Moi non (C'est toi qui as changé), 2008 by Gerald Van der Kaap
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An open house for contemporary art (Moi Non)

C’est toi qui as changé – 1 –

Every now and then, this photographic work by artist Gerald van der Kaap comes to mind while writing an article or thinking about a lecture. Sometimes functioning as a point of departure, the work is a preliminary visualization of an idea, argument, or process concerning the engagement with contemporary art.

You can read: “C’est toi qui as changé,” which means “It is you who has changed” on the piece itself. The film Le Mepris (1963), Contempt in English, by Jean-Luc Godard and the song Je t’aime… moi non plus (1969), French for “I love you… me neither,” by Serge Gainsbourg, are the basis of this artwork’s inspiration.

Titled Moi non (Me not), the work was originally created for building the new FRAC Nord Pas de Calais in Dunkirk, France*. The artist chose to collaborate with various local partners–a college, a vocational school, and the community of Dunkirk–to refine the project’s concept, which was seeking a better understanding between the identity of the area, the building and its future function. In a way, the work of Van der Kaap says that FRAC’s new building will be an open house for contemporary art. Obviously, it also suggests, that we, when confronted with art, will change.

* From 2009 – 2012, I was involved with the FRAC NPDC.
** (2008) The work was commissioned by Hilde Teerlinck, the director of the FRAC NPDC at that time, and is part of the H+F Collection.

This blog post is the first of the series C’est toi qui as changé dedicated to the topic of change—and subsequently, how art allows us to learn, to teach, to think, and ultimately, to improve ourselves.

Image: Gerald van der Kaap – Moi non (2008). Presented at De Timmerfabriek, Maastricht, exhibition Out of Storage. Taken by Belinda Hak.

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