A word with C5 founder Patrick Carpentier

Apr 19 2019

Near the entry of Horta Gallery, the emblematic side entrance of the beautiful Gare Centrale where C12 is hidden from the world, we installed C5. A former retail glass room became a space dedicated to visual arts. Visitable on Saturday afternoons and visible during the opening hours of the Horta Gallery and the club, C5 is an art space where two artist’ worlds collide, not only with each other but as well with an unsuspecting crowd of commuters and clubbers. C5 was initiated by visual artist and curator Patrick Carpentier and assisted by Manon Ceyssel. In the light of their one year anniversary and opening of the newest exhibition by Eva Claus & Jean-Baptiste Bernadet as part of Art Brussels, we had a word with Patrick.

“99% of the artists I proposed to show work in C5 have accepted. Since the concept of our small space here is rather unique, two artworks are being presented in counterposition, one of the artists has to take the risk and confirm without knowing who the other artist will be. We never use titles for the artworks, the names of the artists are displayed with an ampersand.”

“We have done 7 exhibitions so far, every single one is one full month on display. Last week two ladies rather advanced in years passed by the gallery by accident. We started talking, they were very fascinated and showed great interest. Their enthusiasm made my day. The connection with the central station during the day and with the club during the night is an opportunity to present art to people in a soft manner. Out of five passersby one might look up and sometimes a photo is being taken. Many people tell me they are pleased the gallery is alive, after so many years being empty and cold.”

“The concept of C5 takes inspiration from ‘The Holy Theatre’, the second chapter of Peter Brooks’s radical theory ‘The Empty Space’. Sacredness for him is to make the invisible visible. By putting two artworks from two different artists in one space, something might occur. When the artists tell me ‘I can see what you wanted to do’ or when the audience perceives a meaning that isn’t tangible, than maybe I have accomplished something.”

“I graduated as an actor and scenographer and started a career in scenography for pop bands, both on stage as in video. This was back in the nineties, I was very much inspired by the concerts of Tom Waits. Later I started to make my own films and when my film ‘Combat’ was rewarded at the Berlinale Film Festival things got bigger. In 2010 I did my first solo expo and meanwhile I have had the chance to do residencies at Wiels, in Rome and this year in Vietnam, among others.”

C5: Eva Claus & Jean-Baptiste Bernadet
25 April — 01 June 2019
Open on April 25, 26 and 27 from 11am to 6pm
As part of the Art Brussels OFF Programme

Words by: Koen Galle