Joëlle Tuerlinckx, 1958 in Brüssel geboren, wo sie auch tätig ist, hatte ihre erste große Einzelausstellung 1994 im Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. Seitdem wurde ihr Werk unter anderem von der Renaissance Society Chicago, dem Drawing Center New York, der Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, dem Haus der Kunst in München und dem Wiels Center for Contemporary Art, Brüssel in Einzelausstellungen gezeigt. 2002 nahm sie an der documenta 11 teil.
Joëlle Tuerlinckx offers a critical and poetic investigation of, among other things, the institutions of art: galleries, museums, exhibition halls, and their spaces and forms, such as showcases, labels, frames, curatorial and administrative structures, and all of their various materials, from lending contracts to catalogues. Her work thereby follows in the tradition of renowned fellow Belgian artist, Marcel Broodthaers. The artist works with found material, marks out measurements of walls and constellations of objects, doubles spaces in the form of models, sets artificial shadows alongside natural ones through the use of lighting, adds an extra page to catalogues on which simply the word “page” appears (albeit crossed out), and causes museum’s to open at night. The term she coined, “Stretching,” stands for the strategy of targeted manipulation of exhibition situations, disturbing expectations, and expanding the known area (of action) in order to thereby achieve the greatest possible sensitization of beholders’ awareness. Tuerlinckx does not create objects that can be shown in an exhibition space, but instead, produces situations that create awareness of the place where they occur. Many works move at the border of visibility, are at the threshold, about to disappear, the fine line between object and void. Opening this void is fundamental for the artist as she thereby aims to transform sites to poetic locations of possible realizations. Her measurements and markings appear as elements of an inexplicable symbolic system whose own production of meaning seems to be constantly collapsing, and at the same time, jolting established categorizations.