eric van hove opens 2 february 2019

In 2019, the Fries Museum will present a retrospective of the work of Éric Van Hove (Algeria, 1975). The artist researches the relevance of local crafts in a highly globalised world economy. He does this by reproducing industrial products together with craftsmen. In Van Hove's work, the local and the global come together and handicrafts are placed in a contemporary context. His oeuvre stimulates a re-evaluation of handiwork and craftsmanship and links tradition to innovation.

The highlight of the exhibition Éric Van Hove: Fenduq is the D9T, a reproduction of a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer engine. Initially this vehicle was designed for construction projects in developing countries. But since the Vietnam War, this bulldozer has often been used by regimes to suppress uprisings, riots and barricades. An original Caterpillar engine was completely dismantled and craftsmen from a variety of countries made copies of the more than 290 individual parts. This gave rise to a new engine made from engraved cedar wood from the Atlas Mountains, carved purpleheart wood from Brazil, wengéwood from Congo and tatajuba wood from Suriname, as well as materials such as polished mother of pearl, bones, ceramics, marble, copper and tin.

the D9T

frisian engine
During the exhibition the artist will develop a new work especially for the museum. To this end, Frisian craftsmen work together with professionals from the rest of the world. The engine block of an agricultural vehicle will be recreated from Moroccan woodwork, Hindelooper paintwork, Indonesian carvings, Frisian silverware, Swedish glassware and Makkumer pottery. A workshop will be erected in the exhibition space where visitors can observe the progress of this project. The engine block that is being reconstructed has been offered by HAMOFA.

Van Hove works from his ‘Fenduq’ in Marrakesh. The name ‘Fenduq’ is derived from temporary trading posts from the past, where travelling caravans gathered to trade and maintain the network. Van Hovens’ 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 improve their status within Moroccan society.

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 in post-colonial Africa. Because of this background, Van Hove travelled all over the world from an early age and became familiar with many different local contexts. In 1996 he studied at the Institute des Arts et Technique Artisanale (IATA) in Namur. In 2005 he obtained a Master's degree in Traditional Japanese Calligraphy at Tokyo Gakugei University in Tokyo and in 2008 he earned his PhD at Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai).