Ibrahim Erdogan Confrontation Glass, pink liquid, rubber mat, mirror 2019

A collaboration with IKKG (Institute of Ceramic and Glass Art at the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences), PXL-MAD (School of Arts Hasselt) and Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) demonstrating the breadth of possibilities for artistic expression in glass.

Curated by Ilse van Roy and Jesse Magee.

- Uwe Michael Biedermann (IKKG)
- Christian Schultz  (IKKG)
- Ibrahim Erdogan  (IKKG)
- Thomas Kuhn  (IKKG)
- Jannick Rabijns (PXL-MAD)
- Daan Gielis (PXL-MAD)
- Machteld Steukers (PXL-MAD)
- Carly Rose Bedford (PXL-MAD) Natalia Drobot (PXL-MAD)
- Natalia Drobot (PXL-MAD)
- Anne Büscher (Rietveld)
- Marika Konstantinidou (Rietveld)
- Ignace Cami (PXL-MAD)

Opening on Saturday 16th November  


Saturday November 16, 2019

Beginning at 14:00 with a performative reception
“Party (Guilt)” by Ignace Cami in CIAP.
Ending at 17:00 in location 2, Koning Alberstraat 12 (distance 350 m).



Glass is not the first thing that comes to mind when someone decides to study art. This is understandable. Painting has always been the “go to” art genre and nowadays there is a strong focus on digital arts, performance, and multimedia installations. Working with glass can also be daunting. Though glass is omnipresent in our daily lives, from windows to tableware to cell phone screens, transforming glass is difficult. It’s hard to cut, hard to melt, has the tendency to break, and is hard to put back together. Furthermore, even if you are successful in creating something out of glass there is the concern that the work could be misconstrued as kitsch or craft and not taken seriously. Even the “new” trend of working with ceramics, a material long looked upon with the same suspicion, has done little to alleviate this mistrust of the material glass. It is therefore perfectly understandable that young students feel more secure with other mediums. 

This long felt apprehension however creates opportunity. A study published by the European Parliament stated that there were approximately 4.2 million working artists in the European Union. 4,200,000 artists trying to make something original, looking for something that has not been done yet, searching for the last taboo to break in the name of art. The majority of these artists however have been hesitant to work with glass, leaving much to be discovered, innovated, and developed. 

The glass departments of the IKKG (Institute of Ceramic and Glass Art at the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences), PXL-MAD (School of Arts, Hasselt) and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) have dedicated themselves to researching the impact glass can make in contemporary art. Students in these departments have the facilities required to cut glass, melt it, cast it, blow it, break it, and put it back together again. They are provided with access to a vast pool of material knowledge (made greater though cooperation between institutions) that can be drawn upon as needed for their projects. Above all however they are challenged to use glass to make a unique contribution to contemporary art and to take risks to push the boundaries of what is accepted as art.

JUST LOOKING FOR ATTENTION is a collaborative showcase of work created by the students and graduates of these schools. Unified only by the choice of glass as a medium of artistic expression, the works are as different as the artists themselves. One artist works like an archeologist, trying to capture and preserve pieces of our world within glass. Another stretches pink glass across a mountain of plaster like an avalanche of bubble gum rolling down the Alps. A third projects internet pornography through a blown vessel, distorting it and turning something that has become vulgar back into something strangely beautiful. The exhibition endeavors to demonstrate the relevance of glass in contemporary art and to inspire more students and artists to recognize it as an opportunity. 

Whether glass will be the next big trend, or will simply sneak up to take its rightful place alongside the rest of the “art worthy” materials, it is worth paying attention to. 

(Text: Jesse Magee and Ilse Von Roy)