RIK MOENS – PARAVENT
In the sandpit of Beerlegem there is a work to see, Paravent – it carries the text ‘It’s just as I always dreamed it would be. But it’s so much more than I ever hoped for. R.M.’.- consisting of five four meters high panels. The work is performed in a newly developed material ‘Dibond’, this is the lightest mirror material, consisting of polished aluminium. A room divider ‘paravent’ is originally a tool to hide and to disappear discreetly behind. By means of a reflecting ‘paravent’ Moens shows us the impossibility to escape from himself. Beginning 2008 the artist had an exhibition in ‘Network’ , there was a painter at work showing both abstract and figurative works with different intentions and meanings. There was a prominent series of paintings because the logo of the packaging material was still sinking in the painting. The artist goes on experimenting with a large gamut of acrylats showing a bright transparancy. Moens chose the severe beauty of the sandpit where he succeeded to use the reflecting capacity of the paravent at most.. The monumental work reflects and integrates the excavated layers of the sandpit and tells us its geological history. As a spectator one is kept distant from this geological fieldwork because the work can only be watched from a specific viewpoint. The spectator looks down from a bird’s perspective. On this spot one can experience the reduction from perspective as well as the reflecting duplication. Three of the five panels are inscribed with text maybe cut from a love letter. And yet he is speculating about his high artistic speculations and the euphoria at the accomplishing of a successful work. It’s just as I always But it’s so dreamed much more It would be than I ever hoped for R. M. Rik Moens positions his work in a cosmological context. In spite of the vagueness and imperfection of the human ability to understand the cosmological dimension, the artist is conscious of the benefit and need of the pure and warm universe, so as to live the sensual experience. During a stay on the flanks of a volcano near Naples, Moens developped a fascination for earth, depth and abyss. The immense cosmological experience results in a mirror, an attractive medium for pondering and feeling. A structured universe out from the middle, the concrete and absolute light, reflects everlasting. The work reflects nature , it is also a good tool to make time visible. The many photo’s of the work show images of the dawn, the day and the sunset, promoting the work an ‘axis mundi’. This monumental work can give rise to the question: how public is public space really? Obviously the owner can also decide what is placed on his property. Are the ground carrying the sculpture and the sculpture itself separable? How movable or immovable is a sculpture in public space? Property and real estate are a theme in this work. According to Moens it is essential to consider the paravent on wheels related to wheel tracks of trucks driving in and out the sandpit. The vulnerable, tactual tracks show a life with fading limits between the art work and daily labour in the sandpit. The spectator was not allowed to descend the sandpit because the owner was against. The work is represented (De Standaard, 4/09/2009) from the visitors position close to the work. The picture shows us an unreal, not existing dimension,seen from the top and at a certain distance. One realizes that the photographer and the artist – the first spectator – get privileges the visitors don’t get. Whose space is the public space? The inspired public space is obviously limited.
(Wim Van Mulders)