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Danny Devos (1959 - )

Danny Devos

Danny Devos (founder of Club Moral with Annemie Van Kerckhoven)is searching for the shocking but obvious relations between Art and Evil; for the thin line between norm and deviation. Since 1987 Danny Devos upholds an intimate and far-reaching correspondence with a number of serial killers. This has led to several exhibitions and performances. Devos is questioning the genius of man, that can lead to both the most horrible crimes and the highest art forms.

Danny Devos Bio

Danny Devos (Vilvoorde, Belgium, 1959) analyses his life and body as aesthetic phenomena. When he was still a student, he already challenged the public with his shocking performances. The provocative strategy of these acts, which centre on his own body, enthrals people. He wants to fascinate them to such an extent that they develop a relativistic attitude towards thoughtless and oversimplified value judgements like 'good' and 'bad'. In 1983 he starts to take a special interest in mass murderers and the prevailing theme of his work becomes murder and manslaughter. Systematically he gathers material from newspaper clippings, biographies and books on criminology to investigate the phenomenon and its social context. He addresses the police, magistrates and the press for information and visits places of crime to play to role of the victim. The only witnesses to these performances, in which he immerses himself completely in what has happened, are photographs of himself, as nobody else is present.

In 1987 Devos starts a correspondence with murderers. He investigates possible similarities between the concept of art and murder scenarios by comparing the information he has gathered with his experiences as an artist. What fascinates him, is the fact that both artistic concepts and murder scenarios are generated by creative minds living on the margins of society. Furthermore, he finds a parallel between people's oversimplified judgements about the acts of murderers and their reactions when confronted with a work of art.

Devos then stages less public performances and starts to make exhibitions with works which originate directly from his investigations. Essential elements of his installations include portraits of murderers, objects which were retrieved and papers which document his contacts with imprisoned murderers. Pictures of himself are integrated among the portraits of murderers.

In 1994 his work focuses on two Belgian serial killers, 'the Vampire of Mouses' and 'the Strangler of the Left Bank'.

In recent years the artist has been working on crimes of passion, robberies with murder and domestic murder. Every bit of information he collects is ordered, processed and added to a data base or an object archive. The data base from which the installation 'Perpetrator of Killings' originated, is accessible through Internet. 'Perpetrator of Killings' is a visual inquiry into all murders which have been committed in Belgium since his year of birth 1959. Like the tangible installation, which can still be seen 24 hours a day until April 26, 1998 in Antwerp at 5 Breidelstraat, the Internet project is perpetually changing and evolving. The visitor who views 'Perpetrator of Killings' through Internet will be fascinated by the profound impact of the installation. --http://www.fortlaan17.com

Club Moral

Club Moral is the match between visual artists Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven and Danny Devos, a noise-music band performing on locations ranging from music venues over art galleries to derelict factory buildings. Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven has a long history of computer-related art which dissects, re-locates, transforms and re-transforms the human mind and body in a multitude of applications. danny devos is known for the protracted displacement of his own body in situations undermining the audience's experience of his and their human behavior on the spot. The performances are presented in a basic music-band setup with amvk on synthesizers, stacked on a table at the side of the stage. ddv mixes the back-up noise-lines and screen-projections while grubbing about anywhere with a microphone. the performance has a worked-out 'playlist' of several 'songs' with titles like 'therapist fears', 'I am perverse', 'the beyond within' intertwined with an occasional cover of 'lonely weekends' (trini lopez) or 'warm leatherette' (the normal). --http://www.clubmoral.com

Force Mental 16 winter 2004

FORCE MENTAL is a magazine that deals with excesses of all kinds. It is a product of CLUB MORAL vzw.

After 16 years of time for reflection we have decided to take up again the publishing FORCE MENTAL, Magazine For Excesses. Time is right to join with some infamous veteran servicemen to provide a sharpened platform to a fresh posse of hard thinkers.

Just as we abruptly finished our last printed issue 15 in 1988 with page 578, we start our first digital issue 16 in 2005 with page 579.

The new FORCE MENTAL is not just a random collection of web pages, it's a strict format in the continued tradition of earlier issues. 24 pages in an accurate reconstruction of the layout provisionally still as in older Club Moral publications and referring to the original use of simple techniques of design, editing and printing. We assume that new participants will experiment in new directions in future issues.

FORCE MENTAL 16 with international contributions from: Ons Feuilleton/AMVK, Mauro Pawlowski, Ivan H. Sladek, DDV, Dennis Tyfus, Sickboy, agency-agence-agentschap, Erik Vloeberghs, Nini Cinotti, Heinrich Obst, Dirk Paesmans, Harry Heirmans, John Wantling, Agnes Geoffray, German Scalona, Claire Roudenko-Bertin, Frank Pinckers, Romain Slocombe, Dr. Mangelware, The Good Example, Stocklist, Bernaded Dexters. --http://www.clubmoral.com/forcemental/16/ [Jan 2005]

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