A conversation between the Sammlung Goetz and the artist about daily motivation and inspiration
My daily motivation comes from the idea that, if you have a talent, and you have the possibilities to shape that talent and let it enter into a dialogue with others, in my case art lovers, you have to do it with full dedication, because it truly is one of the greatest conceivable senses of purpose in a human life. By diligently using your talent, you not only heal and comfort yourself, but, by extension, all those who come into contact with you, or with the fruits of your efforts.
It is a strange time indeed, and I passionately miss the spontaneous interaction with others, the hugs, the touching, the improvised gatherings ... but the inspiration for my work will always come from a broad reflection on the relativity of our lives, the obstacles, the urges, the inability, the striving, the failures ... about possible and impossible love and about death. So, I won’t necessarily speak directly about the topicality of the current pandemic, but about the extreme vulnerability as well as the resilience of us, human beings.
At the moment I am working as the stage director, scenographer and costume designer of The Convert, a new opera of more than two hours, which is currently composed by Wim Henderickx, and which will premiere in the opera houses of Antwerp and Ghent in a year. The libretto is based on the novel with the same title by Stefan Hertmans.
I am also making a new, large open-air sculpture for the Bruges Triennale, entitled Danse Macabre; a very idiosyncratic, life-sized, monochromic merry-go-round that looks a bit as if it is completely petrified.
My team and I also work on a life-sized sculpture of a mysterious wanderer, seated on a horse, a work that we adapt for a long-term open-air display at the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg. We are currently working on a large, immersive installation for the Musée de l'Armée in Paris as well, in which the audience will walk on a jetty over dark water in a staged night.
And for 2022 there are major solo exhibitions in the pipeline, in museums in Helsinki and Moscow, among others, for which we are already working on the first preparations.
I’ve also started to work on new publications, including a large-format watercolour book and a new comprehensive monograph.