About Geert Decloedt
Born in Torhout, Belgium on February 2nd, 1955.
He studies at the H.S.O. Academy in Bruges, Saint Lucas High School in Brussels and Ghent where Dan Van Severen acted as Professor.
He moves to Portugal in 1989 and returns to Belgium after 17 years.
In Portugal, he participates in various exhibitions and creates, amongst others, wall paintings and integrations for the new Museum da Presidêntia da República.
He also collaborates with Siza Vieira, Solto Moura and other architects on different architectural projects.
To-day, he teaches contemporary art and smart use of colour at Syntra in Ghent.
Different works of Decloedt can be seen in cultural centres in Germany (Wiesbaden), France (Saint Raphaël), Holland (Eindhoven), Japan (Kanazawa) and in the United Arab Emirates (Sharjah).
At the first glance and from a certain distance, the works of Geert Decloedt seem to be simple.
The works are non-figurative and look rather uniform.
However, looking closer, one detects literary cracks, tears which are on the search of unity, through a single, or through various layers of paint.
Nevertheless, his works hide an extensive complexity and bulk of paradoxes.
This is the result of 3 fundamental ideas which interact continuously and are typical of all of Decloedt’s works:
- The invisibility within the visibility
- Colour and Form
- Text and Image
- How invisible is the invisibility of the visible?
Many long to give form to the invisibility (or the immaterial). In this way, the sculptor creates the (previously invisible) sculpture out of the visible piece of marble.
Decloedt believes that we live that much in a superabundance of images that he doesn’t want to create more of them!
He developed his unique “rip-off” or tear-off technique.
His “rip-offs” are somehow three-dimensional, extremely flat sculptures, created by tearing off more than adding paint.
The esthetical quality of the image is the result of the concept itself: the (visible) image is being created by removing matter and thus by making the untouched parts of the canvas (where the paint has been ripped-off) visible.
The white pieces of canvas function as image of their own; those images can only arise from the invisibility through the remains of the torn-off paint.
The earliest works concentrate on the tears as such, creating images. The images disappear in later works and different tears, from different layers are created. This is almost a classical, but not transparent working on the canvas.
- Colour and Form
The multi-coloured, polychrome works function nearly literally as the saying: “through the woods does one not longer see the trees”.
Some of these works cause a delirium of the perception. Just one example: most digital cameras will find it difficult – if not impossible – to auto focus (What is now the precise distance between some of the colours and the forms on the white canvas?).
The abundance of colour competes with the forms and, making it impossible to define or to discern what it is.
We lose the basis, the origin; we are lost between the nothingness and the matter. The overall impression prevails, the image is invisible and at the same time visible.
Through a repressed reality, we see things that are neither on the empty canvas, nor on the white stain nor on the abstract form.
This phenomenon is the guide for the modernism of the past century.
The pattern of stripes is also, as camouflage, very much present in nature; used as a technique to create certain invisibility.
Michael Foucault describes fiction as “moments of in-betweens, transformations between spaces of images.”
The effect of the perception – sometimes as an illusion – is part of the totality of Decloedt’s works.
There is no rule how to hang works, they can be shown horizontally, vertically, from the left to the right or from the right to the left.
The only determining facts to expose the works are space and context.
- Text and Image
Vilém Flusser describes in “Hat schreiben Zukunft ?”:
“The treatment of the amphibian relation between the domains of image and writing is that both domains, naturally, suck each other completely empty in terms of meaning and effect.”
Decloedt also removes texts, they more become hollow, because:
- Text is so excessive that it kills the image, whereas image unveils the imperfections of text.
- The writing is merely linear and historical, whereas image has a magical conscious.
Both text and image are very ontological, an invisible existence in an existence.
All images with visible made texts are statements which underline the 3 fundamental ideas of Decloedt’s concept. Hereafter, you will find some of them:
ALL WHAT IS VISIBLE, IS UNTRUE
WHAT IS NOT, IS VERY MATERIAL
WHAT IS, IS ELUSIVE
LOOKING TO WORDS IS THINKING WITH IMAGES
LOOKING TO IMAGES IS THINKING WITH WORDS