Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys

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Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys
Die Schmutzigen Puppen Von Pommern

Part document, part photographic album, this book by artist duo Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys captures the sculptural revisionings of the descendants of an executioner family from Greifswald in Pomerania, a historical region on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. The “dirty puppets” are weary, the clothing worn in by history, their story line deadpan and fable-like. In the twelfth century, the family amassed a fortune through the management and maintenance of the gallow fields; their influence also extended to the judiciary and its decision making. After three generations in power, the empire suddenly and inexplicably collapsed. It was said that the frenzy of executions was the reason for the downfall. The family descendents left to roam Pomerania, relegated to a fate of taunt and mockery.
Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys’s images form an allegory for human behavior under social and psychological pressure, and expose, not without humor, the bankruptcy of humanity.

Copublished with The Power Station, Dallas, on occasion of the eponymous exhibition, April 8−June 12, 2015.

Edition of 1000 copies.

Design by Boy Vereecken and Harald Thys

The Power Station is a not-for-profit contemporary art space in Exposition Park, Dallas, Texas, founded by Janelle and Alden Pinnell in 2011. It is housed in a former Dallas Power & Light building which was constructed in 1920, and hosts large scale exhibitions which compliment the building’s raw architecture. For each of its international exhibitions, The Power Station works with the artists to produce a publication in conjunction with their project, limited to 1000 copies. Its programming also includes a summer exhibition and additional events each year. The building includes an apartment where artists can live as they create and build their installations. The first exhibitor was American artist Oscar Tuazon.

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Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys - Die Schmutzigen Puppen Von Pommern
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Puddle, Pothole, Portal
Ruba Katrib (Ed.)

Thinking through early twentieth-century cartoons, the kaleidoscopic drawings of Saul Steinberg, the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and other children’s entertainment, Puddle, Pothole, Portal explores the coexistence of disparate elements within shared spaces. Contributing artists are Olga Balema, Camille Blatrix, Teresa Burga, Antoine Catala, Abigail DeVille, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Allison Katz, Mark Leckey, Maria Loboda, Win McCarthy, Danny McDonald, Marlie Mul, Mick Peter, Chadwick Rantanen, Lucie Stahl, Saul Steinberg, and Keiichi Tanaami.

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Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys
Objects as Friends


“Objects as Friends” – the collaborative work of Belgian artists Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys – consists of some 300 digital photographs of identical proportions depicting seemingly random, brightly lit assemblies of cheap, battered objects shot against a recurring gray background and standing or lying on a dust-stained floor. A tire, a stool, a rubber boot, a dismembered umbrella; many things appear broken, picked up from the street, or bought in one of those one-euro shops whose garish interior lighting is so successfully duplicated in these bleak, underwhelming stilllives. “Objects as Friends” – the collaborative work of Belgian artists Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys – consists of some 300 digital photographs of identical proportions depicting seemingly random, brightly lit assemblies of cheap, battered objects shot against a recurring gray background and standing or lying on a dust-stained floor. A tire, a stool, a rubber boot, a dismembered umbrella; many things appear broken, picked up from the street, or bought in one of those one-euro shops whose garish interior lighting is so successfully duplicated in these bleak, underwhelming stilllives.

Co-published with Culurgest, Lisabon, kestnergesellschaft, Hanover and Mu.ZEE Ostend

NOTE: Due to the weight of this volume, your order will likely incur additional postage costs.  We will contact you with the best shipping advice upon your order, or alternatively, please email us in advance.  Thank you for understanding.

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Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys
Optimundus - M HKA 08 02 13 - 19 05 13


Edited by Nav Haq
With texts by Nav Haq, Jennifer Krasinski, Dieter Roelstraete, Michael Van den Abeele, Peter Wächtler

Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys’s art casts a merciless perspective on reality. Through their numerous artistic approaches—including installations, video, drawing, sculpture, performance, and photographs—the artist duo visualize their imaginings of the parallel world inherent within the modern human psyche, along with how it manifests itself in the everyday aspects of life and civic conformity. Everything from work, leisure, and family, to social class, masculinity, and marginalization are envisaged through convening an unlikely cast of nonprofessional actors, family members, friends, beards, objects, and mannequins alike, often in banal, homespun settings rife with awkward power dynamics.

This book accompanies their major exhibition at M HKA of the same title—the term they use for their particular conception of the parallel world. Narratives and criticism by Michael Van den Abeele, Nav Haq, Jennifer Krasinksi, Dieter Roelstraete, and artist Peter Wächtler are presented along with photos, drawings, and text illustrating the unsteady barriers and tense contact between “Optimundus” and the real world.

Copublished with M HKA and Kunsthalle Wien

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