eric van hove fenduq
Glossy wood, shiny copper, polished mother of pearl: materials from all over the world are combined in the traditionally reproduced engines of Éric Van Hove (Algeria, 1975). From the smallest screw to the cylinder head: international craftsmen handcraft each part under the direction of Van Hove. Until 5 January 2020, the major retrospective exhibition Éric Van Hove: Fenduq shows what human hands can make. At the same time, the work of the Belgian artist encourages reflection on global issues.
For the artist, the engine symbolises industrialisation, which in many countries marked the end of traditional craftsmanship. Production line work has replaced handcrafts. 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.
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. Since the Vietnam War, 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 artwork consists of engraved cedar wood from the Atlas Mountains, carved purpleheart wood from Brazil, wenge wood from Congo and tatajuba wood from Suriname, as well as materials such as polished mother of pearl, bones, ceramics, marble, copper and tin.
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 Moroccan woodwork, Hindelooper painting, Indonesian carving, Frisian silverwork, Swedish glassware and Frisian carved woodwork. Visitors can observe the progress of this dynamic project in the exhibition space. The engine used as a model is supplied by HAMOFA.
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 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.
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.
Frisian Motor participants: Titus Stallmann (Hindelooper painting), Erno Korpershoek (wood carving), Rikus Oswald (ceramics/majolica), Lies van Huet (ceramics), Sanne Bergsma and Theo van Halsema (silver and goldsmiths), Jilles and Hannes Scherjon (clog workshop), Frank Kroondijk and Rolf Doderlein De Win (3D-printing), AbedelaaIi Arib and Mustapha el Moufdi (copper/metalwork), Mohamed Ouahaddou (bone sculpture), Mehdi Ghinati and Abdelkadere ´Dragon´ Hmidouch (woodcarving), Abderrahim Boutkrout and Abdelghafour Boutkrout (woodcarving), Mustafa Jaouale (copper/metalwork), Abdeljalil Ait Boujmiâa (aluminium), Noureddine El Miraoui (finishing), Abdelatif Boulaadam (mechanic), Anders Wennerhag and Peter Kuchinke (glassblowing) and Wayan Lila (bone carving).