SMARTPHONES!! please click on the picture to REDUCE the SIZE of the pictures
Caroline Van den Eynden (°1982) lives and works in Antwerp.
She studied at Sint Lucas Antwerp, earned a Bachelor design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent and a Bachelor and Master in Visual Arts at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp at the Insitu department. In her bachelor’s and master’s she was guided by a.o. Hans Theys, Vaast Colson, and Tina Gillen. What concerns the techniques and the production of her works, Caroline is a driven self-taught.
It’s a small world afterall (solo exhibition at the gallery: September 9 – October 15, 2016)
Control – or the lack of it – has always been the leitmotiv in Caroline Van den Eynden most recent work. Time, place and specific events are the concepts whereupon she focuses in her work.
Caroline extends her mental boundaries and looks for her limits. She tries to convert the things she personally considers elusive or incomprehensible , into images. Memories keep playing an important role in this process. With the works that are on view in this exhibition the memories merge almost seamlessly into contemporary events. An interaction between short- and long-term memory. It’s all about world shaking events that leave an important and strong impression on her like elections, attempts, fraud and discrimination… But her works could also be placed in a wider context. Caroline wants to refer particularly to a recurrent pattern. Especially, since we like to speculate about what is about to happen and we are either astonished or emotional the moment something happens and like to compare our different opinions afterwards. In the end nothing seems to be correct. Or yet… the exact point of time in which every event occurs.
The works refer to that “time”– the time before, during and after a particular event. Knowing the exact moment an event happens gives you a feeling of control. All this forms a stark contrast with everything discussed before, all the uncertainties and loss of control. In her works Caroline transforms this chaos into a shambles of industrial pipes. Water- and gas conduits merge into light constructions and end (or begin) with banisters in unexpected and sometimes even magical places. The different kinds of steel conduits emerging from her memories are an indirect reference to the complete context surrounding every event, the deeper explanations that are often non existing. That’s how she feels about reality – the mergers look very natural and make up a balanced whole.
The sculptures and installations of Caroline Van den Eynden are created with meticulous dexterity. She works by hand using raw and precious materials. The formal result is similar to a model in an architectural context. It seems to meet the architectural rules, but differs at crucial points. Caroline builds a tension field that links transparency to emptiness; she creates a perfectly finished whole that is still inconclusive; she combines precious metals with raw materials.
Meanings and psychology form the starting point, bordering on surrealism, but with the desire to return to reality rather than to escape from it. Her work does not aim to convince or charm the spectator, but to destabilize and deceive them. Caroline emphasizes what others have failed to notice. People focus on their immediate vicinity or distant future; she stresses passages, evolutions and unspoken possibilities, both in the future and the past. For many, a staircase is functional, for her, however, it is fundamental. Without stairs, doors or passageways, one can never achieve a different or higher level.
By pushing the boundaries of perception, through visualizing memories and desires, these models function as a spy hole from one reality to another…
– great articles in the press:
by Dirk Leyman at ‘ZNOR': http://www.znor.be/2016/09/17/kijkkasten-vol-tedere-geometrie/
and: publication by Indra Devriendt in ‘H ART’ September 15, 2016
ARTSTORY 9: The house of memories of Caroline Van den Eynden
On Sunday the 20th of September at six thirty in the evening I left my home in the Pastorijstraat in Antwerp to go by bike to the workshop of Caroline Van den Eynden on the Boomsesteenweg in Aartselaar.
It was a superb, sunny late summer evening, when I left my 19th century dwelling and set out through the endless suburbs of Antwerp, to look for the workshop that could be found in a hangar on an industrial site. On the way I must have passed by the parental home of the artist in Wilrijk, but that was something I did not yet know at the time.
Still this place is of major importance in her beautiful, small models, which are all going back to a modernist block of flats at the Rucaplein in Antwerp where she spent her youth. It’s from those memories of that building that she now, in the hangar along the Boomsesteenweg, puts together her models and builds her works with the materials available at the corner shop on one of the most infamous shopping motorways in Belgium. The Boomsesteenweg looks like a “strip” but one in Suburban Flanders.
With those materials she constructs meticulous small glass houses, out of which stairs that lead nowhere protrude, as well as the signposts which are devoid of text, token and symbols. They look like small show-cases, displays that have become jewelry in itself and in which the absence of human figures evokes an agreeable emptiness, one that reminds us of the by the masses abandoned urban decors and the detached houses by Edward Hopper.
There is something about these models that attracts individuals looking for reflection. The emptiness is not dismal at all, the transparent little spaces don’t evoke social phobia, the absence of figures, movement or sound show us merely an agreeable form of silence.
Maybe this is because the artist, who studied interior design and multimedia, does not pursue a literal reproduction of the building to which these objects go back, but tries from her memory of the materials of the building to reload on a smaller scale the feelings that she has left of those experiences? Almost as a surrealistic object, but a cleaner variation of it. It is not hard to see how these objects fit in a certain History of the Arts and have their predecessors in for example the installations of Louise Bourgeois who in the installation “Red Room-Parents” revitalizes the oppressive experiences of her childhood, or also in the sole homes of Du Cordier, like “Trou Madame” where as a spectator you can find some kind of mental shelter, or more recently the models of deserted public spaces from the series “Excercising Nowwheres” by Hans Op de Beeck.
