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Filip Van Dingenen


SU 26.04 — SA 13.06 2009
SU 26.04 2009 — 14:00 Opening exhibition

Van Dingenen is fascinated by the artificial constructs that humans have created in order to escape everyday reality. Often this involves the private aspects of artificiality, such as the explosive combination of ideological and (small) human motives that has made large the exuberant façade culture of places such as Las Vegas, Disneyland and other tourist resorts.

Recently Van Dingenen added a similar world to the list: the zoo. Starting from the historical, cultural and social backgrounds of the former Limburger Zoo of Zwartberg the artist began a worldwide investigation into zoos. One of the intermediate stages of this project is dedicated to the Copito de Nieve ("snowflake"), who for the last few years has been the absolute crowd pleaser at the Barcelona Zoo. The artist zooms in here on the cult to the albino gorilla whose mimicry is so human-like it gets disturbing. On the basis of an archive of children's drawings, which were made both in Spain (when the gorilla died) and in Equatorial Guinea (during a workshop of the artist), Filip Van Dingenen retraces Copito de Nieves’ remarkable biography. His extremely rare genetic particularities generated an auction of scientific, economic, colonial and exotic complaints: a miserable tangle that seems completely embedded in the false reality of a zoo.