Born 1986, Mechelen, Belgium
Elise Eeraerts constructs large-scale installations and sculptures composed of modular units. The geometries of these units grow from the foundation of the stretched or modified cube, that stemmed from her first work. Mäntsälä, an irregular polygon, was physically excavated out of and made using earth. Each subsequent project is built upon traces, utterances, and fragments of a self-designed system aware of proportion and perspective. Eeraerts disrupts this neutrality of geometry through slight shifts in proportions, material, perspective, and space, enabling viewers to observe subtle changes in how one understands an object. Her success stems from a sensitivity to how architectonic surroundings inform the theoretical and concrete.
What is the identity of an object? How does one know something given the elusive nature of perception? Concerned with how objects come to be and what properties are apparent either in use, materiality, or form, Eeraerts’s practice functions as philosophical inquiry. The artist likens her practice as a series of abstract moments and actions that eventually manifest to the senses, and clarifies that such objects already exist in the mind.
Eeraerts merges the epistemological framework of geometry with primarily raw or natural materials, and in doing so, the artist articulates the seemingly immeasurable space existing between what is self evident and what cannot be obtained through the senses. Hard, angular objects that appear as stone exhibit unexpected integrity, being made of solidified oils. The land-artist’s most dense and ambitious ideas have been expressed humbly, using different types of soil. By the same token, Eeraerts’ documentation reveal techniques conjuring a sort of sublimation, working in tandem with her practice. Photo and video communicate duration and more specifically, the shifting identity of an object: its transformation. Objects are consequences of physical realities, and alchemical changes of material compositions are taut with symbolism. Her incandescent mind is exhibited best when viewers sense that tension between illusionism and verity, as we are transported back to the fundamental and paradoxical possibility that exists between human culture and matter. We are able to reconsider relationships of our natural and social worlds, possibilities of manifestation contrasted to that which appears devoid of intention.
Elise Eeraerts holds and MFA from the Sint-Lukas University College of Art and Design in Brussels. She was awarded Master Scholar diploma from the Institute fur Raumexperimente in Berlin, where she was funded by the esteemed DAAD (German Exchange) Scholarship. In 2016, she was the Winner of Arte Laguna Prize in the Land-Art Division in Venice, Italy and has also been awarded numerous grants from the Flemish Ministry of Culture. Most recently, she was a resident at Thread in Senegal, sponsored by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. She has exhibited throughout Belgium, in Finland, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Japan. In 2017, CYDONIA will mount her first American solo exhibition.
The artist lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.