Lichen #1 Lucie Ménard / Petrichor


A group exhibition with Félicia Atkinson, Ismaïl Bahri, Sina Hensel, Bárbara Prada and Luca Vanello, curated by Lichen laureate Lucie Ménard.


Lichen is a prize for emerging curators, established by CIAP platform for contemporary art and the department of Curatorial Studies at KASK School of Arts to foster and support curatorial experimentation in Belgium. Lichen works with an open call and a jury of experts and prize provides the winner with an opportunity to realise their curatorial project at CIAP, with financial, logistic, and conceptual support of the team.

This year, CIAP and KASK proudly present a group exhibition Petrichor, curated by the laureate of the 2019 edition, Lucie Ménard

Named after the heady scent emanating from the dry soil during the summer rain, Petrichor echoes the evanescent character of the artistic practices included in the exhibition. It is a celebration of micro-phenomena, inviting us to slow down and focus on the almost imperceptible processes that surround us at every given moment. A gesture that might seem simple but holds deep political implications, especially today, in the face of the global slowdown caused by the pandemic. As the world stands still, our relationship to labour and productivity is disrupted. What if this forced stop would become an occasion to unlearn and to become aware anew of what surrounds us?
Crystallising or distorting, accelerating or slowing down, the invited artists explore, each in their own way, different strategies of dealing with the temporalities that both surround and compose us. They remind us that we ourselves are temporalities in constant movement, the aggregates of intimate memories and sensory experiences. 

Luca Vanello (°1986, Trieste) combines perishable and organic materials with durable, synthetic ones to create his hybrid objects. Playing with various ways to alter the life cycles of the materials, he creates sculptures that seem to be frozen in time, neither developing nor deteriorating and in doing so highlights the vulnerability and circularity of all living organisms. In the works of Ismaïl Bahri(°1978, Tunis), the seemingly mundane acts, such as water dripping slowly on the floor or a piece of paper fluttering in the wind, become objects of amazement. Working with a basic formal and visual vocabulary and variations thereof, the artist attempts to circumscribe ephemeral phenomena through the simplest gestures. Sina Hensel (°1986, Mainz) and Bárbara Prada (°1990, Lima) work with organic materials, whose vitality and impermanence play a crucial role in their artistic practices. Hensel shares her studio with various species of plants, algae and other organisms that partake in her creative process. The acts of researching, nurturing, and harvesting are all embedded in the layers of her paintings, which just like natural pigments she uses, alter with time and changing atmospheric conditions. Prada’s practice revolves around food and the stories surrounding it, including forgotten recipes and bits and pieces of vernacular knowledge. She is particularly interested in how food can help us reconnect with our past and relate differently to the present. Félicia Atkinson's (°1981, Paris) soundscapes are compositions of different elements, such as spoken language and sounds recorded in-situ, which generate a specific ambience, transporting the listener to another place. The encounter with the work might not take place when one is facing it, she says. We always bring back something precious with us, like a secret slipped into our pocket. 


Lucie Ménard (°1987, Caen) is an independent curator living in Lille. She is a 2019 alumna of the international post-graduate program Curatorial Studies at KASK School of Arts, Ghent, where she co-curated Weekend at Charlie's, an exhibition about the collection of architect Charles Vandenhove and Harbinger: Subtle collision, an exhibition about prediction in art and science, in collaboration with art@CERN in Geneva. In summer 2019, while on residency in Kanazawa (Japan), she developed a project mapping the artistic scenes of the twin cities of Ghent and Kanazawa. Since 2012, she has worked as the head of education programmes at Le Fresnoy — Studio national des arts contemporains in Tourcoing. She is one of the co-founders of moss, a cross-border collective for curatorial projects founded in 2020 in Ghent with Lieselotte Egtberts, Elisa Maupas and Anna Stoppa. 


The project is realised in collaboration with Curatorial Studies at KASK School of Arts. With the support of the Flemish Community, the City of Genk, and CIAP members.