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"Art is Burning"

- Until 09.07.22

TICK TACK cordially invites you to ART IS BURNING, a solo exhibition by Liliane Vertessen (1952, BE).

The work of Liliane Vertessen, now spanning over 5 decades, consists of analogue photography assembled into neon installations and sculptures. Vertessen creates erotic mise-en-scenes in which she depicts various female stereotypes, balancing between exhibitionism and kitsch-like make-belief. Her own body forms the central figure in erotic self-portraits that both celebrate and question its subject matter.

Liliane Vertessen previously exhibited, among others, at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle (1983); PCBK, Hasselt (duo show with Cindy Sherman, 1987); S.M.A.K., Ghent (1989); Museum Fridericianum, Kassel (1989); M HKA (1992) and Mu.ZEE (1996).

At TICK TACK, Vertessen will debut new in-situ works in dialogue with older unseen works.

For CINEMA TICK TACK Vertessen will screen a new retrospective moving image work, showcasing a selection of images from her vast archive from 1970 to the present.


Liliane Vertessen’s career took off in the mid 70’s when she, as one of the first Belgian artists, started using her own body as an artistic medium. Vertessen pictures herself in decor-like private happenings while playing with a range of female stereotypical roles: temptress, femme fatale, whore, innocent girl, queen, mademoiselle. These images balance exhibitionism and kitsch-like make-belief, both celebrating and criticizing its subject matter. The analogue photographs are then reworked with colors and various objects (stickers, textile, eccentric frames, neon lights,...) into assemblages with a nod to pin-up imagery.

Later in her career, Vertessen created large-scale sculptures, blow-ups of kitsch objects and figures that often appear in her photographs. With these multiple tracks of artistic creation around the cliché ‘Woman’ figure, Vertessen shields her own identity from the outside world.

Vertessen’s works often caused commotion. In 1981, one of her exhibitions was labeled as ‘unfit’ by the then mayor of Turnhout (BE). In the same decade, she opened a duo-exhibition at PCBK Hasselt (BE) together with Cindy Sherman, the American superstar photographer.

Ten years after her last institutional soloshow (CC Hasselt), TICK TACK opens up its three-floor exhibition space (a design from 1955 by Léon Stynen) and gives Vertessen a production budget, bringing together older unseen key works (since 1974) and new recent works. For this special occasion, Vertessen will present her first video piece on CINEMA TICK TACK, a retrospective work with a selection of images and music from Vertessen’s personal archive spanning more than five decades.

Liliane Vertessen (1952, Leopoldsburg) lives and works in Heusden Zolder. Past exhibitions include Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle (1983); PCBK, Hasselt (duo show with Cindy Sherman, 1987); S.M.A.K., Ghent (1989); Museum Fridericianum, Kassel (1989); M HKA, Antwerp (1992) and Mu.ZEE, Ostend (1996), Musée de la Fotographie, Charleroi (2018)




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Contemporary Art Belgium is a platform dedicated to provide a selection of current contemporary art exhibitions in Belgium. It was created to turn a spotlight on the large and very dynamic Belgian contemporary art scene as well as to connect people and start dialogues.

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