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Loek Grootjans – Ergens is het beter

Patrons - vzw Fontein der Vreugde Ghent
Curator - Thérèse Legierse
Partners - City of Ghent, NV R. Maes - Algemene bouwondernemingen
Sint Michielsstraat, Ghent, Belgium, 2005

This big blind wall, founded in 1972, is famous in Ghent. For numerous years, this wall has been a luminous example of architectural ugliness. The commissioner, vzw 'Fontein der vreugde' (Fountain of Joy), an organisation to help suicidal people, wanted to stress the context of this location. An Alexian monastery used to be located here and became an institution for the mentally ill in the 19th century. An alley led to a higher located chapel, which could be accessed through the baroque entry 'Hemelpoort' (Gate of Heaven). The wall has blocked every passage and is in this way a metaphor for the hopelessness. Loek Grootjans' works start from a philosophical reflection, which he combines with a mental and visual overview. In this case, 'Ergens is het beter' juxtaposes the overview with a mental view on, combines a blue gate of heaven with hope and comfort. The artist doesn't appropriate the place. The work of art doesn't turn the wall into a beautiful wall, it's still standing there in all its ugliness. 'Ergens is het beter' isn't an aesthetic gesture or a decorative element. The area stays an empty spot, but maybe it has become an empty spot with a view. This interference of space is temporary and can disappear with a new architectural project at this location.

Loek Grootjans

Loek Grootjans (Arnemuiden, 1955) started his career with monochrome paintings. Later he mainly focussed on installations and videos. In his vision, art and philosophy are intertwined: philosophy creates insight while art creates freedom.