Hans Demeulenaere


° Ostend, Belgium 1974

lives and works in Bruges — Belgium


Hans Demeulenaere participated at Coup de Ville 2010. This text was published in the catalogue.


Hans Demeulenaere is fascinated by maps, scale models and architecture. The artist builds in-situ constructions in which the comment on and the perception of the respective area are of central importance. It is no surprise that Hans Demeulenaere in the context of the Coup de Ville exhibition is attracted to the practice and the self-designed residence of architect Jao Smet. The dialogue between host and artist leads to the installation re-flex/flex/re-flection - the three sources of architectural inspiration intertwined with one another.


The artist integrates into his work scale models of residences designed by Jao Smet. The décor from Alfred Hitchcock's film Rope (1948) is a second important component, and finally there is the existing architecture of the residence in which the installation is created. Demeulenaere's focus in each of these sources of inspirationgoes out towards the play, the reflection or the imitation of light in the room. The piece is a life-sized replica that largely prevents the natural incidence of light.

Demeulenaere recreates the lighting in the room using mirrors and slide projectors. Via this artificial operation, he creates the link with the replicas of architects and the gigantic setting used by Hitchcock to achieve a convincing lighing effect in his film.

His new construction in the existing building works as an echo but also as a falsification of reality. Demeulenaere refers to Plato's allegory of the cave. This inclueds the philosophy of human meaning in relation to reality. Plato saw our world as a fleeting copy of an ideal form with an everlasting existence. The aspect of temporality is characteristic of Demeulenaere's work. Most of his constructions are in-situ works and have only short-lived existence. In the majority of cases, they only live on in the form of documentation.