"Membrane"

project, wood, plexiglass, plexiglass mirror, Curtains , 2021-2022

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In Membrane I want to investigate spaces, architecture and personal history of Villa Gaverzicht and translate them into autonomous sculptures. This can be done in scale models orin space-filling installations. My focus is mainly on the typical architectural elements of the building. But always in relation to the made-up interior and references to the personal elements of the residents or former residents.The sculptures therefore consist of 3 experience layers. 1)global architecture, form / material use, 2)interior form /material use and 3) the personal references and story of the residents. Sculptures / installations thus form a new hybrid form that pays homage to both formal and substantive facets of theVilla and modern architecture.

 

The title:Membrane comes from my belief that the house / home or by extension buildings or environment function as a second skin for humans. In theoretical physics and M-theory in particular, the term membrane refers to a spatially extended object. Membranes are the basic building blocks of particles and forces.

 

My goal in this project is to analyze and show the DNA, the language of this building, its architect and residents as a formal vocabulary.

I  am particularly touched by the shapes of the house and the rhythms and textures.My work will therefore be an attempt to pay homage.The relationship with the house and our built environment is central to my research as an artist. We can read architecture purely as a function, but often it also betrays something about the life of the resident. Because of this I experience that the architecture around us works like a second skin that sometimes pinches, sometimes is too big for us as a searching person. We see that architecture as an extension of ours, so that it can be read both personally and universally.In this way architecture is a trigger to activate our memories and feelings or to stimulate our thinking about our being

 

I want to pay homage, but maybe also that the "viewer" could work physically and mentally with the language of this house and make new creations and compositions.

Then the house is the vocabulary and you can use it to create both a novel and/or poetry, something functional and something lyrical.

 

I decided to develop one or more drawing templates that contain the language of the villa. That we can use this language and thus pay tribute time and again to this architecture and its maker & inhabitant.

Currently I am playing with 4 layers

1 the building itself (surfaces and lines)

2 rhythm of floors and bricks

3 the stained glass window

4 personal elements of the current occupant and details inside

 

Currently I am in the phase that I draw these shapes out in contours and lines.

Then we will cut these molds and compositions out of plexi with a laser cutter

in order to have the thinking / drawing forms.

From the vision that homes are carriers of our memories. I

would like to translate the personal history of the current

about past residents into these sculptures. As a result, I will

enter into conversations to get to know the personal layers

and stories.

For example, a personal object can be related to the

architecture and thus activate a narrative with the viewer and

supplier of the work that functions at a different level than the

purely formal aspect of architecture. The conversations would

serve to inject the architecture with life and a personal historic. For Kaunas I worked further on the aspect of privacy in modernistic homes and transformed curtains into a soft wal installation with the patterns of the bricks work of villa Gaverzicht.

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Modernism for the Future 365/360: selection of the artists who will interpret the modernist architecture is announced!

After winning “Creative Europe” funding in May, “Kaunas 2022” project “Modernism for the Future 365/360” gains momentum: the received submissions were carefully evaluated and the commission selected artists to participate at local and international residencies. Artists of various disciplines will interpret modernist architecture in 8 local and 7 international residencies, located in these cities: Kaunas (Lithuania), Lviv (Ukraine), Kortrijk (Belgium) and Brno (Czech Republic). A list of selected artists can be found in this document.

The project partners from Lviv, Brno and Kortrijk were looking for local artists, offering them to creatively interpret the modernist heritage in their own and partner cities. The artists were invited to interpret different objects: not only the buildings that were well known to the public, such as the former Prior department store in Brno, the Officers' Chamber in Kaunas or the Trade Union Palace in Lviv, but also private homes such as Bohuslav Fuchs Villa in Brno or Villa Gaverzicht Waregem, The Ressurection Chapel in Kortrijk and many others.

Numerous strong applications were received where artists shared their visions of how they would interpret the heritage of modernist architecture in their own or partner countries: the artists carefully studied the modernist buildings offered for interpretation, analyzed their authentic layers, and found some conflicting nuances of heritage and modern society.

