press release

When does animation become art? What remains of animation when it leaves the cinema or TV screen, and manifests itself in other spaces? The exhibition El Hotel Eléctrico – Rooms Available sets out in search of the many expressions of the phenomenon of ‘animation’ in a broader sense, starting with the medium in its earliest forms, at the time when this artistic practice was not yet constrained by the conventions and clichés of the film industry.

When animation leaves the confined frame of the movie screen and pops up in a museum, it no longer offers the visitor a purely visual experience, but rather creates a space in which exploration is encouraged. El Hotel Eléctrico was conceived as a visual essay, a space-related experience. Animation here is understood as entering a force field: the manipulation of images and objects in 'staged' museum rooms, the bridging of intervals.

In El Hotel Eléctrico, visitors step into another time and space. For much like a hotel, a museum is a place where every visitor is but a temporary guest. The tension between public and private, between neutral interiors and personalized objects, between waking and sleeping, and between working and dreaming creates playful contrasts in every single 'room' of El Hotel Eléctrico.

El Hotel Eléctrico presents an alternatingly merry and macabre, monochromatic and brightly coloured, magical and mysterious framework for works by Robert Breer, David Claerbout, Robert Devriendt, Léon Foucault, Sara van der Heide, Pierre Huyghe, Katrin Kamrau, Julien Maire, Anthony McCall, Lars Morell, Matt Mullican, Philip Newcombe, Honoré d’O, Roman Ondák, Cornelia Parker, Philippe Parreno, Bart Prinsen, The Quay Brothers, Yann Sérandour, Tommy Simoens, Michael Snow, Clare Strand, Javier Téllez, Luc Tuymans.