13.04.24 – 09.06.24, Danny Devos, Fantastic Voyage Through the Body of An Artist

“I wanted to create works of art that have the same impact as a car accident: something that you don't forget, that enters your body and stays in your head, but that you don't do anything with.”

  • Danny Devos, The Hague, February 18, 2024

With Fantastic Voyage through the Body of an Artist, KIOSK presents an exhibition by one of the most idiosyncratic Belgian artists: Danny Devos, aka DDV.

DDV's oeuvre is characterized by his perseverance and versatility. Over the past forty-five years he has given 174 performances, had twenty-nine solo exhibitions, and been in 123 group exhibitions around the world, as well as appearing not only as a subject but as a character in various publications. Now, to KIOSK, he brings a selection of historical works and shows his most recent body of work for the first time.

Fantastic Voyage through the Body of an Artist cannot simply be read as a retrospective or an overview exhibition. The human body is the common thread: that of the artist using his body as an instrument for his art, but also that of the viewer who is mentally and physically stimulated and challenged by the artworks.

Until Devos got seriously injured in a bicycle accident on July 13, 2013, he used his own body to realize confrontational performances, with or without the presence of spectators. While he has rarely documented his performances in the past, for several years now he has been making models of some of his most evocative actions and installations. These “bonsai” sculptures, made with new semi-digital techniques such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC milling, represent an unprecedented approach to documenting/reconstructing performance art. These works have not been exhibited before. 

Devos has also been conducting in-depth research into the possibilities and limitations of artificial intelligence by using AI text-to-image machine learning models to generate new images by entering text. Sometimes the text is simply his name, “danny devos,” sometimes complex phrases that refer to historical or current events. He then translates the AI generated images thus obtained into sculptural objects using advanced 3D technologies. 

On the occasion of the exhibition at KIOSK, Devos used various AI text-to-image generators to create twenty-three posters, as absurd as they are colorful, of fictive ‘posters for an exhibition by AI artist Danny Devos’ in famous contemporary art centers and museums (Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, MoMA, etc.). Two thousand copies of those posters have been disseminated around the walls of Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. 

This interest in technological developments can be read as a new chapter in the existential search for the individual’s human condition by a child of the “no-future generation”—within the context of a society that is developing systems that determine its future faster than ever.

In Fantastic Voyage through the Body of an Artist Devos resolutely does not use exhibition props, pedestals, or walls. He places his works on furniture that he could find on or around the academy campus, including the KIOSK information desk. The exhibition is accompanied by a six-hour original soundtrack (to be listened to in the exhibition space or online during KIOSK opening hours from 12 noon to 6 pm) created by two visual artists: Zeger Vetters and Jakke Jalink. They delved into more than forty years of collected audio material from DDV and Club Moral, creating a sound work of selected recordings and releases layered with their own music.

On the last day of the exhibition, June 9, 2024, KIOSK invites everyone who has ever witnessed a DDV performance to come and share memories. This open call aims to bring together as many people as possible and thus keep the historical memory of DDV's extensive performance work alive.

Louis Pasteurlaan 2
9000 Gent
Mon-Sun: 12:00-18:00