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Old 21st March 2019, 10:56   #1
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Default Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands

Some years ago I was watching the BBC news. A new exhibition had opened at the Tate Modern in London. The exhibition was about contemporary art. To the casual eye it appeared as a bunch of rusty steel pipes thrown about.

The camera panned across these old, flaky, rusty pipes and came to the then curator of the Tate Modern. The interviewer popped the question that must have been on the minds of quite a few viewers: It all looks very unusual, but is it art?

The curator spoke the famous words: If it is in the Tate, it is art!

Whether that is supreme confidence or arrogance remains to be seen.

My wife and I went to see the Frysian Museum in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. During our visit I was reminded of that very interview with the Tate’s curator.

Since we have returned to the Netherlands we have been to visit the Frysian Museum about 5 times. It is a real gem! Leeuwarden is all the way up in the north, which means a solid 2 hour drive from where we live. Mostly motorway, through some of the new polders in the Nehterlands. Quite a nice drive, very enjoyable in our Jaguar. Whafting along.

Even though the Frysian museum ( https://www.friesmuseum.nl/en/ ) is a relative small museum, it manages to put together astonishing exhibitions. Very often the theme is connected to the province of Friesland. Somehow they manage to pull in some real unusual works, artefacts and put it all together in an extremely well curated fashion. Last year we went to visit the Mata Hari exhibition. Everybody in the Netherlands knows Mata Hari, most Dutch will be able to tell you she was from Friesland too. But this particular exhibition had so much on display about her life, background, it was truly astonishing.

The reason for our visit this time was two fold. I had turned 60 a few days earlier and we just wanted to have a nice weekend away. It also happened to be the last weekend of a particular exhibition in the Frysian museum, Rembrandt and Saskia. Made for a good combination.

So we booked ourselves a very nice hotel and set off early Saturday morning. We always enjoy this drive as it takes you through the newest parts of the Netherlands, the Flevopolder. Only a few decades ago this was an actual sea and now it is all lands and whole cities have appeared.

We stopped for coffee at Urk ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urk ) Amazing little fishing village. It used to be just a little island in the Zuiderzee (Southern Sea). Now it finds itself at the edge of the Flevopolder. It has a nice harbour with lots of little cafe’s and restaurant, nice old centre and a museum about the history of Urk. Last time we visited the museum was closed for some reason. This time it was open and we wandered around for an hour and a half. ( https://www.museumopurk.nl )

Next we also visited the Model Railway museum in another village close by. We made it to Leeuwarden by about 15.00 hours. Checked into our hotel. (https://www.hotelstadhouderlijkhof.n...bout-the-hotel ). We had stayed her before. We liked it, excellent location, smack in the middle of the centre. Huge, very comfortable rooms, friendly helpful staff. And it is a very old building, which in fact used to be an old Dutch Palace!.

After checking in, we roamed around the center of Leeuwarden a bit, sat down at one of the many quaint cafe, had a drink and some snacks. In the evening we had an excellent four course meal at our hotel. They did a special Frysian menu, which looked really good, so we opted for that.

On Sunday morning we had a nice leisurely breakfast, checked out, put our luggage in the car and went to the museum to see Rembrandt and Saskia. Saskia, Rembrandt’s wife, was born and raised in Friesland. This particular exhibition was all about Love in the Golden Age in the Netherlands. Hugely interesting and I learned many new things.

When we arrived at the museum I noticed there was also another exhibition ongoing: Eric van Hove

Quote:
Glossy wood, shiny copper, polished mother of pearl -> materials from all over the world are combined in the traditionally reproduced engines of Éric Van Hove (Algeria, 1975). From the smallest screw to the cylinder head: international craftsmen handcraft each part under the direction of Van Hove. From 2 February, the major retrospective exhibition Éric Van Hove: Fenduq shows what human hands can make. At the same time, the work of the Belgian artist encourages reflection on global issues.

For the artist, the engine symbolises industrialisation, which in many countries marked the end of traditional craftsmanship. Production line work has replaced handcrafts. With his impressive replicas, Van Hove puts traditional crafts back on the map. He combines the beauty of design with current themes such as the distribution of wealth and the disparities between the West and the rest of the world.

The highlight of the exhibition Éric Van Hove: Fenduq is the D9T, a reproduction of a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer engine. Initially this vehicle was designed for construction projects in developing countries. Since the Vietnam War, this bulldozer has often been used by regimes to suppress uprisings and riots and as barricades. Because of this, the bulldozer has come to symbolise oppression instead of construction.
Van Hove’s reproduction consists of 295 parts, made from 46 materials by 41 different craftsmen. The artwork consists of engraved cedar wood from the Atlas Mountains, carved purpleheart wood from Brazil, wenge wood from Congo and tatajuba wood from Suriname, as well as materials such as polished mother of pearl, bones, ceramics, marble, copper and tin.

