Jos De Gruyter & Harald Thys

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys’s art casts a merciless perspective on reality. Through their numerous artistic approaches – including installations, video, drawing, sculpture, performance and photographs – de Gruyter and Thys visualise their imaginings of the parallel world inherent within the modern human psyche, along with how it manifests itself in the everyday aspects of life and civic conformity. Everything from work, leisure and family, to social class, masculinity and marginalization are envisaged through convening an unlikely cast of non-professional actors, family members, friends, beards, objects and mannequins alike, often in banal, homespun settings that are rife with awkward power dynamics Form balances the work of de Gruyter and Thys on the edge of the idiotic. Ragged mannequins are made to share common space with traced drawings of trams, the cries of animals, polystyrene heads with false facial hair, and monotonous monologues about renovations. The artists are inspired by myriad sources – like key scenes in films by Visconti, FassbinderRobert Bresson; reality television; the arsenal of videos at YouTube offers, ranging from Russian road rage to the home videos of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov; as well as traumatic events the artists have experienced over the years with various people and places.

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