Blue: Sticks. Nel Aerts 2009-2011 Undisclosed Gathering
The wooden sticks were first presented at the pocket room in Antwerp in November 2009, under the title 'One with the Medicine Man'. They were placed like flat puzzle pieces on top of each, growing up the wall stabilized by leaning against each other and the wall.
After this exhibition, Nel Aerts, was invited to collaborate with students on a project. Here she gave out the sticks and the freedom for the students to work with the sticks in any way they wanted too. In the process they changed colour, size and were covered with new elements like plaster.
On 4 March 2010, as apart of the Kaoz Lilly groupshow, at Fias Cielen gallery space, Nel showed a projection of herself performing a hand gesture. The hand gesture was taken from an Italian sign language book for tourists. The gesture meant ' a secret exchange between two people to meet at later date and place' . Alongside the projection, on the opening night, Nel handed out paper bag envelopes which contained a numbered invite to a 'cluster of participants drawn collectively in an undisclosed pact, a personal incitement to participate' which would take place on the Croxhapox Gallery, Gent, on March 28.
On a second occasion, March 14 2010, the opening of the Croxhapox show, Nel handed out the remaining invites for the 'undisclosed gathering' alongside the projection. And here the sticks reappeared and were arranged in the space in small temporary groups on the floor.
A total of 300 invites where handed out.
Over the next two weeks Nel worked on the sticks in the Croxhapox space, colouring and numbering them, in preparation for the March 28 presentation, in which 300 numbered stick where placed on low lying tables. On the day, Nel stood behind the tables as the guests handed over their numbered invites, they where in return given the corresponding numbered stick in a paper numbered bag, to take home with them.
The uncollected sticks remained in storage for one year, on April 17 2011, they were presented in a book titled 'undiscolsed gathering' and the remaining sticks were arranged as musical instrument, played by Wieter Dockx, at the backspace of the Huybrechts straat.
The book archives the remaining sticks by photographic representation, a stick per page. A blank page represents the handed out sticks.
The book is available in both a black and white version or colour version on request.
The sticks now rest in their blue numbered cardboard boxes.
The sticks, projection and books where not solely done in the colour blue, but it was a dominant colour.