March 2008, Andrea Crews and Yayoi Kusama @ WIELS

March 2008, Andrea Crews and Yayoi Kusama @ WIELS
Andrea Crews and Yayoi Kusama at WEILS, Brussels Belgium images courtesy Andrea Crews

Body and Fever

Andrea Crews and Yayoi Kusama
Athena Llewellyn Barat for Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art.
January 15, 2008

On December 14th of 2007 art collective Andrea Crews produced an event choreographed by Martin Butler in newly opened contemporary art center, WIELS in Brussels, Belgium in conjunction with artist Yayoi Kusama’s Dot Obsession installation.

Under the flag of “Fashion, Art, Activism” Paris based collective, Andrea Crews, creates events on the forefront of fashion and art. The Crews footprint is made with a frontier guerilla spirit and a wide-eyed precociousness; a childlike audacity conducted by an astute maestro. Crew’s December 14th event was something like a coup d’art. In the newly opened contemporary art center WIELS, in Brussels, a body of work from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s dots obsession series bubbled and boiled. Giant pink inflatable sculptures covered in black polka-dots were suspended in the air and plopped on the floor, captured in bouncing motion. The installation continued further inward where an opening in an inflatable gave way to an interior space overrun by the polka-dot epidemic. Hanging from a ceiling overtaken by the dots, round paper lanterns covered in black polka dots bounced light on the walls and floor where the rash obsessively continued. Here Yayoi Kusama invited the viewer into the actual hallucinations she had as a child and we can recognize her feverish fear of this force that is all consuming, all devouring; for her the dots are aggressive and they take no prisoners. Here in WIELS, Kusama’s body of work took the viewer into a feverish body; here in WIELS, Crews was the fever; running rampant and hysterical; beautiful and fantastic.

Accompanied by live music; a team of twenty, some covered in dots, some dressed in the trademark Crews rainbow moved through the space choreographed by liminal institute’s Martin Butler to create visceral narratives by using the colors and shapes of their presences sculpturally.

In conjunction with the performance and in the same spirit, Andrea Crews’ art director and founder, Maroussia Rebecq hosted a three-day clothing reconstruction workshop for children, which resulted in a photo-shoot within the Kusama installation. Dressed in recycled, recreated clothing Rebecq created a series of images where the children became part of the space. These workshops teach a fundamental lesson: the world is what it is; we have the power to choose what we will make of it. The reconstructed clothing is a personalized political statement of such defiance. To wear a tee-shirt as shorts is a simple and individual way to say “the world can give me anything, I have the power to choose how it effects me, I can do what I want with it”.

Andrea Crews creates a truly current art form, taking already existing realities, whether they are second hand clothing or a complete art exposition, and remodeling with joy and independence. The world is a playground with Andrea Crews, lived with splendor and exuberance.

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Athena B

Athena B spends her summers in Provence and Paris, and is currently living and working in Philadelphia, PA.


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