Etienne Kawczak-Wirz | Désolation Verte

Curated by Grande Surface in collaboration with Cunst-link

5 – 18 September 2019

Opening & Performance : Thursday 5th September – 17:00 – 22:00

Performer : Ady Elzam

“I picture imaginary places that act also as spaces of projection for the viewer. They are my warehouses in which I gather my depictions of contradictions, aporias, and human nightmares. I extrapolate from reality, locations, faces, and situations that seem to carry the marks of human inconvenience. I try to translate them into a singular representation, through painting, 3D animation and music. I specifically explore the mechanisms of imagination: dreams, oblivion, absence and how these mechanisms develop a poetic of concerns, not as a state of stagnation, but as a movements trigger: movements which encompass aesthetic and poetic form and different temporalities. Thus, my work appears as a partial mirror of human incertitude.

The association between the two words « green » and « desolation », that act as a concept in my work, appeared after a long period of reflection in which I explored and questioned the possibility of “collapsing”. It seems to me that this idea, that dazes some of us and fascinates others, even if it is more and more anchored in our minds, still has the capacity to gather our concerns towards the world. Of course, human history has been marked by fluctuations where this fear of collapsing has risen and fell. 

Today, I dare to claim that we live in a historical moment where this possibility of collapsing has been felt again and confirmed through several domains. 

My aim is not to exercise any judgement, nor confirm any theory on “collapsology”. Through my work and research I attempt rather to visually shape this feeling produced also from human isolation, to witness the ambiance, the impression and sometimes the vertigo which this fear provokes.  

“Green Desolation” gathers several works which, through multidisciplinary fragmentations, build a fictional world settled in a parallel time. It includes a 3D-animation film featuring a world predominantly green, evoking an abundant vegetation that has disappeared for unknown reasons and has been replaced by concrete. A few quasi-motionless figures inhabit the space, some seem to vegetate, others are busy with various esoteric activities. At the time of Jérôme Bosch, who has been a constant influence on me, this imaginary world could have been seen as a depiction of Christian Hell.  

In 2019, nowadays I prefer the word « desolation », purged from any religious overtone. » 

Étienne Kawczak-Wirz

“Green Desolation” is also a double-album of ambient music that has been released this year by the Brussels-based label “Olive Noire”, and which becomes a sound extension to the film. 

In addition to the film project and the presentation of the musical diptych, a performance by Ady Elzam will take place during the opening. The dancer, as an escaped character from the film, will attempt to embody the contradiction between physical and virtual reality. 

Étienne Kawczak-Wirz

He is a French artist born in 1992, Etienne Kawzack-Wirz studied art in the South of France and owns a diploma from the Institut Supérieur des Arts, Toulouse (2016).

Lives and works in Brussels.

Ady Elzam 

He is a dancer, teacher and choreographer, with a deep technical background in contemporary dance, improvisation and performance. He trained at the modern dance academy in Haifa and continued to dance in Vertigo Dance Company and DeDe Dance. Over the years he worked with many different choreographers such as; Ofra Idel, Elad Shecter, Matan Levkowich, Yuval Goldshtain, Sharona Floreshaim, Dafi Altabeb, to name a few.

Born in Israel, lives and works in Brussels.


Grande Surface is an exhibition-oriented project created by ten artists. The previous space was in Brussels (188, rue Théodore Verhaegen) and continues to live in a nomadic spirit.

Grande Surface is a multidisciplinary and multiform project of artistic collaborations and experiments.


Cunst-link is an exhibition space located in Saint-Gilles and related to the platform Artist Commons. Its vocation is to organize the encounter between the local public and the visual and performative work of artists working internationally and/or based in Brussels and in Belgium.

The exhibition is part of Brussels Gallery Weekend 2019 OFF Program

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