Ada Van Hoorebeke´s practice investigates and expands crafts related techniques such as ceramics, and batik that are based on natural dye. Over the last sixteen years Van Hoorebeke has researched painting with wax and ways to produce her own dyes with natural waste materials. Searching for inclusive ways to tell a story, her installations show a staged working process unified with its resulting objects. Through sessions of textile dyeing, photo shoots, and performances, her installations serve as a platform for exchange and collaboration, which ads a performative layer to the work.
“My sculptures and installations are inspired by domestic industries and the wish to reconstruct my own mutated versions with their own scale, logic and aesthetics.
Some of my sculptures can be used in the production of dyes, for example trough fermentation methods, with urine and indigo. These challenging and time consuming working processes spontaneously develop a fetish-like quality, which can be shared within an installation.
In my work I draw attention to the non-permanent characteristics of textile as a material, temporary and adjustable. As we wish to be increasingly mobile, and art is once more interwoven with our way of living, I think textile stays relevant. Cloth can take different shapes. It can always be shown in new configurations. I apply the same logic to the aspects of textile history I refer to. In my work I can adjust both shape and conceptual focus to what I find relevant to be shown or to be covered for a specific moment and place.”
Van Hoorebeke holds an MA in painting from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and learned batik and natural dyeing techniques from artists and craftsmen in Serekunda (Mbye Ceesay, in 2006 & 2011) and in Bantul (Bixa Batik, in 2016). She was artist in residence at, among other places, RU, New York City (2017), Air_frankfurt, Frankfurt (2017), and WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2010) and works in long-term collaboration with manoeuvre artistic platform, Ghent (2014 onwards). She was one of the winners of the Berlin Art Prize (2019).
Recent solo exhibitions include What a Fine Production Line, (Six/Van Hoorebeke) Manifold Books, Amsterdam (2020), Goods & Services, Kinderhook & Caracas, Berlin (2019), Where Batik Belongs – Frankfurt am Main, basis Project space, Frankfurt (2017), Black is The Colour of Decay, (Enoki/Van Hoorebeke), BankART, Yokohama (2015), The Shop Floor, Grimmuseum, Berlin (2013), Spirits & Landscapes, WIELS project space (2010). Group exhibitions include un/mute, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York (2021); Past Future Perfect, Spoiler Berlin (2021), Werk.stoff, Heidelberger Kunstverein (2021), Prozess_Farben, Stästische Galerie Nordhorn (2020), Fake Calligraphy #4, Kunsthal Ghent (2020), Sitting Circles, Galerie Wedding, Berlin (2019), Something Stronger Than Me* (as Fake Calligraphy), WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2017).
Recent publications: Pattern nor Painting, artist book by Ada Van Hoorebeke (Bom Dia Books, Berlin 2021); Fake Calligraphy Ada Van Hoorebeke, Maartje Fliervoet, manoeuvre (Bom Dia Books, Berlin 2022)