Since the early 1990s, Ana Torfs has been composing a unique, visually striking oeuvre, which addresses fundamental questions of representation and its narrative structures. The relation or tension between text and image plays a central role in her work, and with it all the related processes of visualization, interpretation, perception, manipulation and translation. Torfs enables a topical and authentic perception of the scattered fragments from our cultural and political history. Literary texts or historical documents often constitute the starting point of her works. These material remnants are then reworked into meticulously composed installations—with diverse media such as slide projections, sound, film, photography and video, to tapestries, prints and silk screens—in which projections and allusions have free reign.
Over the past 20 years, her work has been presented in major solo exhibitions, including Pori Art Museum (2017), Centro de Arte Moderna, Gulbenkian, in Lisbon (2016), WIELS in Brussels (2014) Generali Foundation in Vienna (2010), K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf (2010), Sprengel Museum in Hannover (2008), argos centre for art and media in Brussels (2007), daadgalerie, Berlin (2006), GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst in Bremen (2006), and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Bozar) in Brussels (2000). She created a web project for Dia Art Foundation in New York (2004). A Prior Magazine dedicated an issue to Torfs' work in 2004. Torfs was awarded a DAAD scholarship (Berlin) in 2005.
Her work has been included in various international biennials including Contour Biennial 8 (2017), Parasophia in Kyoto (2015), 1st International Biennial of Cartagena de Indias (2014), Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013), Manifesta 9 Genk, Belgium (2012), Montreal Biennial 2 (2000), and Lyon Biennal 3 (1995).
Her work has also been included in group exhibitions in Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Australian Center for Contemporary art in Melbourne, Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Museion in Bolzano, Fotomuseum in Winterthur, and Mucsarnok Kunsthalle in Budapest, among other institutions.
Ana Torfs (born 1963) lives and works in Brussels.
awards, residencies, education, etc.
IASPIS, artist-in-residence, Stockholm (SE)
"Cera Partners in Art", production award, Belgium
Cité des Arts, artist-in-residence, Paris (FR)
Production-in-residence, Baltic Art Center, Visby (SE)
Artists-in-Residency Program, DAAD, Berlin (DE)
Prix de Recherche Michèle Fabien, SACD, Brussels (BE)
Cultural Award for Visual Arts, Flemish Authorities (BE)
Grand Prix, International Festival of New Film, Split (HR)
Prix du Jeune Créateur, 5th International Video Week, Centre pour l’Image Contemporaine Saint-Gervais, Geneva (CH)
"Lauréat de la Promotion François Vaxelaire", Fondation belge de la vocation, Brussels (BE)
Master’s Degree: Film & Video, Sint-Lukas University College of Art & Design, Brussels (BE)
Master’s Degree: Communication Science, K.U. Leuven University, Leuven (BE)
work in public collections
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, JP
Pori Art Museum, FI
K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, DE
FRAC Lorraine, Metz, FR
Generali Foundation, Vienna, AU
Mu.ZEE, Ostend, BE
Collection of the Flemish Authorities, Brussels, BE