Past exhibition at Lumiar Cité:

Robin Vanbesien


12.02 - 22.03.2015

Robin Vanbesien, detail of untitled (Gravidade), 2014, acrylic coating, soft pastel and charcoal on fabric on stretcher frame, 92 x 84 cm. © Photo Kristien Daem.

My Image

Because heʼs alone, a sailorʼs always telling himself who he is, writes Kathy Acker in her short story ʻLustʼ (1988), revisiting Jean Genetʼs ʻQuerelle de Brestʼ (1947), a novel about a young sailor and a trade-off between a murder and a transgressive sexual act. A sailor is nowhere home, always alone, which gives him the opportunity to act within the illusion of a mirage. Taking his cue from Ackerʼs and Genetʼs “sailor”, Robin Vanbesien unfolds a metonymic figure for a nameless desire circulating through painted partial objects and prolific poetic images invoked by words. Characters, genders and bodies appear at sea before the possibilities of an undecidably erotic (homoerotic or just autoerotic) fantasy. The relations appear dissociated, stemming from the desire of an emptied-out self. All seems to be given with the gravity that yields a passive tense of verbs, static gestures, and staged compositions. Landscape, painted or filmed, functions as the medium to circumscribe the figures. It reflects the notion of a framing gaze returned from its object in a specular dialogue. Although they seem to encompass each otherʼs plastic-pictorial unity, the author and its hero, the figure and the spectator, are conjoined in worlds separated from each other.

ʻGravidadeʼ takes its title from the eponymous film*, which is posed in the centre of a circular distribution of seven paintings in the exhibition space. The paintings partition a figure in the landscape, therefore forming a series of part-bodies as partial objects detached from both the figure and its imaginary surroundings (bollocks, penis, hands, tongues, fish etc.). The expressive pictorial quality in the filmʼs staging of figures through poetic quasi-dialogue renders it as another sort of painting toward which the other images in the room gravitate. Hence the film provides an illusion of restoring the lacking totality of each image on its own.

* Gravidade (2015, HD, 23ʼ) was produced during the artistʼs residency at the Maumaus Programme. Directed by Robin Vanbesien; Actors: Cláudio da Silva, Diogo Bento, Ricardo Vaz Trindade; Cinematography: Graça Castanheira; Sound: Isabel Dias Martins; Color Grading: Graça Castanheira; Sound Design: Bart Aga; Editing: Robin Vanbesien; Production Assistant: Rui Gonçalves; Text: Robin Vanbesien; Translation: Pedro Sena-Lino, Rui Gonçalves.

Robin Vanbesien (Ostend, 1979) lives and works in Brussels. He studied History at the University of Ghent and Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) and de Ateliers (Amsterdam). His recent solo and group exhibitions include ʻCelluloid Brushesʼ, Culturgest (Porto, 2015) / Ludlow 38 (New York, 2013) / Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2012); ʻlighting the throat = lighting the throatʼ, Objectif Exhibitions (Antwerp, 2014); ʻstray fire / ships to sink like thisʼ, Rupert (Vilnius, 2014); ʻF. Hodlerʼ (with Willem Oorebeek), Pinacoteca (Vienna, 2014); ʻWhat thinks meʼ, Taiga (Saint Petersburg, 2014); ʻduty-bound away from the keyboard of the screen of my faceʼ, WIELS Project Room (Brussels, 2014); ʻMonstrance Air Pumpʼ, San Serriffe (Amsterdam, 2013); ʻThe Incapacity Not to Enter into Every Skinʼ, Walden Affairs (The Hague, 2012); ʻVille en abîmeʼ, Hotel Charleroi (Charleroi, 2012) and ʻA Means to a Placeʼ, Mu.ZEE (Ostend, 2012). Among his artistic residencies are Maumaus Residency Programme (Lisbon, 2014/15), Capacete (Rio de Janeiro, 2014), Rupert (Vilnius, 2014) and WIELS Residency (Brussels, 2013). He is the author of the artist book ʻInstant Ruinsʼ (MER. Paper Kunsthalle, 2012).


Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 148 - 3º C
1050-021 Lisboa, Portugal
Monday to Friday, 10h00 to 13h00,
14h30 to 19h00

Tel: + 351 21 352 11 55


Independent Study Programme
Call 2023
Until 04.09.2022


Manthia Diawara
AI: African Intelligence
Cinema Palace

Commissioned by Serpentine, MUBI and PCAI Polygreen Culture & Art Initiative, as part of Serpentine's Back to Earth project.


Manthia Diawara
AI: African Intelligence
Berlin International Film Festival
16.02. – 26.02.2023

Commissioned by Serpentine, MUBI and PCAI Polygreen Culture & Art Initiative, as part of Serpentine's Back to Earth project.


Amanda Boetzkes
Realism Without Authority
01.04, 04.04.2022
10h–13h, 14h–17h

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Registration is free but limited to the number of seats available. Please send an email with a short CV to by 24.03.2022. Confirmation of registration will be sent by email. The seminar will be in English.

Lumiar Cité

Rua Tomás del Negro, 8A
1750-105 Lisboa, Portugal
Wednesday to Sunday, 15h00 to 19h00
or by appointment.
Tel: + 351 21 755 15 70

Loretta Fahrenholz
Circle Navel Nil
24.04. – 27.06.2021

24.06 | 18h00 Online conversation with Sabeth

Buchmann, Loretta Fahrenholz and Jürgen Bock


Anna Schachinger
08.10. – 11.12.2022

07.10 | 18h00 Circulating Salt, Ayami Awazuhara
08.10 | 16h00 Opening of the exhibition


Willem Oorebeek
17.12.2022 – 19.03.2023

Closed 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January

17.12 | 17h00 Talk with Willem Oorebeek,

Arne Kaiser and Jürgen Bock

17.12 | 18h00 Opening of the exhibition

In cooperation with Lumiar Cité:

Tiffany Chung
Thu Thiêm: an archaeological
project for future remembrance
08.06. - 08.09.2019

Johann Jacobs Museum

Maumaus/Lumiar Cité
is funded by Ministério da Cultura/Direção-Geral das Artes. With the support of Câmara Municipal de Lisboa and Junta de Freguesia do Lumiar

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