10 FEBRUARY- 30 APRIL 2023
Born in Etterbeek (Belgium) in 1986, Nel-14512 is a Belgian symbolist-surrealist artist. Centred around sculpture, her body of work is born out of the blending of a figurative style tainted by pop art with the semantic deconstruction of language.
The oeuvre of Nel-14512 is recognizable yet alienating, filled with absurd humour while also deadly serious, personally intimate, and simultaneously activist. Though her series of desacralized objects of devotion, she questions notions of identity, sexuality, and existentialism. Her more recent series of self-portraits decomposes artistic concepts of beauty and relativity while playfully revisiting the history of art.
In 2023, the artist is launching an activist artistic campaign engaging local and international crowds in global environmental responsibility, her Global Warning project acting as a beacon of accountability between communities and their governance.
For her third exhibition with Kloser Contemporary Art, Nel-14512 returns with a monumental sculpture which captures her core concern as an artist, the emergency of climate change.
The artist’s three and half meter pink melting brain shaped in the surreal form of an ice cream is meant to serve as a beacon of accountability in a fast-deteriorating global climate situation; one where decades of thinkers and actors have failed to turn the ship around, she claims. Global Warning (2023) can indeed be used by collectors, corporations, communities, and government to communicate their climate goals, placing their global warming mitigation objectives at the forefront of an artistic debate with all stakeholders. Via a QR code which can be placed at the basis of the melting ice cream, local businesses can engage their communities in thinking about the ever more urgent need to find sustainable solutions to rising global temperatures. As her work clearly states, Nel-14512 is telling us once more that the time to act is yesterday.
Available in three different colours, Global Warning was designed in flashy hues to naturally attract people, to bring them closer, so they may take a good look. The work uses media and techniques which the artist has been championing and bettering for several years, and it follows the same pop-surrealist style that made Nel-14512’s work so immediately recognizable. Deeply rooted in a rich history of Belgian surrealism empowered by the absurdities of Magritte and freed by the unexpectedness of Broodthaers, Nel-14512’s multimedia approach to sculpture follows her intimate instincts of feminism, humanism, and environmentalism.
In Do You See Me Now?, her last show with the gallery, the artist presented and ensemble of self-portraits challenging notions of identity and belief by representing artistic concept dealing with time, education, and imagination. This show is different. It circles around a single work: Global Warning. The artists wants the focus on the issue at hand, and not spread over multiple artistic investigations. On top of the three colour editions of the sculpture designed for indoors and outdoors, Nel-14512 will also be presenting and ensemble of studies which allowed her to conceive and contextualize her creation.
To unveil Global Warning, Nel-14512 was invited to participate in the inaugural edition of the Brussels Sculpture Festival SCULPTURA #1, which will open its doors at La Gare Maritime in the Tours & Taxis complex, centre of Brussels. This is the first nomad collaboration between Kloser Contemporary Art and SCULPTURA, and we take this opportunity to thank Åke Verstraelen and his team for the invitation. This event will be the biggest celebration of its kind in Belgium and put together a thought-challenging ensemble of international artists, among which Arne Quinze and Koen Van Mechelen.
This first appearance of Global Warning is very much to the point for the artist's intent, who imagined it for the public space. Urban art plays a democratic role of public empowerment, any observer being free to stop for a second and take interest, share, debate, and eventually act. Every small action will be necessary if we are to turn around about two centuries of carbonized industrial mindset. It is a daunting task. One that we must approach as a journey, together. There will be obstacles along the way, but the objective is clear. The preservation of welfare and peace, the confirmation of our place on earth.
Nel-14512, SCULPTURA and Kloser Contemporary Art all hope this pink beacon will help communities engage with each other, that it may travel to the next COP, find a place in our parliaments, or appear in a forest near you. The time was now.