contemporary art / history of art

Ode De Kort

Born in 1992 in Malle, Begium, Ode De Kort studied photography at the School of Arts in Ghent and graduated in 2015 with an MA. Already during her studies, she started to participate in national and international group exhibitions and had her first solo show in 2014 in Brussels. Since then, her works were on view in Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Her last intervention in 2020 was her installation and performance during the Riga Photography Biennial in the group exhibition “On Photographic Beings” at the Latvian National Museum of Art. An installation with movement is planned for June 2021 at the de Warande house of culture in Turnhout, Belgium. Here she will perform with several people in two spaces, including a theatre hall.

Coming from photography, Ode expanded early her repertoire of artistic means. First, the photos left their two dimensionality and became sculpture and installation. Then performance added also movement to her works. By the time, the circle and with this the letter “O” became referential in her works. Besides being one of the most anthropomorphic letters of the Latin alphabet, there is also the autobiographical aspect, since there are two O’s in the artist’s name as the curator Chris Sharp remarked. Besides installations of O’s in space, the letter became protagonist in performances. Moreover, the artist acted with the O and engaged a dialogue with it and the space around them.

Before long, the O got a counterpart, the “U”. They meet as rubber circles and bands and function as body and alike as graphic character. In installations, they were accompanied by other letters and punctuation marks, especially the comma sign and the apostrophe. In 2019, Ode created the artist book “OOUU”, with 513 O’s and 414 U’s, which was published by het balanseer with a design by Ruud Ruttens.

During the artist’s interventions, her legs and feet became a supporting actor for example in the performance “Walk with U”. Hence, the idea to integrate shoes in her work. Obvious were black rubber boots, since they are of the same material as the black rubber circles and bands, base for the O’s and U’s. Moreover, the Wellingtons can also be seen as the letters “L” and “J”. So they became protagonists of Ode’s photo series “F’OOT N’OTES (A Rehearsal)”, a preparation for a future performance. “F’OOT N’OTES (A Rehearsal) #5” is our artwork of the month / January 2021.

Ode lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.

Artwork of the Month / January 2021