Didier Vermeiren


Sculpture, 242 x 43 x 47.5 cm.
Materials: gypsum

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK5215_M28).

This work consists of two identical plaster pedestals, one inverted on top of the other. The artist is here analysing a pedestal that is itself sculpture. He presents the viewer with a problem: where does the sculpture begin? Is the lower part the pedestal and the upper part the sculpture? In his view the whole thing is the sculpture. In this way the traditional purpose of the pedestal, uphold the sculpture, becomes invalid. The sculpture is very austere. It looks very modern and even minimal. In modern sculpture, unlike classical sculpture, the function of the pedestal is no longer relevant. The sculpture stands straight on the floor and the pedestal itself becomes a sculpture. This breaks down the traditional distinction between the subordinate pedestal and the presented sculpture. Vermeiren uses the classical pedestal as a starting point for his work and thereby examines the relationship between the modern sculpture (without a pedestal) with its history, and the possibilities of contemporary sculpture. These pedestal sculptures are also evidence of a study of the way an artist is able to pick up elements from the history of sculpture and art in general. In addition to the reference to the classical pedestal, these two objects inverted on top of each other also form a column. This evokes one of the fundamental archetypes of art. But this work also touches upon positive and negative, presence and absence, elevation and displacement.

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