“Evaluating the proposed ideas, the main attention was paid to their conceptuality and diversity of artistic forms. Modernist buildings have been suggested to be interpreted by light, object or sound installations, experimental documentaries, provocations, graphic design projects and other original solutions. We considered the artist's vision of how to involve researchers, creators and the local community in the co-creation process in order to create a long-lasting result to be a very important criterion,” says Viltė Migonytė- Petrulienė, the curator of Kaunas - European Capital of Culture 2022 program “Modernism for the Future“.

The curators of the project hope that even in the conditions of a global pandemic, all the artistic ideas will be implemented. Everything is planned well in advance: the necessary information about the buildings and their history are gathered, contact with the local community and artists is developed.

The result of the work of these artists creating in 15 residencies, will be seen in 2022 in Kaunas, at the opening events of the European Capital of Culture.

Special Thanks to: Viltė Migonytė - Petrulienė  and her team, Bram Lattré, Ruben D'haene, JeroenVanthournout, Fien Coysman, Erich Weiss, Malgorzata Maria Olchowska, Ingel Vaikla, Dhr.Plançon, City of Waregem, Be-Part, Lisa Demeulemeester, Emmanuelle Denys, Philip Serbruyns, Michaël Vandewalle, Elke Verhaeghe, Moniek Bucquoye, Marc Dubois, Paul, ... With the support of (the Creative Europe programme of) the European Union” 
photography Dirk Pauwels, Jonas Vansteenkiste

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Profiling yourself as a client(as architect) is an interesting theme. It reminds me of artists who decide to paint (or photograph) a self-portrait. It is always more than the outward appearance, it often shows the character and ambition of the person.

 

For an architect this is also a mirror, an externalization of his view of the world, of living. Profiling yourself as a client is an important decision. To let what one has devised in his brain and entrusted to the paper, develop into a concrete and material appearance. Their own house is often a "calling card" for architects to obtain other work. He exposes himself to a certain direction, for which there will be supporters and opponents. There are many architects who have made this decision. Years ago I worked on a European project on this theme. It became an exhibition in deSingel and a book at Taschen.

Marc Dubois

architect & Author, expert on Belgium Modernisme

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Membrane

Jonas Vansteenkiste Villa Gaverzicht

 

Villa Gaverzicht is quite the Waregem enigma. What Jonas does with this enigma is offer a refreshing, semi-analytical clarity. Clarity that is not hindered by the enigmatic identity of the building, Waregem or otherwise. I myself - as a Waregem inhabitant - have always experienced the villa as a closed shell. it has opened up to me for the first time in the context of this exhibition. 

Designed by Gentil Van Eeckhoutte, this art deco modernist building places a heavy focus on elegance and decoration. This is evident from both the exterior and the interior. The interplay of lines and decorative embellishments in the interior are overwhelming. The epitome of this is the large stained glass window found in the office. In it we also see a starting point for the work that jonas has established. Jonas' intervention in these spaces consists of adding upright, black beam-shaped pedestals with grooves in the top that allow thin plates to stand upright in them.

These plates are formally reminiscent of the geometric drawing templates many of us used in grade school, here, however, the geometric forms are replaced with architectural elements and stylized details of the building. Thus, the building becomes a medium for personal imagination to us. From the immersion in the building as a total experience, a highly personal essence appears through the templates in which the building in all its different facets is exposed, and lends itself to the use of you and me. 

The layering of the plates seems to reflect the architectural structure of the building itself. As if we are getting a glimpse into how the skeleton of this building is clad. with the many different layers of architectural and decorative elements that have been applied around it. From Belgian stones & tiles to the many mirrors, paintings and the little frivolous trinkets on the mantle caps. The whole is torn apart and appears to us as various layers that make up the construction of the whole.

In the grand scheme of architectural splendor, the intervention is modest yet it expresses an immense ambition. Each combination of slabs contains an architectural essence. An essence that does not lose itself in the banalities of the pomp and decoration that clothe the physical spaces. By placing these plates on the solid black pedestals, a substantive distance is realized from the interior itself. This action testifies to reflection on the individual identity of the rooms, but also on the architectural entity that is Villa Gaverzicht itself.

This reflection is again referred to with the use of mirrors; however, this is not the only thing the mirrors do. When you see yourself reflected in and among the architectural elements and the small banalities carved into the mirror forms a realization takes place. A pervasive realization of our place as human beings in this both architectural, and frivolous whole.

 

By Jacob Lambrecht