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Always Stuff, Four Blue Office Chairs


Gilles Hellemans

Artist selected as part of the open call

31275 Rue Hors-Château

Always Stuff began as a title when I was wandering through Brussels with my scenographer friend Merle, scouring the city for furniture, paint, and other items to decorate her new apartment. We both share an intense obsession for interiors, colors, and how they culminate in objects. We soon realized that our modus operandi, like a curse, is always stuff. Later, I read Real Estate by Deborah Levy and was drawn to her descriptions of desires for places and objects. The always stuff mode of being got encoded in my artistic practice and became a mechanism for dealing with my heavy desire for objects. A large part of this practice is the reintroduction of painting into my work. I love the slow process of transferring the shapes and colors of an object or place onto the canvas, allowing me to spend more time with the things that attracted me in the first place.


For Art au Centre, I’m combining paintings, architectural models, and video work for the first time. The format of the vitrine intensifies the layerings of Always stuff. The pieces will act as a dialogue on what it means to yearn for a place or object but not own it, yet still take ownership by claiming it in your own terms.


This edition of Always Stuff showcases a set of simple blue office chairs. I first encountered them stacked at a flea market, and later discovered that my workplace had four of these chairs. I rearranged them in various configurations to create other narratives. One of them eventually broke, but my boss was generous and gifted it to me. Now, it has found its place in my studio as a cherished part of the Always stuff archive.

Gilles Hellemans