Frederic Geurts

ZONDER EINDE (endless)

'Ricercare' in Italian means to try, to investigate. In the polyphonic music of the Franco-Flemish school (16th century), ricercare was synonymous with the complex interweaving of different musical themes, say, a higher form of improvisation.

Mutatis mutandis, this "improvisational research/exploratory improvisation" plays a defining role in Frederic Geurts' work. After all, in his sculptures, which tend toward constructions and prefigurations of constructions, he interweaves various themes. For example, he plays on the boundary between unstable and stable equilibrium and creates topological and perspectival ambiguity by crafting optical illusions. Concretely, he purifies matter into planes and lines through which space and time merge into one large continuum. Just as in the relativity theory, the dimensions of time, space, and matter together form one continuum.
That is exactly what you experience when watching the video “Crossing”. Framed from above on an empty floor, the video documents the passing of a man and a woman, who cross each other walking through the image. They do so over and over, this from different directions or angles. The film explores both space and time. The bodies could hereby be seen as kinetic sculptures.

The exhibition is titled ZONDER EINDE (endless). Not that this explains the exhibition, but it draws attention to Frederic Geurts' relentless, ongoing research into fragile structures, which find meaning and expression in the "art of building" but also works as a metaphor for the fragility of human beings.
But don’t be mistaken. Behind Geurts’ sublime constructions hide existential questions, about the transience, coincidence and precarity of existence. Precarity is a term that is recently commonly used to describe how uncertainty permeates our society in more and more areas of life. This unsteadiness is consistent with Geurts’ attention to chance and the arbitrary aspect of making choices.

Folded, for example, consists of a folded structure held together by hinges. As a result, the form is somewhat unsteady as if the sculpture might still assume different shapes. While the staves of Coloured Columns were very deliberately painted in a mixture of primary colors and ochers, that palette, too, like the constellation of Folded, remains in fact arbitrary, like the throwing of dice.
That is why you cannot reduce Geurts’ works to mere sublime constructions. They equally embody provisory stages of a genesis, where chance, doubt and precociousness are the parameters and mirror existential questions and a ceaseless process of coming into being.

text by Koen Van Synghel

Artists: Frederic Geurts