For his solo exhibition Who else? Egon Van Herreweghe has transformed the display window of Hopstreet Gallery into that of a luxury boutique.
From the street side we see a lunar landscape taken from an advertisement for Omega watches. However, the logo and the watch have been removed and replaced by a display cabinet that shows two handmade cookies. Together, they form the Nespresso 'N', but currently they look like a pair of stiletto heels.
Upon entering we meet George Clooney, the unmistakable ambassador of both brands. His portrait has been silk screened in each of the 13 unique Nespresso flavors, creating subtle nuances. The repeated image of Clooney, glancing upwards in his preserved, coy yet smug look, symbolizes the saints of our time. We see them on a daily basis, selling a lifestyle that can be obtained together with the offered products.
In the TV commercials starring Clooney, Nespresso tries to identify itself with luxury, fame, God (played by John Malkovich), and art. There is an episode in which Danny Devito, coached by Clooney, needs to learn how to appreciate a painting before he can drink Nespresso. Despite the ironic wink, the brand depreciates its consumers. After all, they are presuming that their customers don’t understand art, and merely aspire to.
In the second room we meet a life-sized bronze sculpture, based on a photograph by Helmut Newton in which Andy Warhol is feigning his death. Warhol plays a well-known part here, that of an iconic and dramatic prop. His presence, much like that of Clooney, embodies the power of a unique appearance and identity. A normalized practice that has also become widespread in art.
With Who else? Van Herreweghe emphasizes that cycle. The exhibition is a reflection on everyday patterns and widespread ideologies, particularly those that come in stylish packages.
Ché Zara Blomfield
Egon Van Herreweghe (1985) is living and working in Ghent. He studied photography at KASK in Ghent and is laureate of HISK since 2015. He had solo exhibitions in amongst others FOAM (Amsterdam) and Netwerk (Aalst). He participated in numerous (inter)national group exhibitions, including Every Letter is a Love Letter (Tallinn 2016), Friendly Faces (New York 2015) and The Catwalk (Brussels 2015). His work is included in both national and international, as well as in public and private collections, like the FOAM, Pieter & Marieke Sanders and Frédéric de Goldschmidt.
Ché Zara Blomfield is a curator, writer and founder of the project space The Composing Rooms (est. London 2010). She is also co-founder and Art Editor of Baron Magazines and has written for multiple art publications including Rhizome, Spike Art Magazine, and Tagesspiegel Kunst Magazin. Curated projects have taken place at institutions and galleries in Amsterdam, Auckland, Berlin, Paris, Milan, London, Milan, New York, and Paris. She has spoken at Kastela Arts Center, Athens; Goethe Institute, London; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Academy of Photography, Krakow, and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.