The exhibition develops some ideas dear to the artist's heart, which were not necessarily formalized during recent exhibitions at MuHKA in Antwerp and Manifesta in Genk. Based on his interest in the idea of networking and the multiple linkages that exist between the various components of today's society, Vanden Eynde (Leuven, 1977) conceived the exhibition by starting out from the symmetrical structure of the space allocated to it. Both rooms are independent but are nevertheless closely connected. In this sense, they are also interdependent. The works exhibited subtly remind us of this dialogue.
The work of Vanden Eynde shows that the usual interpretation frameworks for understanding our world (comparison between technical/natural or human/non-human) are increasingly obsolete and require reinvention. The hybrid composition of society, the complex sociotechnical networks cause shifts in strengths as well as raising power relationships. There are obviously multiple changes and we find this at a formal level in the work of Vanden Eynde.
Upon entering the left-hand room, the visitor is immediately marked by two T-shirts stretched and pinned onto a wooden plank like animal skins. This work finds its genesis in 2010 when the artist attended the SUD (Salon urbain de Douala) triennial in Cameroon. For the occasion, the artist had asked people who did not know each other to wear the tee-shirt. The performance highlighted many aspects that were sociological (meeting, exchange, knowing others), cultural (an African - a European ...), as well as political (questions about colonization, the independence of African countries,…). By exhibiting in this way, the artist is operating through various registers, and refuses to be boxed into a single interpretation. Another work, La Grande Bouffe combines an old Belgian army helmet and silver cutlery, and alludes to the political turmoil which afflicted Belgium for many months. Visitor will observe that lines symbolizing the record number of days without a government have been scratched onto the helmet. A work between seriousness and humour.
Likewise for Industrial Devolution; consisting of two compressions each with a hundred same objects, which refers directly to the situation of European manufacturing and successive offshoring.
The other works highlight changes made to the purpose of objects to reveal unsuspected internal tensions, to enable our eyes to behold the marvellous in the mundane, to understand the interdependence between matter and materials: branches that have become beams leaning up against the wall reveal the perfection of the one and the imperfection the other, or in the right-hand room, a branch of a cherry tree has been cut so that it becomes an arc in equilibrium, a log suggestively occupies a place of honour, while yet other branches have become gardening tools with disturbing excrescences: some kind of genetic mutation of the future?
Finally, rising like a monument, a massive sculpture that combines the intrinsic beauty of rusty metal with the shapeless mass of molten metal recalls the mysteries of nature (is it not reminiscent of a giant quartz formation?) as well as post-9/11 visions that we have all seen in the press.
We also observe with the Oil Peaks gushing out of the ground, unique bronze sculptures displayed in the rear room, that the artist is questioning the most controversial political and economic issues of our time.