Zonder titel [Untitled]

Job Koelewijn


Materials: stock cubes, water

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. S0420_17).

This long sewer, covered in smelly broth, is a typical example of Koelewijn’s experiential art. By appealing to several senses his works provoke a stream of associations. Their power of suggestion and poetic imagination are more important than their precise content. With their symbolic value, substances that stimulate the senses, such as eucalyptus, peppermint or, as in this case, broth, bring us in touch with deeper levels of understanding that contradict the banality of the first impact. In this work Koelewijn appeals to our sense of small as a faculty of remembrance and contemplation. The persistent aroma of the sewer brings up images that refer to Dutch broth culture, which uses stock cubes as a powerful source of energy and physical fortification, but also to more general sensations of safety, comfort and pride in oneself. It is no accident that themes such as reanimation, clarification and relief are prominently featuring in Koelewijn’s work. In his own youth he had a near-death experience that cost him two years in reanimation. Untitled is also related to another of his favourite domains, that of poetry. It can be seen as a cure for the soul: a concentrate of literature, just like broth is a wholesome concentrate of vitamins. As a champion of vitality Koelewijn lets art and life influence each other. ‘Breathing is more important than being’, he himself decided.

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