Société is an exhibition platform founded in 2015 and situated the former electricity factory “Société Bruxelloise d’Électricité” built in the 1930s in the Tour and Taxi neighborhood. It is initiated, directed and curated by the artists Manuel Abendroth and Els Vermang of the artist trio LAb[au].
As an artist run space, Société pursuits a non-commercial activity, promoting a dialogue between artists on current artistic issues. Through two thematic exhibitions a year, they explore the field of contemporary artistic research while taking into account new forms of artistic expression and new technologies which support them. Their exhibitions contextualize these reflections in an artistic continuity, connecting different generations of artists while also promoting the Belgian scene.
Between 2016 and 2017, the three exhibitions had as a main subject: the art of the protocol, the xerox art and the art of the time. This series can be seen as a trilogy, extrapolating conceptual art’s strategies into current practices. They refer to the exhibitions such as “March 1969” and “Xerox book”, initiated by Sieth Siegelaub, which had established formats and media for conceptual art that are still residing in today’s artistic practice. Additionally, this series of exhibitions shows that the questions relating to the notion of information and media were already an integral part of art of the 1960s.
Manuel and Els have more than 10 years of experience in curating, mostly taken place at their first exhibition space, the “MediaRuimte”, located in the centre of Brussels and active between 2003 and 2013. It was the birthplace of notorious exhibitions addressing algorithmic art’s new aesthetics such as MicroBytes and KiloBeats, dis/play, Digital Territories,… Besides exhibitions they organised brunch presentations and concerts, showcasing the fine-fleur of the electronic music scene.