Mar 14 - Sep 01, 2024
Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28
3000, Leuven
Sharing a theme on the conflation of fiction and reality.


Curated by
Valerie Verhack
Projects Shown

M presents ‘Alias’, a large research exhibition on a growing phenomenon in recent art history: fictional artists. The exhibition brings together some 80 artworks from national and international public and private collections in an unprecedented display. It will span five galleries. Piece by piece, the works illustrate the strategies contemporary artists use to conflate fiction and reality, and how they confound our perception of the truth.

In today’s world of artificial intelligence, fake news, and deepfake videos, distinguishing between reality and fiction has become more pressing than ever before. But instead of strictly delineating between illusion and facts, some artists allow both to coexist by embodying fictional alter egos. They craft artistic personas complete with their own biographies and present their fiction as if it were fact.

In ‘Alias,’ works of artists who operate under one or more alter egos are brought together. By adopting a different identity, artists can break free from gender or cultural issues, the rules of the art world, and the capitalist system that turns names into brands. Every fictional artist has a unique context that defines their work. This context plays a crucial role in determining the utilisation and rationale behind their fiction. What strategies lie behind fictional artists? Do they develop on the level of the artist themselves? Do they touch upon the art world or emerge as a reaction to society?

'Alias' brings together the following artists: Eleanora Antinova / Jakup Auce / Mary Aurory / Bernadette Corporation / Vern Blosum / Deborah Bowmann / Roberta Breitmore / The Bruce High Quality Foundation / Yoon-Ja Choi & Paul Devautour / Henry Codax / John Doe Company / John Dogg / Aston Ernest / Emily Feather / Claire Fontaine / Lucie Fontaine / Justine Frank / Irwin Green / Florence Hasard / janez janša janez janša janez janša / Jim Jilborn / Alfred Johansen / Leo Josefstein / Darko Maver / Brian O’Doherty / N.V. Panneel / Oksana Pasaiko / Puppies Puppies / Charles Rosenthal / Herman Smit / Reena Spaulings / Santo Sterne / Ernest T. / Philippe Thomas / Suha Traboulsi / Hubert Van Es / Storm van Helsing / Various Artists / Hennessy Youngman

To mark the exhibition, M and Walther Koenig Verlag are collaborating on a book that will be published with the support of the Fondation Fernand Willame. 
Curator: Valerie Verhack
Scenography: Deborah Bowmann