center for contemporary non-objective art

First Things First 3

CCNOA in cooperation with the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK), Gent (, is pleased to present for the third year the exhibition First Things First featuring the work of four young artists, namely RUTH SACKS (ZA), BASTIAAN SCHEVERS (NL), JORIS VAN DE MOORTEL (BE), and FREDERIK VAN SIMAEY (BE), who are all attending the postgraduate course at the HISK. In addition, our program in the multimedia space will present a video work by ESTHER STOCKER (IT/AT) and our program in the project space will feature a site-specific installation by Dutch artist GRACIA KHOUW.



*1977 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa /
Ruth Sacks’ work looks closely at fiction and history to comment on the different contexts in which she works. Her current body of work is based on careful research and sensitivity to language and its possible mistranslations. The installations, public interventions and text pieces that she produces pay tribute to a wide range of influences.


*1977 in X (NL) / Currently lives & works in Gent (BE) /

Bastiaan Schevers’ works revolve around the experience of self-inflicted psychological pain, shame and failure. Steeling a random children’s bike for the purpose of an exhibition, acting like a stuntman whose getting ready for a never to happen stunt or exhibiting failed art works in a solo show: Bastiaan consciously seeks out embarrassment and makes it the undercurrent subject of his oeuvre. As interpretations differ, one could question whether or not the successfully failed art project is actually failed failure. Failure is not something one can manage and manipulate consciously. It overcomes and affects one unplanned and unwanted… Bastiaan obviously plays with the contradictions between success and failure. Bastiaan Schevers is an artist who thinks about the impact, perception and position (in the art scene) of the end product (as well as of himself, the artist) and at the same time boycotts it. Popularly unpopular or unpopular popular?


*1983 in Antwerp (BE)

building and constructing appears by itself for the artist, it is like breathing.
as if there were no beginning, no middle, and no end in his work.
though it is something continuous, something everlasting.
what we see is an oeuvre being built.
the artist looks ageless.
even in himself there seems to be no beginning, middle or end.
this means: he is of all times.
he doesn’t look very feverish.
rather resolute and trustful.
which is quite unusual.
the only thing he has to do is build, destroy and rebuild.
In a corridor, up the stairs, sinking under the bottom and going on and on.
it all appears as if he makes a choreographic performance inside a space.
As if the constructions are built to free his and other people’s movements.
building is radically linked to his life.
in the little room behind me he can make music and in the room above it he can sleep.
due to him, everything changes continuously.
there is no point of achievement; the development never stops.
maybe this doesn’t result in separate works.
I have seen pictures all over in his studio.
I considered them as if they where merged with the work and whereof you could perceive a certain liveliness.
the artist’s movement is as a fluent continuous searching.
perhaps not really a searching for, but an everlasting journey.
(Oscar van den Boogaard / Hisk reports studio visits June 2008 / translated from Dutch)


*1979 in (BE)

Frederik Van Simaey shows that which we spend our life passing by, with a particular emphasis on direction, colour and layers. In his installations – futile, but to the point - the attentive beholder deduces a recognizable story from small recurring elements. “In my art I try to address the things I meet. Everywhere there are interesting materials, assemblages, colours, images to be found. I find them as the markings of my path, which I use in mij works. They serve as a remembrance of how things once were and at the same time show what the future will bring. They are like an artifact protecting their owner from a material existence. They return the energy I put into them. They can be used, like a “design” object. The useless becomes useful when it affects the beholder. Like a life’s moment. You stop. Rest. In these fast times. You look at this useles work. Another truth – one more truth. Enjoy the stasis. (Transit/Mechelen).