KOP artspace // Amerikalei 128 // 2000 Antwerp

The works of artists Mauritz Verlinden and Pierre Coric both contain a certain kind of vibrancy by compelling you to look for patterns and rhythms in the texture. By amalgating the trophies of their scavenger hunts, found technology and fine craftsmanship, the artists found a common ground for their KOPLABO. Illustrating the binary structure of a tapestry, they will create an interplay of their individual work and a collaborated piece.

Was it easy to find commonalities between your work?
Mauritz: After we met in KOPLAND, we went to each other’s studio, which happens to be in the same building.
Pierre:We both work with wires, but different types of wires, which we use in different ways. Mine are more functional, like electrical wires, to connect or carry signals or suspend mobiles. So we started with this idea that we both use threads to make a connection between two different proposals, it’s a good connection between both our works. And we both share a centre of interest, so we’re thinking of making one piece together by combining electrical wires and textile. 

How would you describe your own methodology?
Mauritz: I really need an aesthetic approach. I don’t start from an idea or concept, but just the material and the technique. I started working on a piece in May last year, which I just recently finished, I wanted to work with embroidery and started collecting materials and, with each new material, I started a new fragment. It’s a rather organic approach, just letting it grow by adding something. It almost looks like an organism. And the technique follows, as I start the learning process. I just started weaving with the materials I could find and just got inspired by walking around in the city, seeing an old shop, looking inside and buying to many stuff.
Pierre:  I do a lot of different stuff actually. Like Mauritz, I spent a lot of time studying different materials, but I started out more technical, by studying 2D animations and computer graphics. Then I did my bachelor for graphic design, but was really hating it at the end. But I also didn’t want to go back to Liège, so somehow I ended up at St. Lucas in Antwerp, where I really enjoyed the freedom of doing whatever I wanted. Collaborating with a lot of people from the academy and I often visit the Vrijdagmarkt, but for the free stuff when the market is over. Last year I made a piece with my friend Ines Ballesteros, who was on Erasmus at the in situ department. We always went to the Vrijdagmarkt together to collect stuff, but it was really getting out of control. So we had an idea to get rid of it. First we went to the market and set up a little office to make flyers and invite people to come to our event, where we would give away our stuff. So we made a big circle with all the stuff, we wanted to get rid of, at the atelier of in situ and in the middle was a smashing machine, with an axe. The work was called 5,4,3,2,1 NOBODY, and if at “nobody!” nobody took the piece, then it would get the swipe.

How do you feel about collaborations in general and in relation to your own process?
Pierre:I think it’s important. l had an issue with my teacher, because I was spending so much time at the academy and other departments. But that’s stupid, in the real world you collaborate with who ever you want and at the end of the day the work is done.
Mauritz:It’s been a long time since I did any collaboration, but I’m definitely not used to this short-term kind of project with somebody else. But it’s nice to take my mind of things, and start some fresh new things. With painting, I worked too fast. But with the tapestries, the change of medium created some distance and made me just take my time, because it really takes so much time to make it. Pierre: With my individual work, it’s really in my mind. It’s my logic, my amateur code; it’s quite hard to get into from the outside.  But when collaborating, you have to be open to other proposals and give some control away. I feel like the more you progress, the easier it gets and the more flexible you get with your own work, partially because you have to. For my books for example, I can’t bind a 600-page book myself. It was just out of my knowledge. But you can trust other people to do the thing right.
Mauritz: It’s the same with large tapestries, they also get people together to make the thing!

Pierre Coric X Mauritz Verlinden
Residency April 15 – May 8th
Opens May 10th at the KOP Art Space, Amerikalei 128.