Anatomé: term in medicine, decomposition, physicality, cut, cells, tissues, organs, plastic, physical-spiritual, experiment, examination, analysis, external-internal, dissection, skin, disease, stimulus, skeleton, circulation, transformation, discovery, shape,…
The anatomic theatre has a purified shape language and wonderful detailing, such as the rococo ceiling. Add to that the coherence with the rich history of the building, and you will understand it was the ideal location for me to make an in-situ installation. The interaction between the remaining dissection table and the overwhelming space intrigues me. The loss of the big wooden tribune, where students used to sit and learn about the anatomy of man, was what incited me to make a spatial installation.
I wanted to translate the hierarchy, structure and spatial layout embodied by the tribune into the space in my very own way. It was done by means of a construction that brings the attention back to the table and where a ‘track’ is freely offered to the viewer, who may choose to walk through it or not.
I strongly believe in the power of a drawing as a medium, hence the floor plan that responds to the symmetry and proportions of the space. By extruding the plan, an installation starts to form itself, consisting of eight spatial aluminium frames.
By working exclusively with a rib structure, the simplicity of ‘defining spaces’ is highlighted. For me, this refers to the ‘anatomy’ of architecture. The fine line play that arises makes it an object that swings between ‘being architecture’ and ‘being a drawing of architecture’.
It is an installation that triggers interaction with the space, but also with the viewers that will walk through it. An intangible field of tension is created between the building, the aluminium structure, the object (the table), myself and the viewers, as experiencing bodies.
I wanted to be part of the work in a personal way. That is why I have hung up three soot drawings that were made specifically for in the anatomical theatre. They all have ‘the human body’ as a theme. This way, the many educational images of bodies that used to decorate the anatomical theatre have found their way back in a different and personal way.
Two works are literally prints of my own body, the third is a drawing of the back in which the shape of the body and muscles become visible by specific light/shadow action.
Even though it is my back and literally my skin, beauty spots, body hair,… that is shown, the works still have some anonymity because no recognizable parts such as the head are in it.
In Between was selected and exhibited at arts festival Ithaka 24, in Leuven from 7 to 14 March 2016.
The 24th edition of Ithaka aims to reinvigorate the anatomical theatre and the surrounding buildings. Inspired by the history of the location, this work was given the title ‘Ithaka Anatomé’. Fifteen artists form the heart of the site’s revival.
Media, material and technique differ from artist to artist. Nevertheless, some of the works, in spite of their own theme, interact with the buildings, either in terms of content or shape.