Plain Chords of Spectral Bliss


A supernova explodes and is blown to pieces.

There must be a way to gather its remnants, scattered among the galaxies.

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations[1].

Interstellar travel originates from fractures, from the dust and dirt settling on surfaces – likewise, Maarten Van Roy’s works appear as nebulae, they are clusters, assemblages, concretions, overlapping matter and time. Layers and layers of images and things eclipse, introducing new morphogenesis. Sky and earth can be profoundly close to each other in the chaos and mystery of the world, where chords and harmonies and dissonances arise : seen up close, the wax stains on a table top form a constellation, a crumpled t-shirt evokes a desert land, a crack in a pane of glass is a portal to somewhere else: a void in which past and present violently collide.

Maarten Van Roy develops his practice as an odyssey through everyday skyscapes and landscapes. As in architectural language, the spaces, angles, surfaces and the bare floor are existential and semantic properties of the works. Taking the cue from the internal and external features of DISPLAY – from its urban location to the chipped glass of the entrance door – he conceives the installation process as a local and situated action. It is bound to the exhibition environment as much as at the mercy of the unplanned. The works subsequently amplify and condense the space, acting like dynamic magnets for the gaze. Like a conductor, Van Roy propels his own universe, where chaos and complexity mark hectic rhythms of life and personal narratives, and where the forms and functions of things blur or transcend themselves. His works recall black holes, they are densities and concentrations of mass, bodies sinking into themselves – stars dying and then reconfiguring. Perhaps it is true that even they are destined to consume themselves and disappear unless someone gathers their crumbs.


Maarten Van Roy (b. 1985, Bonheiden, BE), lives and works in Brussels and Cologne. Recent solo and group exhibitions include: 2024, Body Moving, with Max Kesteloot, 10N Gallery, Menorca, ES; 2023, Mine of You with Me, Avee Gallery, Kortrijk, BE; The Postcard Party, CC Strombeek, Strombeek-Bever, BE; Lavender Snows, La Traverse, Marseille, FR; Haberdashery Show, 10N Gallery / La Mercerie, Brussels, BE; 2022, Chambers, FLAT$, Brussels, BE; AQUATURF, Triphasé, Brussels, BE; 2021, Shannon‘s Law, with Pierre Clement, 10N Gallery, Brussels, BE; Shallow Shallow, Spazio Orr, Brescia, IT; Black Hole, Blind Spot, Dead Angle, artothek – Raum für junge Kunst, Cologne, DE; Twilight Objects, Pas une Orange, Barcelona, ES; Ricominciare dal Silenzio, co_atto, Milan, IT; Ganz viel jeden Tag, Byvier / Michael Horbach Stiftung, Cologne, DE; Fête Permanente, Espace Voltaire, Paris, FR; ECHO, Avee Gallery, Kortrijk, BE.

[1] Ted Kooser, Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985



Plain Chords of Spectral Bliss
18 May, 24
30 Jun, 24
Maarten Van Roy
Ilaria Monti
Vicolo al Leon d’Oro 4/A, Parma