Art of change 21 – Your news?
Maarten Vanden Eynde – I have just finished a solo show in Meessen De Clercq gallery, Brussels, called Half Earth. It presents eight new works dealing with nuclear culture, material scarcity, biodiversity, and the possible end of Homo Sapiens Sapiens!
I’m working on a long research project called On-Trade-Off, which started in 2018. It looks at lithium and its crucial role in the global transition towards a ‘green and fossil-fuel free economy’. Including research and art production, it will run for several years.
AOC21 – How did you come up with the theme of ecological issues?
M.V.E. – I was a child of Hippie parents. My mother was an artist, my father a librarian. I was brought up with lots of books and ecological awareness, anti-consumerism…
Growing up, in order to revolt against my parents during adolescence I wanted to be the opposite. I wanted to have a real job, a secure income, so I first studied graphic design. But then the urge to become an artist took over. I had to stay true to my values and do something, as the destruction of the planet was accelerating and climate change issues were growing. Being an artist allows you to deal with the widest possible range of subjects – from biology, history, and cosmology to politics… and even stupidity! Yes, I deal with the stupidity of humankind: for over 50 years we have known we are destroying the planet but we don’t change.
AOC21 – What are your next projects?
M.V.E. – My big project coming up is a retrospective exhibition in France, the US, U.K. and the Netherlands, which will include my first monograph. In 2020, I will have been working as an artist for 20 years so it is a kind of milestone. The monograph will be printed in three languages: French, English and Dutch.
Apart from that, even if it is not an artwork, it is important for me to mention that I co-founded the Institute for Colonial Culture (ICC), a research project on Congolese heritage. It brings together cultural objects, books, and photos representing colonial culture, using ethnographic methodologies to illustrate the ways of living of white people in the Congo.
Crédit: Portrait, couresty of Maarten Vanden Eynde / “Pinpointing Progress”, International Biennial for Contemporary Art, 2018, photo Ivan Erofeev Maarten
Conversation with Alice Audouin, April 2018.
Find all the articles from Impact Art News n°8 – April 2019
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