Éric Van Hove is developing a new work especially for the Fries Museum. During the exhibition Frisian, Moroccan, Swedish and Indonesian professionals will work on the reproduction of the motor from a forage harvester. The Claas Jaguar forage harvester is a popular agricultural vehicle in the Frisian countryside. The engine is being reproduced in Moroccan woodwork, Hindelooper painting, Indonesian carving, Frisian silverwork, Swedish glassware and Frisian carved woodwork. Visitors can observe the progress of this dynamic project in the exhibition space. The engine used as a model is supplied by HAMOFA

fenduq
Fenduq is the name of Van Hove’s studio. The name is a combination of ‘fenn’ (the Arabic word for art) and ‘funduq’. Funduqs were temporary trading posts, where travelling caravans gathered to trade and maintain the network. Van Hoves’ Fenduq is a workshop where various craftsmen, artists, economists and other interested parties work alongside each other. It is a place for production, but also for dialogue. Fenduq boosts the existing talents and qualities of the craftsmen, while simultaneously enabling them to advance their status within Moroccan society.

dorigin
The Mercedes-240 is mostly used as a taxi in Morocco, where its German origin and reputation for quality and indestructibility have made the vehicle is a status symbol. Van Hove built his Dorigin entirely from Mercedes-240 parts and drove it to its country of origin, where the car is seen more as Moroccan than as a typical German product. In this way, the work of art poses questions about identity and ownership.

Éric Van Hove was born in 1975 in Guelma (Algeria). He grew up in Cameroon as the son of engineers involved in development projects. When he was 14, the family returned to Belgium. After his studies at the art academy in Brussels he went to Japan, where he obtained his Master’s and PHD. After that he briefly lived in Belgium before moving to Marrakech more permanently. In 2014 he made his international breakthrough thanks to his participation in the Marrakech Biennale.
That all sounded very interesting. Whilst my wife was roaming the museum shop I went to see this particular exhibition.

So here is that D9T.

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170064.jpg

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170065.jpg

Some incredible details:

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170069.jpg

Photographs of the individual components;

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170068.jpg

Eric also had a go at the Laraki Fulgara engine, or rather re-did that complete engine in a similar fashion. Some of the parts were on display:

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170048.jpg

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170049.jpg

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170059.jpg

The “Dorigin” as described above was pretty interesting of course, as I own my own W123. Mine is in a whole lot better shape, but of course that is not the point. Quite an amazing thought that this particular W123 was put togethers, completely, by using old W123 parts. As W123 taxi’s go in Morocco, this is probably considered to be a well maintained example.

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170052.jpg

Here another, very different engine. A replica of the engine on Charles Lindbergh’s plane, first Atlantic crossing.

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170063.jpg

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170076.jpg

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170085.jpg

How about the gear box of a VW Passat?

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170060.jpg

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170061.jpg

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170081.jpg

Another well known Engine marvel. The Alfa Romeo Alfa Sud boxer engine

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170072.jpg

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170074.jpg

Yes, those are wooden V-belts!

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170075.jpg

Here is where the “Frysian Engine” project is taking part.

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170057.jpg

The whole engine has already been taken apart, each part carefully labelled. All parts are on display. Subsequently each and every part will be turned into a piece of art.

Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands-p3170078.jpg

I found it absolutely fascinating. Not sure if I would call it art, but maybe anything that makes you stop, pause, think, absorb is worthy of being called art

Jeroen

Last edited by SmartCat : 21st March 2019 at 12:29. Reason: Minor typo
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Old 21st March 2019, 19:17   #2
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Default Re: Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the International Scene. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd March 2019, 09:53   #3
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Default Re: Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands

This is interesting, especially to all mechanical engineers. Thanks for sharing Jeroen.

Any idea how long this exhibition is open or if there is a similar permanent exhibition by Eric van Hove. I would like to pay a visit sometime, if I get a chance to.

The W123 is the star of the show, I believe. It is fascinating that the whole car has been put together using spare parts from old W123s. I also wonder how long the artists took to handcraft each part for and assemble all the exhibits.

Last edited by ChiragM : 22nd March 2019 at 09:56.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 11:24   #4
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Default Re: Automotive sculptures by Eric Van Hove at Frisian Museum, Netherlands

Imagination is the artist's limit! Quite a surprising connection between Engineering and Art.

If at all the Maharajas of ancient India get to customise their powertrain, this would fit the bill.
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Old 24th March 2019, 16:02   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Any idea how long this exhibition is open or if there is a similar permanent exhibition by Eric van Hove. I would like to pay a visit sometime, if I get a chance to.
.

It runs till 5th of January 2020! So still plenty of time to visit. During that time all these components of the engine of the combine harvester will return to the museum. So it should get even more interesting.

Leeuwarden is a very nice town and Plenty of other things to do in Friesland too.

Jeroen
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