Chez Madeleine text by Zsolt Kozma

Chez Madeleine – OPEN
Amid current institutional concepts and interpretations of the re-definition of the roles, modes, relations and functions of art, there is a process outside the walls of the canonised institutions of exhibitions, events and art education – a process where art organically redefines itself.
The concept of Chez Madeleine is part of this organic process, where the initiator is an artist, Eric VanUytven, and the artwork is an ever-growing network of events that are related through the Chez Madeleine concept while unique and self-standing in their content at the same time.
The events that constitute the expanding body of VanUytven’s project can be viewed as a blend of happening and performance.
Chez Madeleine 1.0 – OPENing up – OPEN one way
In the first phase of the project, VanUytven created collaborated with the night shop Chez Madeleine to create an open space outside the network of traditional art venues, an even outside street art. He chose the night shop just across the street from a high-end art space Office Baroque, to establish a counterpoint, reference for discourse, a metaphorical crossover or (shall we say?) for balance. Working with four curators on the move, whom he invited to help spread the word and bring artists from the broadest possible spectrum, he made the space open to everyone and anyone who wanted to present their work, projects on Saturdays that soon became well-known, popular and, with time, an institution. Madeleine was born.
Chez Madeleine 2.0 – OPEN two ways
After a few months of organic growth, Madeleine was ready to enter the next phase of her/his life and define her/himself in this new phase of her existence. In fact, Eric VanUytven became Madeleine, or Madeleine became Eric VanUytven, an organic, living institution, which (or rather who) was there to reverse then direction too, the project, VanUytven’s artwork was now ready to enter institutions, established art venues and spaces, changing the process from one-way to a two-way street. In short, representing or rather epitomising the processes taking place in the artworld, Eric/Madelenie, became the artwork, and the artwork became the institution. An artwork, an immanently artistic phenomenon became an institution, reinstating art’s intrinsic rights for self-definition outside the ‘officially qualified’ makers of the canon, and establishing itself as an independent form of collaboration.
Zsolt Kozma – curator and consultant in the Chez Madeleine project

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