Tag Archives: Belgium

Centuries apart but still..

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Chaos reinvented & how life gave birth to itself. – Structures pt.1

MySecretGarden - Arne Quinze

Chaos, a lifeless hump which existed before the era of gods. It was merely a concept not a god which is a crucial difference that must be made clear before I can proceed. Therefore “it” was not personalized like the later Gods were, neither has it an embodiment like for example Zeus or Aphrodite. Out of this Chaos, life and earth came forth. These first concepts who came forth out of the Chaos: Nyx (night) , Tartaros (the underworld), Gaea (the earth) and Eros (love) were also still concepts. But from these four, the first generation of embodied Gods came forth (fe. Kronos).

A lifeless lump, unfashion’d, and unfram’d, 
Of jarring seeds; and justly Chaos nam’d. 
No sun was lighted up, the world to view; 
No moon did yet her blunted horns renew: 
Nor yet was Earth suspended in the sky,..”

-Ovid; Metamorphoses, first book –

It’s important to note the difference between the Biblical story of Genesis and the beginning of ‘life’ as written down by the ancient Greeks and romans. The biggest ‘confusion’ lies in the fact that the world, earth or life – as told to us by the ancients – was not “created” , therefore there was no higher being, no God who molded the world (to his example – cf. Genesis). Instead, the world ‘gave birth to itself’. It came forth out of what they called ‘Chaos’ (which was ‘a gaping hole’, it was nor masculine nor female – it had no sex). So in that way it’s considerable that all the needed structures to build up life, to create the world were already contained inside of the Chaos but in a messy kind of way.

MySecretGardenDetail07Arne Quinze, a Belgian conceptual artist who’s work mainly relates to the social interaction, communication and urbanisation of art. He believes that by placing art in a common environment like a park or such, the public, the people passing by, get educated and involved into the world of culture. There’s no more hiding from art, it’s no longer concealed in a dark museum which is rarely visited by the ‘commoners’.  Therefor he places art right in front of their faces which leaves them no choice: they can either like or dislike it, but the interaction is inevitable.

“There’s no chaos, only structure” is a tagline in some of his work expressing his inner self and how he describes his thoughts. To him there is no chaos, everything is structured even in the chaos you find structure. (remember Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where in structure already was concealed inside of the Chaos). There’s no such thing as chaos in Quinze’s world or at least not in the sense of how society defines chaos. Chaos does exist, as a form of structure. Chaos is irretrievably linked with life. In life everything is a matter of rhythm. Something without a rigid structure is part of the organic order in life. (Again think about how the ancients described it). So the link between both is rather inevitable. As chaos housed structure and life. Arne Quinze’s ‘chaotic’ structures house people, house life. They shelter life, they form a meeting space, a social environment in what at first looked as a chaotic swarm of people passing by each other randomly. It brings them together. It brings art and life together. It reminds the people of their biggest accomplishment; culture. 

“There’s no chaos, only structure”

Earlier posts featuring Arne Quinze: https://whatsaboutart.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/cities-like-open-air-museums-beaufort-04-1/

Uchronia - Arne Quinze - Burning Man

Uchronia – Arne Quinze – Burning Man

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Enlightenment by memory recollection.

A simple draft, hidden in a plain old-fashioned sketchbook. That’s all it takes.

As I was searching for something this afternoon (nothing out of the ordinary), I surprisingly stumbled upon this (old) sketchbook of mine, which dates back to my college-years (2011). Although this was (hidden) is my closet all along it still surprised me how many memories it made me recollect. This sketch (see below) in particular. First of all I can still remember the sight I looked upon when drawing this sketch, gazing over the Grand Canale in Venice (what a sublime picture). Focusing my sight upon the San Giorgio Maggiore. It was warm that day. The sun glazing upon my sheets, I drew this fast sketch.

Now, more than 2 years later it still reminds me of the particular feelings I felt that day, being in love and all. Things were different back then, so many has changed since I got my college degree. University is nothing alike what I used to to back in those days.

What I really wanted to share with you is what it inspired me to do these last couple of days. As i gazed upon this sketch, I saw one thing, “structures”. I saw how the dome has been drew with its skeleton included, its supporting structures. Well, that’s what I want to explore in the near future; how to trigger certain expressions using only the structural lines of an object/building. Which structures are unable to? If so, why is this? Which structures are more appropriate than others and why?  Architecture reduced to their fundamental support. “Des lignes sans plus”.
Sketch.

San_Giorgio_Maggiore_Venezia

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Manifesta 09

So a while ago I went to this awesome exhibition; the  European Biennial of Contemporary Art Manifesta 09, which is situated in a old mine site. The place, the artwork, the history, everything was right. If you do live in Belgium or somewhere near enough I highly recommend you go and visit.

“Manifesta originated in the early 90’s in response to the political, economic and social changes following the end of the Cold War and the subsequent steps towards European integration. Since that time, Manifesta has developed into traveling platform focusing on the dialogue between art and society in Europe. Manifesta has become a flexible and mobile structure, capable of continuously changing and reinventing itself. For each edition of Manifesta a new curator or team of curators is appointed who in turn invite artists from around the world to participate.”

