Paul Casaer: All We Can Get
Koen Leemans, Valerie Verhack, Wim Waelput
De Garage & Stockmans Art Books, 2021
All we can get, the title of Belgian artist Paul Casaer’s exhibition at De Garage, can be read in different ways. Inspired by all-you-can-eat restaurants, it denounces our human gluttony and desire for more. In today’s society, greed and unbridled consumerism guide our behaviour as individuals and as a species. Social media, advertising, trivial worries and boredom determine daily life. In this postmodern world-as-a-funfair, we hardly know who we are any more. In search of meaning, we seem to be collectively stuck in our role of individualistic, self-centred consumers.
Our needs have been met, and yet a piercing sense of hollowness remains. All we can get refers to the meaninglessness of our existence and the painful lack of content, truthfulness and fundamental values. We wonder desperately: Is this it? Is this all we can get?