But in contrast to Bourgeois and De Cordier the artist doesn’t use weathered materials and there isn’t any melancholy present. She doesn’t even use the models as a form of cultural criticism that wishes to counter the utopian scheme of the modernist architects (the “new living” with “new materials” for the” new man”). In spite of the discomfort she felt during her youth in that building, this is not a squaring of accounts. Not even with the second building out of her childhood, a 19th century gentleman’s house belonging to her grandmother that had been radically modernized by her grandfather-architect.
For that there is too much love for the materials with which she works and she makes every creation a shrine over and over again. An immaculate shrine for the memories that are indissolubly intertwined with her youth. It is this exceptional combination of materials, which under other circumstances would only evoke cold sentiments and clean associations, with a warm, human touch which makes her work so attractive to me. Like her grey metal ladder with straight angles which would only cause pain on hands and feet when used normally, that gets something human thanks to the green marble colored foot on which it stands.
Jeroen Laureyns of the Agency for mental migrant labour (The Belgium departement).
2005 – 2009 Master in Fine Arts, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, InSitu3
2001 – 2004 Bachelor in Fine Arts, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Ghent, Interior-design
1996 – 2001 Kunsthumaniora, Sint-Lucas Antwerp
– You don’t need an app to experience the real thing –nothing can beat standing in front of the real work– at Kusseneers gallery, Brussels
– Art Brussels 2017 (with Bendt Eyckermans, Ermias Kifleyesus and Nils Verkaeren)
– it’s a small world afterall, at Kusseneers gallery, Brussels (Sept/Oct)
– Summer Soirée, at Salon Blanc, Ostend (August)
– Atlas Rebound, at Kusseneers gallery, Brussels
– Ik ben toch niet gek? No-mad-ic, at Galerie Tsjeljoeskin, Brasschaat
– Input/Output, De Bond, Brugge (competition and exhibition of the work of the 10 laureates)
– D’ART, Mechelen
– the-solo-project, art fair in Basel, Switzerland (duo presentation with Wolfram Ullrich)
– Galerij SASK, Turnhout (Nov/Dec)
– Lords of the horizons, Kusseneers Gallery, Brussel (Nov/Dec)
– Park at Borg, group exhibition, 19/09 – 05/10, Borgerhout
– All my friends are scientists, group exhibition, 30/05 – 29/06, Kontich
– Magma, group exhibition, 03/05 – 04/05, Antwerp
– Park at Poppositions #3, Off-art fair, 24/04 – 27/04, Brussels
– Workplace, group exhibition, Schuttershofstraat 45, 19/01 – 02/03, Antwerp
– Magma #4, group exhibition, 26/09, Antwerp
– Airy Yamanashi, group exhibition, 01/05 – 01/06, Japan
– Park 6, in coöperation with Bhart, group exhibition, Borgerhout
– Park 5, Temporary Limits, group exhibitionTorino/Anversa andata e ritorno, Ekeren
– Torino/Anversa andata e ritorno, Arteco, group exhibition, Borgerhout
– Torino/Anversa andata e ritorno, Arteco, group exhibition, Turin
– Park 4, Das appartement, group exhibition, Berlin
– Park 3, Memories of glass, group exhibition, Antwerp
– Master exhibition, group exhibition, Antwerp
– Mastermaquette, group exhibition, Verbeke Foundation, Kemzeke
– Park 2, What already has been written, group exhibition, Antwerp
– Park 1, End of autumn, brighter than sunshine, Antwerp
Internet-review by Dirk Leyman at ZNOR, September 2016 – link: http://www.znor.be/2016/09/17/kijkkasten-vol-tedere-geometrie/
H ART #134, artmagazine ‘Verraderlijke schoonheid’, by Indra Devriendt, Sept. 2016, pg 41
H ART #149, artmagazine, by Christine Vuegen, Dec. 2015, pg 29
H ART #134, artmagazine, Marc Ruyters, Dec. 2014, pg. 29
Mainichi, daily newspaper Japan, Tomohiro Katahira, 25 Mai 2013, pg. 22
The Asahi Shimbun, Chisato Matsumoto, 25 Mai 2013, pg.29
Master Maquette, Hans Theys en Nadia Naveau, Track report, 2010, pg. 9-10
De Guerilla binnen de academie, Jan Braet, Knack 13 august 2008, pg. 58
De schouw van Gaudi, Hans Theys, Tornado Editions 2006, pg. 203, 204-205
AWARDS – RESIDENCE PROGRAMS
Price of In Situ3 for PARK, 2009
Artist in residence Barcelona, 1-4-2012 till 1-5-2012, Spain
Artist in residence Yamanashi AIRY, 1-5-2013 till 1-6-2013, Japan.