Like the houseflies that act as a recurring motif throughout Flanagan's films, the exhibition implicates viewers in turn as passive observers, carriers of information, or invasive parasites. It thereby resonates with IKOB’s theme for 2021, Gossip. The 2021 programme considers the potential of gossip and rumours to bind us closer together as a society and aims to be a critical examination of the social contexts in which these shared stories and narratives are created and disseminated. Helen Anna Flanagan’s Gestures trilogy is a primary source of inspiration for this concept, as her work grants us entry to sites of encounter and engagement between different ideas and people, with rumours and stories woven throughout her works as contagious whispers.
This exhibition takes place following the 2019 IKOB Feminist Art Prize, where a jury consisting of Daniella Géo (formerly HISK, Gent), Louise Osieka (CIAP, Hasselt), Marie-Hélène Joiret (Chataigneraie, Flemalle) and Eva Wittocx (Museum M, Leuven) chose Helen Anna Flanagan for the first prize, leading to the invitation for a one-person exhibition at IKOB.