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Schrammen in haar hoofd (Scratches in her head) at Fst-Forward Gallery

19 march 2009 - 2 may 2009

Location: Ernest Van Dijckkaai 4, Ernest Van Dijckkaai 4 Antwerp (BE)

Bie Michels’s recent work Schrammen in haar hoofd (Scratches in her head) concerns her mother, who waged a fight against Alzheimer’s in the last 15 years of her life: A fight which she never quite lost, since she died before the disease had completely overwhelmed her, but a fight which did become harder, year after year, witness the countless notes and reminders which she left behind. At first, they are still easy for an outsider to follow: They concern shopping, meetings, times when appointments should take place. At a later stage, they are also joined by sketches of what route she should take on the streets, and the notes eventually become increasingly confused and desperate, as can be seen from the many arrows which she scratched by way of emphasis under her words, as if to impress them on her fading memory. They are dramatic and painful documents, but also proof of great courage, tenacity, and self-discipline.

Closely related to this series is the computer montage of intermingling e-mails Niet in mijn hoofd of herinnering… (Not in my head and memory…). What, exactly, they are about or from whom they come cannot be established, because the viewer gets to see only fleeting fragments of them, which conceal more than they reveal. (Read more)

Paul Ilegems

Photos Jan Eyskens