I’m hoping to discuss some of the works on them own as soon as possible.
Till then I hope you enjoy some of the pictures I have taken.

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Coast to Coast – Beaufort 04 (4)

Flo Kasearu – Coast to coast

Coast to coast is a installation project that consists of three containers that are converted into ships. They are lying in empty beach of Bredene, in Belgium. These three symbolic objects on the natural, apparently undisturbed coastline prompt thoughts of freight transport and the endless circulation of goods and people. But they also reflect the economic situation: the containers, lost objects, stand empty and useless on the beach.

Flo Kasearu – Coast to coast

Flo Kasearu – Coast to coast

Provocative, reflecting, lost and empty. Coast to Coast is a installation prjoect that consists of three containers, each container is shaped like and therefor converted into a ship. Again (as all sculptures, artworks in beaufort) they interact with the surrounding landscape and somehow feel ‘uncommon’. The three contatiners lying there on the coastline prompt thoughts of freight transport and the endless circulation of goods and people. Lying there totally empty and ‘useless’ they also represent a reflectation on the economic situation.

Flo Kasearu (who the work belongs to), an Estonian artist, well known for her video art (see below) and installations, mostly are placed wide against a specific social background. They concist not of merely criticism but demand for a certain change in society by confronting the ‘viewer’.

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The rise of Modern Iconoclasm.

Search & Destroy – Mekhitar Garabedian

Invading their personal space, tresspassing the natural habitat. Some people feel the urge to destroy or damage certain artworks, sculptures. Simply beacause they don’t belong in their environment. The modern iconoclasm is what they call it. Although I don’t seem to find the name being very appropriate is it’s connotation is much more severe then what is happening now. Especially compared to the destruction of religious artwork and the fear for idolatry (without mentioning the the destruction of the Buddhas in Afghanistan, but i’m not touching that one.

Let’s keep it nearby; In Ghent there’s a contemporary art exhibit in town. It exists of multiple sculptures, installations situated all over town. Therefor it’s not remarkeble that some of these became the victim of ‘modern iconoclasm’. (The same thing happened at Beaufort – see below). As you can see on the picture above, the letter is ‘R’ (Search & Destroy) is missing. The piece has been removed from the installation and thrown into the water. Why they did this, isn’t surely known. One thing is for sure; they took the message a bit too serious.

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Cities like open air Museums – Beaufort 04 (1)

“There are two types of sculptures: sculptures only being big qua size or sculptures having a real public function in the communal domain. I consider it my personal struggle to realize as many interesting public sculptures as possible. Cities like open-air museums, sounds like realizing my ultimate dream; a confrontation with the public surrounded by art every day.” – Arne Quinze (BE)

Arne Quinze – “Rock Strangers” – Ostend (BE) 

Arne Quinze is a Belgian concept-artist, (one of the few representing Belgium at Beaufort 04) who is well known for his (un)controversial public installations. And yes he loves big sculptures, he does! They’re big, red, “rock strangers”.

What happens when you invade the common habitat of a human being, how does he respond to the arrival of these ‘strange rocks’

This is the question the artist asked himself and the answer was rather clear…

A strange meeting that’s for sure, but isn’t visiting the coastline a strange meeting on it’s own? You have all these people that travel down to the coast to cluster on a rather small surface and blend in this unknown environment and when you finally do, you stumble upon these these ‘figures, rocks, entities, .. whatever/ however you want to describe them.

So I was really anxious to see this in real life, I had been reading about it ever since it got there in the first place. So when I finally got there I stumbled on some fences and a construction site (see picture below). Therefor it was impossible to wander among these rather strange, awkward entities, which I believe would be the perfect way to experience the feeling that the artist wanted to create. A bit of a disappointment to be honest. Nonetheless they were there and I did kind of saw them from a certain distance and already they amazed me.

Rock Strangers – Arne Quinze – Construction Site – Ostend (BE)

So although there was lot’s of commotion and criticism on the matter whether or not they belong there; most of the inhabitants were against the project. Mission accomplished for the artist I would say.

“A lot of cities around the globe look the same although they are located on different continents. You can still find identical buildings or the same streets. One can no longer detect any differences, people put up concrete walls around them. Building large-scaled installations makes people feel small as a human being. I hope that they start asking questions about what their function on this planet is. With my monumental sculptures I seek confrontation with my audience. I regard my work as a study about how I experience life and how people in general experience their lives.”  – Arne Quinze 

I’m really amazed how fast people feel endangered or uncomfortable and it makes you wonder who the strangers actually are; the objects or the people around them? But then again; imagine this happening..

Rock Strangers – Arne Quinze – Statue of Liberty – NYC (US)

Rock Strangers – Arne Quinze – Ostend (BE)

Rock Strangers – Arne Quinze – Ostend (BE)

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