Text by Ylenia Maitino (April 2013)
Wouter Huis is a Dutch visual artist running a project space in Hoensbroek (Netherlands) called Greylight Projects. It focuses on the development, production and presentation of contemporary art and includes a residency program for artists.
Poppositions visited his new studio in Brussels, a charming old maison de maître only a few meters away from Botanique. What was once a monastery is currently a vacant building waiting for green light to be converted into a modern hotel. Next to the studio, the building will soon hold a guest studio and a project space to mark Greylight Projects’ presence in Brussels. The site is both mysterious and captivating. The ground floor entrance opens into a wide space made of different sized rooms beside a dark corridor. Walking around, it feels like going back to school: in one of the rooms, a blackboard spells out “les jours de la semaine”; in one of the main hall, graffiti leads us to a wall-painted garden with trees and flowers.
Wouter tells us he prefers working with vacant buildings, where the open space is unusual and offers options for exploration. What he finds attractive in Poppositions is the challenge of working in-situ and having to adapt to a fairly unfriendly exhibition space: “Brass is not only an atypical exhibition space; it’s a very difficult place in which to exhibit”, he admits. But as these buildings are so demanding, they represent a great source of inspiration for the artist who can build on the uniqueness of empty space by observing and interacting with it. Greylight Projects were furthermore given one of the most difficult spaces of POPPOSITIONS, the corridors leading to the toilet, but did not mind accepting the challenge of transforming this place into an exhibition venue.
On a final note, Wouter points out the importance of independent project-spaces where artists have complete freedom to try and develop new works and projects that would not find their place in commercial galleries. He shows us a a small slide-projector installation (almost ready) and tells us about a film and photographs that will also be at display, but it is clear that he would rather have the viewer draw his own conclusions then tell us what to expect. Indeed, the way we perceive and observe is one of his main preoccupations. So I guess you need to come by next week to see for yourself!
Greylight Projects will be present at Poppositions with four artists: Silvia Bakker (artist in residence at Greylight Projects this year), Marc Buchy and Stefan Piat (both former artists in residence at Greylight Projects), and Wouter Huis.
source: Poppositions blog