Adam Leech


For the Ariane de Rothschild Prize, Adam Leech is presenting three paintings and one video. Speech Bubble, a short video loop, began as an investigation into the bankruptcy of the Belgian high-tech speech recognition company, Lernout & Hauspie. Like other multinational corporations, Lernout & Hauspie was a visionary company where money, techno-utopias and the cult of the entrepreneurial personality helped to create a now ubiquitous “market bubble” which, in 2001, would burst. In the case of Speech Bubble, Leech takes on the character of a pathologically optimistic salesman in dialogue with a mysterious client. Leech has performed in many videos, often using his warm voice and love for language to tell stories. In Speech Bubble however, Leech introduces a new mise en scène, a simulated snowscape in which the dance of the white flakes seems to visualize the storm of language that one hears between the salesman and the client. Furthermore, the addition of these white flakes in Speech Bubble (which, on the one hand, are simply mesmerizing and delightful) is an attempt to visualize the dynamic behavior and interconnectedness of global markets – something that is beyond vision.

Leechs’ paintings also approach the issues of corporate culture and market life; but instead of using the linguistic narrative of the video, he employs the painterly issues of pictorial construction, process, and beauty. In Golden Parachute for example, Leech focuses on the excessive financial benefits for corporate executives. In this case, the “nice landing at the end of a career” that the golden parachute metaphor suggests – has been transformed into a less idealized image: an image that complicates the dangerous relations between wealth, corporate power and individual responsibility.

Bram Van Damme

Born in San Diego, 1973


He received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a resident at the Rijksakademie Van Beelden Kunsten, Amsterdam and at the HISK, Antwerp.


2007 Hoet Bekaert Gallery, Knokke 
2009 Their Ghent location 


2008 Manifesta 7, Rovereto – South Tyrol, Italy 
2008 It’s not fair – le monde est arbitraire, Huis Van Winckel, Dendermonde 
2008 Canvas Collection, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels 
2008 Post Painterly Attraction, Netwerk, Aalst 
2008 A Principal of Assumptions, Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
2007 M for M, S.M.A.K., Gent
2005 It Happened One Night, Platform Garanti, Istanbul, Turkey 

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