Denicolai & Provoost
Twinned Windows (PRESTIGE)
Five photographs in a black velvet lined “UM – Prestige” matchbox
Box: 11 × 6.3 x 2 cm
Photographs: 8.8 x 5.5 cm
Edition of twenty-five copies signed and numbered by the artists and four artist’s proofs
Related editions: Twinned Windows (Disco Ball), Twinned Windows (Dragon), Twinned Windows (Dog), Twinned Windows (Butterfly).
The Twinned Windows editions stems from Eyeliner, an ambitious and emblematic work that Denicolai & Provoost created in 2017 for the Belgian Art Prize. Eyeliner consisted of a series of objects found on the windowsills of homes in Brussels that the artists noticed during their walks around the city. With the owners’ consent, the objects were shown at the Centre for Fine Arts during the exhibition, accompanied by a booklet featuring, for each item, a drawing, an address, and a text detailing the relationship to its owner. In the meantime, a poster was affixed to the owners’ windows, explaining to passersby why the objects had disappeared. After the show, the loaned objects were returned to their permanent locations, and people could then use Denicolai & Provoost’s guide to visit the “original exhibition” in the capital.
On the occasion of their retrospective show at the SMAK in the spring of 2021, the artist duo applied the same protocol to the streets of Ghent. It was during their walks in the Flemish city that Denicolai & Provoost took the photographs that constitute Twinned Windows.
Obviously, these images have the appealing documentary quality that comes from the scouting circumstances of their taking; however, they defuse any attempt of sociological analysis. The two dragons, the kissing couple, the dog, the butterfly, the spider, the mirror ball, the two roses and the fantasy beach (as a bonus in the “Prestige” edition) would rather suggest some sort of mythological reading. These elements are close to us, they seem oddly familiar. The framing and the composition of the image abolish the distance between the viewers and the objects, between the artists and the object’s owners.
The title may refer to the fact that Kanazawa and Ghent are “twin towns” (or “sister cities”), but on a deeper level, it points out the connection between the two modes of display. Belgian windowsills and Japanese keijiban are both devices at the intersection of public sphere and private expression. They are spaces—often overlooked—where everyday creativity and self-expression takes place.
Denicolai & Provoost's exhibition took place at Keijiban from July 15 to August 14, 2021.