Ode de Kort
curated by
Giovanni Rendina
Otricoli (TR), Umbria

() is a kinetic sculpture. It is mainly composed of two metal brackets that, moved by the wind, frame the surrounding landscape and sky in a circular motion, sometimes more uncertain and other times more regular. The sculpture invites us to reflect on the meaning of alphabetical signs and how it can vary among an infinite number of possible interpretations. The viewer, in fact, facing this work - which is a further proliferation of these signs outside their canonical context, namely text - can contemplate what they represent. They can be considered for their form, as if they were a sculpture. They can also refer to something else, as signs often do. For example, they can refer to the action of putting something in parentheses, which, if you will, is what happens to the sky and landscape in this case. These objects can also become insignificant if not filled by the gaze of the observer. Sitting on a comma, the viewer can take a pause and breathe in an intermediate space. A space to simply be, to feel the wind, and let thoughts and gaze blend together.
De Kort shows us how these grammatical objects can come to life and escape from pre-established meanings, proliferating elsewhere, always the same, but potentially always different. The title itself, for example, is another interstitial “place” flooded by these strange objects that can live in space, on paper, but above all in the mind of the viewer. The latter, in particular, is the one who can ultimately decide whether to play with their meaning or not. In this escape of signs - brackets and commas, precisely because of their suspensive character, seem to be the most predisposed to evade the grammatical regime that restrains them, showing their alphabet companions that they too can rebel against their semiotic chains.

Ode de Kort, (), 2024. Three elements, mixed material, variable dimensions.
Via della Valle 43, Otricoli

Technical partner: ONIRICO

() moves in circles, looping around what we know and don't know. () marks a space, an opening, a viewpoint. It points towards something, and at the same time it shows us something that isn’t there, an empty space, a void, something to be filled in or left open?

Ode De Kort (Malle, Belgium, 1992) lives and works in Antwerp. She studied Photography at the KASK School of Arts in Ghent and in 2021, she earned a PhD in Art from UHasselt University and PXL-MAD School of Arts in Belgium. Her practice is a poetic and performative exercise that explores the interactions between body and language. A constant in her work is a sort of obsession with specific signs or figures, such as the letter ‘O’ or a rubber boot. By questioning how these objects/signals can communicate or be interpreted, she develops various vocabularies in which repetition plays a fundamental role, oscillating between meaning and noise. This ‘speaking’ manifests through a variety of media including installations, performances, texts, sounds, photographs, and videos. Her practice results in multiple iterations of the same elements, repeated and reworked in different contexts. Through scaling games and repetitions, De Kort explores rhythms and interstitial spaces that enhance our ability to explore and rediscover. She has presented her work in various international institutions including Kunsthal Aarhus (DK, 2024); Les Ateliers Claus, Saint-Gilles (BE, 2023); Argos Center for Audiovisual Arts, Brussels (BE, 2022); Riga Photography Biennial, Latvian National Museum of Art Riga (LV, 2020); De Warande, Turnhout (BE, 2020); De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL, 2019); Kunstvereniging, Diepenheim (NL, 2017); CAB Contemporary, Brussels (BE, 2016); Dolomiti Contemporanee, Casso (IT, 2017); SpazioA, Pistoia (IT, 2017); FOMU, Antwerp (BE, 2015).


Otricoli (TR)

The village of Otricoli, in the province of Terni, is located on the top of the hill that overlooks the archaeological area where the ancient Roman city of Ocriculum once stood, a dominating position over a long stretch of the Tiber valley that gives the urban settlement the appearance of a stronghold, from which its name is derived.
Inside its early medieval walls, today's historic centre preserves buildings and monuments from periods that are sometimes a long way apart, ranging from the Middle Ages right through to the 20th century: highlights include Palazzo Priorale, which now houses the Antiquarium Comunale (Municipal Antiquarium), and the Collegiate Church dedicated to S. Maria Assunta (St. Mary of the Assumption), an interesting example of a pre-Romanesque place of worship dating back to the 7th century, with decorative materials from the Roman and medieval periods. In modern times, the historical centre continued to expand with buildings of considerable artistic and architectural value, such as the Oratorio di San Giuseppe da Leonessa (Oratory of St. Joseph of Leonessa), the Church of San Salvatore and the Squarti-Perla house, with its exceptional door built entirely from ancient fragments. Of the city of Ocriculum, the monuments of the ancient Roman settlement are still clearly visible, such as the defloro and basilica area, the theatre, the baths and the archaic necropolis.

Thanks to: Mayor Antonio Liberati, Association of Mutuo Soccorso Bas Temmermans, Boris Van den Eynden, Municipality of Otricoli, Councillor Maurizio Moschella, Emanuele Luison, Giuseppe Alleruzzo, Lieven Van Speybroeck, Lorenzo Musto, Maika Garnica, Luca Finistauri, Mattia Pajè, Mieke Dries, Peter de Kort, Pro Loco of Poggio and Otricoli, Sefin s.r.l., Teo Mordenti, Vincenzo Rendina.