De Oogst [The Harvest]

Patrick Van Caeckenbergh


Collage, 210.5 x 152 cm.
Materials: Paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK006857).

The Harvest is part of Patrick Van Caeckenbergh's extensive project Life Itself. The project consists of collages, sculptures, designs and drawings, with which the artist attempts to visually render human existence in all its complexity. At first sight the work looks like a collage of a family tree. On closer inspection, it reveals something much more complex. Old black & white prints show people from different regions and countries, occupied with harvesting their crops. These photographs are attached to the tree’s leaves, symbol for the natural world that provides us with food. The food itself is taken by various gaping mouths connected to a body that digests the food into excrement. The atmosphere is created from the farts of the body after digestion. Texts and prints regarding the energy of sun and earth finish the circle. The cyclical principle of growth, harvest, digestion and fertilization is, for this artist, a metaphor for the manner in which the creative process emerges. According to Van Caeckenbergh, the art works themselves are the eind point of a lengthy process, one that he himself compares with digestion. His creative thought is influenced by a mass of impressions, experiences and knowledge. The great majority of this, however, is filtered during a process of ‘digestion’. What remains is the sediment, the work of art, that the artist presents to the world and which will subsequently be taken up by others. And so the cycle inevitably continues…

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