“I work in my time, in order to be in my time” as Pieterjan Ginckels puts it. “I create ensembles of status symbols, and you can take that literally, actual symbols of the status of our time.” Central to the work is current popular culture, it-items for the archive of here and now. Drones, macarons, spam email, slow coffee & fixed gear bikes all take part in performances and installations where Ginckels evaluates his own time.
ICON listed Pieterjan Ginckels as a member of the ‘Future 50’, 50 extremely promising artists trailblazing genres and pushing boundaries in trying to alter the world through their work.
The Belgian’s practice concerns itself with the acceleration of modern life and he demonstrates this through exhibitions and experiences that interweave spatial, artistic and design practice, and everything in between.
Introduction to the exhibition by George Unsworth, curator ANDOR London
Introducing phrases such as ‘bagless’ and ‘cyclone technology’, the DC01 vacuum cleaner captured the public’s imagination throughout the 1990s. Brightly coloured, plasticised and pleasingly bulbous, the DC01 gradually became the most sold vacuum cleaner in the world overtaking the sales of Hoover. The name of its designer, James Dyson, began wholly permeating the fabric of contemporary domestic interiors. By the mid 2000’s Dyson’s hand-held DC12 was the biggest selling cleaner in Japan, outperforming Japan’s own brands Sharp and Sanyo. Owning a DC12 would fulfil the demands for engaging in technological advance and the desirability of the new. The DC range, as a series of objects, represents a societal movement; an aesthetic evolution in advertising and design. Dyson became a new Brand Community through which families, friends and individuals identify and authenticate their purchasing power. All bound together by the marketability of the James Dyson story, the independent designer, striving to change the world, saving the planet and fighting against the forces of the market, beating the world’s largest multinational corporations at their own game.
Pieterjan Ginckels’ practice and artworks continually recognise and re-articulate the capacity to consume, mimicking the structures of technological aesthetics and our capacity for subjective transformation through participation and forms of ownership. For Ginckels the design process, the presentation, the production and the language of promotion, exposes alternative capitalist fantasies, reconstituting the viewer's role as a consciously manipulated masculinist expression of desire, aesthetic recognition and new-age millennial belief.
LEAKERS presents a new series of Ginckels' sculptural objects, an on-going aspect of his practice that continually informs and influences the artist's larger-scale, immersive and often participative projects and installations. For LEAKERS the gallery space concentrates our full attention on a range of artworks based on another of Dyson's designs, the Dyson Airblade, first introduced in 2006. Ginckels’ sculptures, created in an apparently DIY, rudimentary fashion, follow a similar semantic interrogation of the object expressed by the artist's former sculptural series 'Dumb Phones'. Initially humorous and sardonic, inverting the loud Airblade's intensely hygienic and environmentally concerned design qualities, LEAKERS transforms our understanding of these objects and their significance in the context of the production and promotion of art. Titles of individual artworks present include QUIETER, LIGHTER, PRETTIER; BADASS ABSTRACTION; and ZERO TOLERANCE, exposing forms of socially and politically absorbed terminology as part of a generative and evolving language of cultural creation. Underlying the Dyson brand, the eco-merchandising, the sheen of plastic coatings, the statistics for financial savings and the efficiency of bacteria removal, and the combinations of marketable words and phrases, the real genuine experience for those utilising the original product is that they leak. Underneath every Dyson Airblade there lies a small pool of filthy water slowly trickling away from the device. Scale, manoeuvrability, and strategies of display become methods through which Ginckels quite literally stretches our physical engagement with brand identity, its successes and failures, and our private and public commitment to its products.
Pieterjan Ginckels (°1982) lives and works in Brussels. His work is part of the permanent collection of Mu.ZEE Oostende and ING Belgium, and has been on display in ANDOR (London), Bozar (Brussels), Graham Foundation (Chicago), Onomatopee (Eindhoven), NAK (Aachen) and is currently represented at the Horst Arts & Music Festival in the Flemish Hageland hills. In 2011 Pieterjan Ginckels received the Centre for Fine Arts Award at the Young Belgian Art Prize.