World Artists and their Story, 39 - Gert Scheerlinck
Some time ago I attended the opening of the exhibition 'Objects of Disguise' by Gert Scheerlinck at Twelve Twelve Gallery. Gert Scheerlinck is from Oosterzele, just below Ghent, Belgium.
The artworks are made of everyday materials: old nails placed next to and under each other in a series of empty CD cases, six used industrial filters in a different state of grayness placed under each other, a branch of over a meter with a rope with a loop attached to it, scouring pads with the rough side up, which together form a carpet.
A grand spectacle
They are everyday and sometimes also raw materials. There is a connection with the Arte Povera, an Italian art movement from the seventies of artists who made works from simple materials, where it is not so much about the art object, but about what the object brings about to the viewer.
"Every viewer sees something else in it" says Gert Scheerlinck, "that is also the intention. I do not have to say what it represents, otherwise the poetic disappears." He can say something about the underlying theme: "It's always about people in all their aspects and what they are capable of. It's about emotions, about values, about banalities, power relations, contradictions, (non-verbal) communication, ... "
Scheerlinck has the feeling that he is a spectator of a grand spectacle, a show in which everything happens that can not be controlled and that plays with every emotion in everyone's body. "I then isolate myself into my studio, because I need that time and that freedom to be able to reflect and to put things into perspective."
Like an album
Why does he shape it in this way? Gert: "Maybe I think I can change something about the busy performance-oriented lifestyle that we all have. Because of what I do, I can stop the spectators for a moment, I can let them revert to a long gone beautiful or even a painful memory. We should not forget some events. With my work I want to shake and wake them up, in an honest way. "
He has no real key work, a work that put him on a different track, he says. "At least no absolute key work. I think that an oeuvre consists of several key works. All works are important because they tell a story together. Compare it to a music group, an exhibition is like an album, with a few singles that get airplay, but only the complete album tells the whole story. "
Gert Scheerlinck has been active as an artist for quite some time. He started as a painter but never came out with his paintings because he did not like them well enough. "You have to admit that, it was not just my imagery. However, my education was necessary to come to where I am now. I have taken the aesthetic out of it and applied it in conceptual thinking. In the purely conceptual art, aesthetics does not play a role at all, which did bother me, so I now make a sort of crossover between sculpture and installation with occasional big nod to painting. "
Finally, does he have a nice philosophical conclusion? He has. "For some reason I have a hard time when only the word beautiful is used for a work of art. Beautiful is not synonymous with good for me. A good work of art grows as you take your time. I realize that my work has a certain aesthetic, but I aim always at giving it a dark side, with associations that are not always obvious. I get to hear afterwards: 'there is something about that work, that pinches'. They are right."
1) Objects of Disguise, Nails, 2) Camisole, 3 - 4) Exhibition opening, 5) Breath, 2013, 6) Green tiles, 2015, cd cases, wood, foil, 2 x 60 x 40 cm, 7) The Flag, 8) Rubber Band, 9) The Cloud 10) The Gun, 2017, branch, cord, 100 x 50 x 20 cm,11) The Tap, 12) Gert Scheerlinck