An industrial-looking sculpture stands before us. Though seen through UV filters, its imposing size and rotating movement can be discerned. As we enter the gallery, the hazy light abruptly gives way to a blaze of such force that the dazzling glare makes looking head-on almost impossible. There, the form is revealed in its entirety: pipes, corrugated PVC and industrial LEDs contrast with a tree trunk planted in a raw concrete base. No refined materials, no contrived shapes; an unworked assemblage that emits a blinding light and a deep whirring sound drawn directly from the bowels of the mesmerizing “beast.”
Arnaud Eubelen (b. 1991 in Liège) works in an artistic no-man’s-land between sculpture and design. He questions our assumptions leading from concept to object and the extent to which we take construction materials for granted. By shifting their use and context, he reappropriates and enhances the industrial building stones of our world, highlighting their intrinsic qualities and values. Viewing the streets of our man-made environment as hardware stores or, as he puts it, a matériauthèque (materials library), he subtly rewires and rewrites the urban context by means of material layering, each layer encompassing different narratives and lives. Masquerading as everyday objects, his works disregard established codes and divert materials from their intended use. They pertain to the world of design yet are made from repurposed industrial elements. Arnaud Eubelen’s unique creations, singular in appearance and identity, bridge gaps between art and the object in a manufactured world.