"Fractum Domum"
         (Palimpsest interventions)

Sculpture, site-specific installation, 2017-2019

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"Fractum Domum, Palimpsest intervention I"

2018, Dendermonde, Belgium


"Fractum Domum, Palimpsest intervention" 2019, "Landscapes 2.0, Kortrijk, Belgium

After a residency at the Emile van Doren museum in Genk Vansteenkiste made "Orarum Fracta, Fractus Domum” In this work Vansteenkiste reflects on a fascinating contrast that characterized Belgian Painters Emile Van Doren and Armand Maclot. Both landscape painters made their final home around the turn of the century. They glorified the landscape in countless canvases and fought for nature conservation, but contradict their love for this landscape by building a large villa in their beloved landscape. This duality trigged Vansteenkiste to work further on the subject. The versions of the work are interacting in all the cities on the map above.


"Fractum Domum" uses architectural ornaments as a motive.

The use of the typical 19th-century ornament is not a random one, it makes a reference to the use of floral motives and makes the bridge to the content.The intervention will create the illusion that nature will claim culture back.

By putting this work in the public domain it activates a more layered dialoge, a Palimpsest one. 


The reference to the concept of Palimpsest is a powerful metaphor for the way memory works in different layers. And is a holistic view on history of a place, space of text.

Palimpsest makes reference to the old tradition of scraping away texts on manuscripts in order to re-use them and add a new layer of text on the older layer, in this way the history of the base text bleeds trough in the new text and may affect his meaning.


The work “fractum Domum” in the public domain reacts to the past of the wall, the past of the city and the present of the graffiti, by its temporary language of street art it also alludes to the future of the vanishing of the piece. And makes this intervention a palimpsest urban intervention.


The locations where not random. They where pickt for there symbolic meaning or for personal or general references of the past, for example:


"Fractum Domum, Palimpsest intervention II"at rue de quatre-fils Paris, was positioned at the back of the French national archives, referring to the memory of a nation but also to its colonial past.


"Fractum Domum, Palimpsest intervention III”,rue du cloitre Saint Merri in Paris is near the centre Pompidou where a lot of homes where demolished to build the cultural temple. There is also a small formal reference to the work “conical insect” (1975)of Gordon Matta Clark an intervention in this part of the city, by using the circle as a reference form.


"Fractum Domum, Palimpsest intervention IIII", Allée des justes de France, Paris, the intervention is positioned on t the wall of the cite international des arts in Paris where The artist lived en worked for several months and makes a dialoge with the Jewish memorial , the lower building in the picture.


In this way the layering of images, meaning and interaction with the places result in a poetic dialogue between the past / present and activate us to think about our surroundings.



Thx to Monique Pelser, Eddie Guldolf‎  & Kristof Reulens


made possible by:

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"Fractum Domum, Palimpsest intervention VI" 2019, Siemensstrasse,Berlin

"Fractum Domum, Palimpsest intervention V" 2019, Siemensstrasse,Berlin