Stijn Ank, Vector, 2014. Vue d'installation. © Studio Stijn Ank.
© Ian Swerts, 2014.
© Ian Swerts, 2014.
3.2 — 27.4.2014 Project Room
artist(s): Stijn Ank
Artist in residence: 3 February - 14 March 2014
Exhibition: 15 March - 27 April 2014.
Open house on 15 March 2014, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Performance The Opening of the Opening at 3:30 p.m.
After having worked for several years as an architect, Stijn Ank (born 1977, Belgium), moved away from the functional, utilitarian aspect of that field in order to pursue freer, more autonomous investigations into how people currently relate to their spatial environment. Thus Vector, a work produced during his artist residency at Casino Luxembourg, stems above all from his architectural study of the Casino's "Aquarium," with its palpable borders of four glass walls that create a visual and physical tension between inside and outside.
Close examination of the plans of Casino Luxembourg and its "Aquarium" revealed to Ank that the spacing of the old columns of the nineteenth-century building and the slender metallic columns of the newer "Aquarium" - replacing a former public terrace - coincided at only one point. Hence after the new columns were implanted, only one opening was possible between the glass pavilion and the original building.
Given these observations Ank decided to create an act allowing visitors to feel freer within the building, to forget the separation between the art world inside and everyday life outside. In order to mark the direction of this exchange, he decided to open a window of the "Aquarium" and to cast a rectangular block in it, composed of successive layers of plaster of different colors.
This solid, opaque link between inside and outside is just a segment in space, yet Ank refers to it as a "vector." The enigmatic thrust behind its trajectory will be concretized at a crucial moment, during a decisive act: on the day of the opening (Saturday, March 15, 2014), Ank will recreate the former entrance of Casino Bourgeois* along the axis that links the block of plaster to the art center's new entrance. He will thus take advantage of the public opening to unveil a new access - The Opening of the Opening will lay bare the true extent of Vector's axis and break down the borders that exist not only between the inside and the outside of the Casino's building, but also within the Casino itself. Thus The Opening of the Opening completes Vector as it was always intended.
The (de)materialization of the act of the opening has been submitted as a donation to a public institution.
* Before becoming a contemporary art center, Casino Luxembourg had been a social club, known as the Casino Bourgeois, from the late nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century.