artist / participant
press release only in german
Maarten Vanden Eynde Exhumer le futur June 10–October 30, 2022
La Kunsthalle Mulhouse welcomes Exhumer le futur, an exhibition of the artist Maarten Vanden Eynde.
Seated on the fractured earth, Maarten Vanden Eynde uses plaster to fill in the cracks in the surface of a dried-up lakebed. Restauration du lac de Montbel (Restoring Lake Montbel) serves as a perfect prologue to this exhibition. Immersed in his image, the artist makes a simple and ludicrous gesture against a climate-related phenomenon, an act on the human scale, ambitious but deliberately in vain. He does not so much restore the lake as shed light on a natural catastrophe that both surrounds and overwhelms him. With this work, the artist lays out a framework with which to question, sometimes speculatively, the role and the consequences of human actions within the Earth’s ecosystems.
Previously exhibited at the Mu.Zee in Ostende in 2021 before arriving at the Kunsthalle in Mulhouse, Exhumer le futur (Digging up the future) is Maarten Vanden Eynde’s second retrospective exhibition, based on an eponymous book contextualizing his work and covering 20 years of persevering and still ongoing research. For the Mulhouse exhibition, a selection of catalogued works is organized around the issue of industrialization, production processes and the transformation of raw materials and products. Maarten Vanden Eynde has also created a new piece for the exhibition, Fat Man 3D, a literal reference to the code name of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. The work links together three countries in the artist’s personal history: the Congo, which supplies raw materials such as cotton and uranium; France, in particular the Mulhouse industries which manufacture thread from cotton fiber; and Belgium, which transforms cotton thread into exceptional lacework. All of these come together in the form of an explosive installation suspended in the art center’s entry hall. A proposal by Katerina Gregos and Sandrine Wymann.
Maarten Vanden Eynde is a visual artist based in Brussels, Belgium and Saint-Mihiel, France.