Belgian architect-artist

Koen Deprez

2012

The Indefinable Journey

To announce the forthcoming event, Deprez created a bas-relief in wood on the gallery floor. Representing an aerial view of the layout of a bus, he cut into the design using a saw and removed various sections. Similar to the burned map, the excised motifs were literal and physical interpretations of a gap in the architectural structure.
In the second act, Deprez covered the surrounding walls with reproductions of the panoramic vistas and dramatic landscapes painted by Joachim Patinir (1480-1524), many of which contain an unexpected interruption in the foreground: the figure of a solitary wanderer. This instalment of the exhibition conducted a more subtle exploration of the distinction between strategy and tactics. At first sight, the hermit-like figures in the landscapes appear to be mere pawns in a larger strategic game played by the painter. The rules of his game are simple: the power belongs to the person who holds the overview. Yet Koen Deprez shares an affinity with these hermits, figures who are nonetheless capable of appropriating space and readjusting its parameters according to their experiences in the field.
The third (and final) act both elaborated upon, and inverted, the dialogue. Deprez invited his visitors on a coach trip to an unknown destination. The bus only stopped occasionally, thereby preventing the participants from forming attachments to specific places. Manoeuvring around an area marked in yellow on an old map, the bus followed a northerly trajectory, skirting quickly around Prague before coming to a final halt in the Białowieża Forest, near Białystok, Poland. Deprez remembered this place from the descriptions penned by Simon Schama in his book Landscape and Memory. Having 'invaded' this familiar territory, the group headed home.
Deprez: 'Only during an indefinable journey can one perceive the truth of the landscape.' By touring aimlessly, without knowing their destination, the participants were able to reclaim their freedom of movement. Only by becoming temporary hermits could they employ the tactics necessary 'to exploit the gaps in the strategic field in order to generate novel and inventive outcomes.' (Michel de Certeau, 1925-1986).

The burning map, model, 33 x 83 x 5 cm

The burning map, model, 33 x 83 x 5 cm

The brown model, 129 x 37 x 7 cm

The brown model, 129 x 37 x 7 cm

Photo, 129 x 37 x 7 cm

Photo, 129 x 37 x 7 cm