique, issues of power and control, potential for the individual agency within dominant power structures, as far as testing the limits of disobedience in the public space in relation to specific political situations or events (performances Axe de Révolution, streets of Moscow 2014, Augenmusik, streets of Paris, 2016 etc.). Her work has been exhibited at M HKA (Antwerp, Belgium, 2020), Musée Zadkine (Paris, France, 2019), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France, 2018), the 6the Thessaloniki lBiennial (2017, parallel program), Centre per l'Arte Comtemporanea Luigi Pecci (Prato, Italy, 2016), Tretyakov National Gallery (Moscow, Russia, 2015), Winzavod Art Center (Moscow, 2015, 6th Moscow Biennial, Special Project) among others.

Luca Vanello

Luca Vanello (1986) is an Italian-Slovene artist living in Brussels. He graduated from the Universität der Künste Berlin with Professor Gregor Schneider and with an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Arts, London. Selected recent exhibitions include: M HKA, Antwerp, MUSEION, Bolzano (solo);KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (solo); Qalandiya International Biennale, Ramallah; MAAD, Adria; Fondazione Ratti, Como; Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada; The Showroom, London; Poppositions, Bruxelles, (solo); OUTPOST, Norwich (solo); Museum für Fotografie, Berlin; Städtische Galerie, Wolfsburg; Museum für Fotografie, Berlin; Al Riwaq Art Space, Bahrain.

In wanting to reflect on the inexorable human attempt at controlling time and its inevitable failure, Luca Vanello is interested in exploring sculptural processes as “editing” the temporality of matter. In fact the acceleration of an oxidation process, the reversal of a plastic component back to its state before recognizable shape or the pausing of the life cycle of a plant by removing its chlorophyll become shaping processes. The works are conceived as “stand-ins” for objects to come, exploring alternative forms of togetherness. In fact in acknowledging and revealing shared vulnerabilities between different entities, such as human, animal, plant or machine, the wish is to explore new possible alliances between the human and the more-than-human world.

Nikolay Karabinovych

Nikolay Karabinovych (1988, Odessa, Ukraine) lives and works between Ghent (Belgium) and Kyiv. The artist works in a variety of media, including video, sound, text, and performance. In 2020 and 2018, he was awarded the first PinchukArtCentre Prize. From 2019, he is studying at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Ghent. In 2017, Karabinovych was an assistant curator of the 5th Odessa Biennale. Featured Exhibitions: From Sea to Sea, Hit Gallery, Bratislava, (solo); Spring (Summer, Fall, Autumn) of Nations, BWA, Tarnow, Poland; Ain't Nobody's Business, PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, (2019) and The Human Condition, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow (2018).

Karabinovych addresses convoluted social (hi)stories, particularly those from the expanses of Eastern Europe and especially those of his own extended family. In doing so, he pictures encounters which could have happened, but records of which have been systematically culled or were non-existent to begin with. Said encounters are often endured by victims of State-backed terror and propagandistic cultural and/or ethnic genocide. Questions of spirituality, identity, belonging, exclusion, and obliged integration are variably overlapped, isolated, and posed to those in positions of power, those buried six feet under, and those who haven’t been asked before. Karabinovych asks these questions using analytical, conceptual, and/or interventionist tactics. The minutiae of topographies familiar and ‘foreign’ are crucial exhibits in the cases made. Music plays an outsize role in the artist’s practice. Karabinovych revisits era-defining songs, genres, and luminaries, embracing their capacity to shed a sharp light on another era in another climate in another sociopolitical arena. In the process, languages link and clash. Intercultural archives form and previously censored stories are processed anew. Along the way, momentary becomes monumental and monumental becomes memory.

Nokukhanya Langa

Nokukhanya Langa’s (1991, USA/ZA; based in Gent) practice is defined by her distinct and subversive visual language. She is neither of a school of pure abstraction, nor are her works plainly narrative or figurative. Instead, her works exist in the same space as would vernacular idioms. They are fugitives to direct meaning, and intuitively insinuate. They layer private histories, political and cultural undertones, allegories, seditious narratives, and humor, ultimately revealing themselves. Her work has a multiplicity among them so that a style is never full and her oeuvre is never fully settled; there seems to be an air of dissimilation - things are not totally straightforward; there are hidden meanings and tongue-in-cheek political expressions that are proclaimed as casually and softly as everyday idioms, while equally rife with meaning and intent. She completed her MA from FMI in The Netherlands and is currently a resident at the HISK (20-21) in Gent, Belgium.

Olivia Hernaïz

Olivia Hernaïz (1985, Belgium) obtained a Masters in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths in London. She won the Art Contest Prize supported by the Boghossian Foundation in 2016 and is currently in residence at the HISK in Ghent. Her work was on view in Inside / Out, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels (2020) ; To Thomas, YGREC, Paris (2020) ; All About You, The Koppel Project, London (2019) ; Push Your Luck, Island, Brussels (2019), Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow (2018) and As Long as the Sun Follows its Course, Musée d'Ixelles, Brussels (2017).

Oussama Tabti

Oussama Tabti is a visual artist (1988, Algiers) who lives and works in Brussels. His work questions hermetic geopolitics, consisting of impassable frontiers and cultures that fold on themselves. In his own way he denounces the difficulty of moving in a world that is indeed globalized but also mistrustful of the ‘stranger’ and difference. His work has been exhibited in several occasion like Dakar Biennale, Salon de Montrouge, Algeria Pavillion at 58th Venice Biennale or during Moussem Cities at BOZAR and is a part of several collections such as Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona MACBA, Centre National des Arts Plastiques CNAP, Gluon Brussels Platform for Art Science and Technology, as well as private collections.

Paulius Sliaupa

Paulius Šliaupa’s (1990, Vilnius, Lithuania) works explore the relationship(s) between culture and nature, the interaction of ambience and light that affect our daily lives. From video-installations and experimental movies for the cinema to object like paintings, his oeuvre encompasses a wide range of artistic media. By accumulating the flow of painterly images, atmospheric sounds and poetic energy, the artist creates sensual narratives. Most projects consist of multiple works, grouped around specific themes such as organic structures, rituals in nature, the flow of natural and artificial light and absurd poetic happenings. Šliaupa holds a BA in painting and a MFA in contemporary sculpture from the Vilnius Academy of Arts as well as a MFA in media arts from KASK, Ghent. Selected exhibitions include the solo exhibition Dès Vu, Meno Niša, Vilnius, Lithuania (2019) and the group exhibitions Oooh, Netwerk Aalst, Belgium (2020), The Upper Hand, IKOB, Eupen, Belgium (2020) and Stadsfestival Damme 2020, Damme, Belgium. Šliaupa is part of the HISK post-graduate programme 2020 & 2021.