A first glance at House Cluster #1 can overlook the fact that this sculpture is built up as a frame that refers to a house.We notice a similar structure in four directions, like a weathervane refusing to stand still. The whole is arranged crooked but stands firmly on the ground. 

As a wooden drawing constructed out of basic shapes that looks like a barricade, a cross, a rationsquare. 

All this is merely a reference to something that may present a house. 

A house is a building for people to live in but can we call it a house if it doesn’t have any windows or doors? 

We can enter exclusively with our gaze, which grants access to a cage that doesn’t capture anything, it only surrounds an empty space. If the meaning lies in the repetition, does the structure refer to social housing and apartment blocks? Where one facade is enough to represent the others. Where housing happens so uniformly that individual space is no longer recognizable and only surrounds empty spaces.

 

A house is a house is a house, this sentence we don’t hear in everyday life. The artist places himself in the in-between position, between reality and imagination. Simply using the name of a thing already invokes the imagery and emotions associated with it. As memory takes over, the thing loses its identity and we try to recover it.

 

What is the identity of a house, what does the word house represent?

These questions twist throughout Jonas Vansteenkistes work. When the word house loses its direct relation to a real house the house as a house is no longer accurate, the word house then also refers to the house as an archetype.

This creates a possibility for interpretation out of the unconscious. 

The house, so long associated with the american dream, now symbolizes one’s psyche or self - its layout or state of repair becomes an analogue for the condition of one’s identity.

We can as well search for meaning in the complexity of the structure.

 

A process needs a structure to exist. With House Cluster #1, Jonas Vansteenkiste builds a rational, calculated and complex technical structure. It calls to mind the masterpiece for carpenters.

A masterpiece was a piece of work made by craftsman with the goal to become a member of a guild.

Originally, holders of the academic degree of "Master of Arts" were also considered as master craftsmen in their own academic field. This again underlines the in-between position of the artist, between arts and crafts, the everyday life and the extraordinary, between the conscious and the subconscious. 

 

Jonas builds a structure for a system to exist although that system is not being named. The idea doesn’t match anything, it is not rational. The repetition in the structure ensures that the meaning is emphasized in such a way that we will have to dig deeper into what the house may represent. For this we have to rely on our own interpretations and connotations. 

 

Jonas Vansteenkiste leaves us alone with his dramatically lighted sculptures. In this way he invades, through our gaze, our own intimate tragedies.

 

Hanne Van Dyck. 

"Housecluster"

Installation 2014

wood 150x170 cm

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©  Jonas Vansteenkiste.

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