de Nieuwe opdrachtgevers

les Nouveaux commanditaires

Koen De Decker – Tureluur

Patrons - Library and Police Station Nieuw Gent
Curator - Thérèse Legierse
Partners - City of Ghent
Bibliotheek Nieuw Gent, Rerum Novarumplein 186, Ghent, Belgium, 2010

The commission

Koen De Decker made a mast of 15 meters for the building, with a man's silhouette on top, functioning as a weather vane. The artwork is visible for all users of the building, but also for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood; it literally and figural sticks out above the building. "After a long lasting period of designing, suddenly the image of a man in a mast deemed up at night. He tries to climb higher in the distance, to grasp something or to touch. That night, it almost naturally became a silhouette and a weather vane. I immediately felt this was the idea I wanted to accomplish. The most important detail is the hand that is reaching, or begging. I immediately got a good response to my idea. But what seems evident in a drawing isn't always evident in reality. It was a challenge to realize my idea. Quickly, the mast was enlarged to almost twice its size, till 15 metres. After a lot of measuring and maths, the mast was eventually there. In dialogue with the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, an appropriate title for the work was sought. It became TURELUUR because it refers to a name (Tuur or Arthur) but also to the Dutch word 'rondturen' (which means peering around) and to the hourglass which is often visible on a high lookout post, like a pole in the field."

The inauguration

Saturday December 13th 2008 Dienstenhuis Nieuw Gent at the Rerum Novarumsquare was inaugurated with festivities. Now a new intersection for public services is located here : the Politiecommissariaat Nieuw Gent, Dienst Burgerzaken, Dienstencentrum Nieuw Gent and Clubhuis voor Senioren. In the same building, the new neighbourhood library is located. The design was made by Arch&Teco Architectuur from Gent, and includes all the specific needs of the neighbourhood. In this area, marked by a concentration of skyscrapers and social housing, the Dienstenhuis should become a 'house for the neighbourhood' where everybody is welcome. An artwork especially made for the Dienstenhuis gives this area an extra touch. The city of Ghent has created a policy for Art in Public Space years ago. Integrating art in the city library is an important aspect here. After Maria Roosen in de Brugse Poort and Christoph Fink in Zwijnaarde it was Koen De Decker's turn to create a new artwork for Nieuw Gent. Before the artist was selected, a portfolio of the neighbourhood was made. Subsequently a fitted artist was sought together with de vzw De Nieuwe Opdrachtgevers. Koen De Decker was a good choice: he clicked with the users of this place and was very enthusiastic about the assignment. Soon the patio of the building turned out to be the most ideal place for the work, not only because of the visibility but also because of the opportunities.

Koen De Decker

Koen De Decker (°1975) lives and works in Outer- Ninove. He works with different media as an art form, like drawings, sculptures, videos and installations. His starting point is always his fascination for form and how it marks a border between the work of art and the surroundings. Koen De Deckers' sculptures are distinct geometric. On one side, you have the platonic, isometric bodies that obviously mark a volume and have a timeless charisma. On the other hand, he makes open, dynamic rib structures that are in a porous contrast with the surrounding space and try to articulate the phenomenological experience in extremis. The jumpy play of lines introduces a certain time span in the work and makes the glance of the audience dance. Because of the continuous variations on an ungraspable theme, these sculptures resemble of graphical scores or visual jazz improvisations.