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Jan Hoet

Born, 1936 in Leuven, Belgium

A quote by Jan Hoet - “Good art does not provide answers, it poses questions.” opened Veerle Poupeye’s 1999 essay Redefining Jamaican Art that appeared in Jamaica Journal, 26/3, pp. 37 - 47.

Hoet was the director of Documenta IX, the five yearly interlinked series of exhibitions that took place in Kassel, Germany, the IXth being in 1992.  Frieze magazine , Issue 6, September - October 1992, carried a lengthy feature on Documenta IX, written by Stuart Morgan (Body Language, Documenta IX: Three Perspectives). In the text, Morgan referred to the absence of artists from Africa. “… They might also think him [Jan Hoet, the Belgium curator of Documenta IX] Euro-centric. After a month in Africa, he found nothing he thought worth including. In his own words, he met artists who operate in complete isolation. ‘For these people there is no gallery or museum-world, there is no correct context for their art. From an anthropological view that is very interesting to us… Art today always has to do with criticism and conflict - yet neither exists in Africa. In Europe the artist is always a critics… In Africa and also in India… art is totally isolated.” The quote (which appears here exactly as Morgan had edited it) was followed by Morgan’s musings on the credibility of Joet’s view.

Jan Hoet and Ann Demeester contributed a text, Beyond Wounds and Scars. the Multiple Worlds of Ingrid Mwangi to the monograph Ingrid Mwangi | Your Own Soul, published by German art publisher Kehrer Verlag, in 2003. From the back cover: “Ingrid Mwangi is an artist of biracial heritage, whose videos, installations, performances and photoworks incessantly explore her blackness. Having spent the first fifteen years of her life in Kenya where she was born, she moved to Germany where she still lives and works.

Her dual belonging is not only a symbolic matter for her. It is physical. It runs through her veins and is inscribed in her body. That richness, derived from the concurrence of here and there, has generated in her a fragility of sorts, a prism through which she attempts to view herself and the world.” Simon Njami

Various stipends and prizes… as well as the participation in numerous group shows and solo exhibitions in Europe and America confirm Ingrid Mwangi’s artistic concepts and choice of explosive topics.”

The publication, with German and English text, is extensively illustrated with the artist’s work. Contents as follows:

Foreword / Bernd Schulz and Lisa Puyplat

Neger - Don’t Call Me / Coloured / Down by the River / To Be in the World / Your Own Soul / Wild at Heart / Static Drift | Selected Works and Texts by Ingrid Mwangi

Art is the Message / Horst Gerhard Haberi

Beyond Wounds and Scars: the Multiple Worlds of Ingrid Mwangi, Jan Hoet and Ann Demeester

The Other State in the Sense of Reinterpretation or ‘The River of Thought Takes the Form of Skin?’ / Gislind Nabakowski


Prizes / Stipends / Awards

List of Exhibitions

List of Illustrations


Related items

click to show details of Ingrid Mwangi | Your Own Soul

»  Ingrid Mwangi | Your Own Soul

Catalogue relating to an individual, 2003