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De overwinning van de mens op de dingen. Over sport

With works by Aline Bouvy, Denicolai & Provoost, Harun Farocki, Meschac Gaba, Ingeborg Lüscher, Sandrine Morgante, Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Shervin/e Sheikh Rezaei, Amber Vanluffelen, Jivan van der Ende, Benjamin Verhoeven, Gert Verhoeven and Ken Verhoeven

13.05.2023 – 24.06.2023

What need have these men to attack? Why are men disturbed by this spectacle? Why do they commit themselves to it so completely? Why this useless combat? What is sport? What is it then that men put into sports? Themselves, their human universe. Sport is made in order to speak the human contract.
—Roland Barthes, What is Sport?

Sport is a rewarding metaphor for the human condition, for political power structures, social relations, the art world . . . Does sport express the “superiority” of humans over the resistance of things (nature, animals, gravity, time . . .)? Doesn’t the pursuit of victory over things lead to an objectification—the “becoming thing”—of humans themselves? And what is the toll of that struggle on humans and the body? In today’s social climate, in the Anthropocene, where there is a certain shame about that victory over things, is there still room for humanity’s victory over things? These reflections form the playing field for the group exhibition.

[1] The title of the exhibit—De overwinning van de mens op de dingen. Over sport [The Victory of Humans over Things: On Sport]—is borrowed from Roland Barthes’s 1961 essay “Qu’est-ce que le sport?” from 1961.

Graphic design by Maarten Enghien

Exhibition text/cartoon by Louemans

Pictures by Fabien Silvestre Suzor

Action by Ken Verhoeven and performance by Jivan van der Ende

Friday 09.06.2023

Lichtekooi hosted an action and performance by Ken Verhoeven and Jivan van der Ende in addition to their work in the current expo during Borger Nocturnes. 

Ken Verhoeven
Off-piste, 2023

Verhoeven created a new work for 'De overwinning van de mens op de dingen. Over sport'. In Hors-piste, Verhoeven draws an analogy between the mechanical movements and patterns of a sewing machine and the act and “art” of skiing. One of the references for the work therefore concerns the book 'Méthode français de ski technique' Emile Allais, a handbook that illustrates various skiing techniques and bodily positions in an almost mechanical way by means of technical illustrations. The work also evokes the urge of skiers to leave their mark in the untouched snow, even though the mark may disappear by the next day.

Jivan van der Ende
Muscular Growth (and me), 2023

For 'De overwinning van de mens op de dingen. Over sport', van der Ende created new work that further builds on the ongoing project Muscular Growth (and me), based on personal studies on the topic of the extreme muscular body within patriarchal society. During her residency at Museum M Leuven during the summer of 2021, she began collaborating with bodybuilders to create a dialogue between them and her queer self, both practices and identities. Since December 2022, she has been discussing her subjects and working with Jurgen Van Wesemael, Belgium’s national bodybuilding champion.

Jivan van der Ende: Muscular Growth (and me), 2023 (Pictures by Ria Pacquée and Pepa De Maesschalck)

Ken Verhoeven: Off-piste, 2023 (Pictures by Ria Pacquée)

Lichtekooi Sportdag - during finissage

Saturday 24.06.2023

During the finnisage of the exhibition “De overwinning [van de mens] op de dingen. Over sport”, Lichtekooi organised "Lichtekooi Sportdag", a day full of sports and lectures.


~ 14:00 Doors and bar at Lichtekooi

~ 14:30 Lecture by Stella Lohaus on "Die Angst desTormanns beim Elfmeter" by Peter Handke + excerpts. (NL, DE) A table football tournament took place during the reading.

~ 15:30 Lecture Koen Brams: “LIDL versus A379089 - over sport en kunst, autonomie en engagement.” (NL)

~ 17:00 Dinner at Lichtekooi
With an arm-wrestling competition during dinner.

~ 18:00 Move from Lichtekooi to basketball court on Gedempte Zuiderdokken
(Address: near Vlaamse Kaai no. 80-90)

~ 19:00 Lecture Zeyneb Kubat: "Inspirational Basketball Quotes for Artists" (EN, NL)
A basketball tournament took place during the lecture.
(Address: gedempte Zuiderdokken near Vlaamse Kaai nr. 80-90).

~ Afterwards 20:30: Petanque at KMSKA
(Address: next to the museum at the Beeldhouwersstraat side).
Pastis was drunk during the game!

Pictures by Ria Pacquée


Contributors Exhibition:
Exhibition curated by: Vedran Kopljar, Nadia Bijl, Pepa De Maesschalck,
Scenography: Kris Cuylits
Graphic design: Maarten Enghien
Production team: Kris Cuylits, Elias Cafmeyer
Exhibition text/cartoon: Louemans
Editing and translations: Trevor Perri, Janne Van Beek
Catering: Tom Van Camp
Documentation: Ria Pacquée, Fabien Silvestre Suzor

Contributors Lichtekooi Sportdag:
Concept and organisation: Vedran Kopljar, Kris Cuylits, Pepa De Maesschalck and Nadia Bijl
MC /arbitrator: Gwen De Groote and Ian De Weerdt
Stand/scenography: Kris Cuylits
All-around: Ines Collin, Femke Florus, Paulina Kaval
Documentation: Ria Pacquée
Graphic design: Maarten Enghien
Medals: Alix Manon
Costumes: Sietske Van Aerde
Catering: Ulrike Lindmayr and Stijn ter Braak

Many thanks to: All participating artists, Dorian Baetens, Marie-Sophie Beinke, Lerato Bereng, Leen Bosch, Tijmen Bruyndonckx, Elias Cafmeyer, Inès Collin, Kris Cuylits, Bram Denkens, Sam De Wilde, Antje Ehmann, Maarten Enghien, Femke Florus, Lukas Geerens, Glenn Geerinck, Onno Hesselink, Aarich Jespers, Paulina Kaval, Ulrike Lindmayr, Louemans, Ria Pacquée, Trevor Perri, Zuzanna Rachowska, Fabien Silvestre Suzor, Vincent Stroep, Ria Tubbax, Janne Van Beek, Tom Van Camp, Marianne Van Tilborg, Tom Volkaert, Joanna Yassine, Museum M, MuKHA, Extra City Kunsthal, De Warande, Stevenson Gallery, Lumen Travo, Harun Farocki Institut and videocompany.ch and others!

With the support of the Flemish Government and
the Ambassade van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in België.