Fragile Memory project Veerle Michiels & Jonas Vansteenkiste
Veerle Michiels and Jonas Vansteenkiste explore the fragility of the war memory. This is materialized by means of a monument. The monument embodies the identity of a country / population, town or village.
A new image is created on the existing war memorial, by concealing it with sandbags.
Within the framework of the commemoration of the First World War, they worked around the idea of the war memorial. And they did not do this from a historical perspective, but from the art perspective. In this way their work is a critical question about the role and impact of the monument as a place of remembrance. This question is making the monument active and creates an "open work of art". The idea of the"open work of art "- the term 'opera aperta' comes from the Italian philosopher and writer Umberto Eco.
"This is precisely the difference between a monument and a work of art. The significance of a monument is determined in advance, and moreover she is indisputable. It forms a 'front' where one can not get through. On the contrary. the artwork provides insight and perspective. The significance of the work of art lies primarily in the fact that the spectator is invited to ad meaning from his own knowledge and experience. All these meanings are the wealth of the artwork. The layering of the work is its main quality. Different meanings as layers lying on each other interact with the viewer. Old meanings can be reactivated and new ones can be added.
The "monument" here is not just 'memory', but also 'desire'." (Lieven Van Den Abeele)
Michiels and Vansteenkiste thereby generating a temporary identity crisis of the monument and its surroundings.
They not only deny the monument but inact a beautiful poetic layer in this action.
In hiding the monument behind the sandbags they also protect the monument from possible attacks.
It refers to current events where history and images are destroyed.
This confirms that even history is very fragile.