When Flanders Failed is an exhibition featuring artists that deliberately point to a world of afflictions and mishaps. Besides contemporary works of painting, sculpture, photography and video, the exhibition will also include historical artworks that have suffered unwittingly through circumstances and accident.
The title, When Flanders Failed, borrows from an episode of The Simpsons. In this episode, Homer makes a wish for Ned Flanders new left-handed store to go out of business. The wish comes true and gets the Flanders family into financial troubles. Consequently, Ned is forced to sell his possessions, and eventually guilt forces Homer to rectify the situation. Suitably, this episode (due to the training of a new animation team), became replete with glitches and mistakes.
The afflictions and mishaps evident in the exhibition exist at various material, formal, and representational levels of the artwork. These are alternately employed as counter-strategies to classical notions of perfection and also as a way of dislocating our expectancies of art; encouraging sentiments of empathy, pity and schadenfreude (the delight in other’s misfortune).
Artists include Maarten Baas, Deborah Browne, Bonnie Camplin, Charlie Hammond, Sarah Iremonger, Gert Jan Kocken, Gene Lambert, Sean Lynch, Daniel MacDonald (attr.) and Tony Millionaire.
The exhibition is curated by Stephen Brandes & The Institute of Special Afflictions.