fries museum

retrospective of éric van hove

From 2 February 2019 to 5 January 2020 the Fries Museum presents the comprehensive retrospective Éric van Hove: Fenduq. Van Hove (Algeria, 1975) reproduces industrial engines with a team of international craftsmen. From the smallest screw to the cylinder head: each part is handcrafted from high-quality materials such as wood, ceramics, bone or marble.

For the artist, the engine symbolises industrialisation, which in many countries marked the end of traditional craftsmanship. With his impressive replicas, Van Hove puts traditional crafts back on the map. He combines the beauty of design with current themes such as the distribution of wealth and the disparities between the West and the rest of the world.

Fenduq is the name of Van Hove’s studio. The name is a combination of ‘fenn’ (the Arabic word for art) and ‘funduq’. Funduqs were temporary trading posts, where travelling caravans gathered to trade and maintain the network. Van Hoves’ Fenduq is a workshop where various craftsmen, artists, economists and other interested parties work alongside each other. It is a place for production, but also for dialogue. Fenduq boosts the existing talents and qualities of the craftsmen, while simultaneously enabling them to advance their status within Moroccan society.

The highlight of the exhibition is the D9T, a reproduction of a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer engine. Initially this vehicle was designed for construction projects in developing countries. However, this bulldozer has often been used by regimes to suppress uprisings and riots and as barricades. Because of this, the bulldozer has come to symbolise oppression instead of construction. Van Hove’s reproduction consists of 295 parts, made from 46 materials by 41 different craftsmen. The Fries Museum has acquired D9T (Rachel’s Tribute)with support from the Mondriaan Fund, the BankGiro Lottery and the Friends of the Fries Museum.

frisian motor
Éric Van Hove is developing a new work especially for the Fries Museum. During the exhibition Frisian, Moroccan, Swedish and Indonesian professionals will work on the reproduction of the motor from a forage harvester. The Claas Jaguar forage harvester is a popular agricultural vehicle in the Frisian countryside. The engine is being reproduced in crafts such as Moroccan woodwork, Hindelooper painting, Indonesian carving and Swedish glassware. Visitors can observe the progress of this dynamic project in the exhibition space.

The Mercedes-240 is mostly used as a taxi in Morocco, where its German origin and reputation for quality and indestructibility have made the vehicle is a status symbol. Van Hove built his Dorigin entirely from Mercedes-240 parts and drove it to its country of origin, where the car is seen more as Moroccan than as a typical German product. In this way, the work of art poses questions about identity and ownership.

The exhibition is accompanied by an eponymous publication in Dutch and English in which experts discuss works by Éric Van Hove that are displayed in the exhibition. The book is published by Jap Sam Books and is available in the museum shop.

Studio L. A. designed this dynamic exhibition which transports visitors to the world of Éric Van Hove. Impressive objects and their context show the richness of traditional crafts and at the same time inspire visitors to think about major global issues.

éric van hove
Éric Van Hove was born in 1975 in Guelma (Algeria). He grew up in Cameroon as the son of engineers involved in development projects. When he was 14, the family returned to Belgium. After his studies at the art academy in Brussels he went to Japan, where he obtained his Master’s and PHD. After that he briefly lived in Belgium before moving to Marrakech more permanently. In 2014 he made his international breakthrough thanks to his participation in the Marrakech Biennale.

This exhibition is made possible in part by Aegon, Provincie Fryslân, BankGiro Loterij, Mondriaan Fund (the public cultural funding organization focusing on visual arts and cultural heritage), VSB fonds, Fonds21, HAMOFA, Stichting Het Nieuwe Stads Weeshuis, M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, Vrienden van het Fries Museum, GLASMA and Beldi Country Club.

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