suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Nick ERVINCK: In order to reconstruct the past, an archaeologist interprets historical remains. As an artist wondering how this discipline can be relevant for his sculpting practice, Nick Ervinck starts from fragmentary pieces to build up a new personal and digital space.
ESAVOBOR, recollecting a roman vase, is a hybrid entity which is build up with interconnecting parts.
Ervinck never aims at closing this sculpture, he rather is interested in the aesthetics of unsounded reconstruction. ESAVOBOR looks like a transformer robot and heralds the possibility of a flexible metamorphosis: robots, as seen in popular sci-fi series and comics, are able to transform themselves easily. The artist proposes contemporary sculpture as an intermediate form which is in a dynamic transitional phase. ESAVOBOR thus is a sculpture in flux.
By eclectically combining different historical elements, he made a newly composed design. This working method is inherent to his digital designing process, in which he transforms existing fragments into a new virtual setting. Furthermore, this sculpture makes references to the contemporary cultural industry. Computer games and Hollywood movies stimulated the revival of a Greek-Roman mythology. Ervinck interprets these new tendencies using advanced 3D software. Though the use of 3D computer graphics, prints, drawings and sculptures may suggest a confrontation between the ancient civilizations and a possible digital future, Nick Ervinck wards off this possible clash and initiates a constructive dialogue between present, future and past, between craft and technology, and between the virtual and the physical. Ervinck not only questions human striving for excess in architecture and his need to organize the universe, he proposes a new concept of man as well, one which cannot be classified. Ervinck’s works consequently recollect the inevitability of historical concepts and classifications, but at the same time he challenges this urge for artificial classification. ESAVOBOR thus reflects on our changing ways of thinking and feeling: the artist no longer makes art in order to represent the world, but rather to reinvent it.
On a technical level, this sculpture is unique in a sense that if it was printed in one piece, it could never be painted. Thanks to a ‘plug and play’ system, in a way comparable to the ‘Kinder surprise-style’ toy filled chocolate eggs, Nick Ervinck was able to paint every different piece before assembling the sculpture. In fact, it could be possible to assemble the different parts of the robots in an other way which makes ESAVOBOR almost a living sculpture that can transform at any time. The sculpture consists of 80 different pieces that were printed during a month on a Fortus 250 MC 3D printer from Stratasys. After the different pieces were painted by hand the construction of the final sculpture began to create ESAVOBOR.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
NE: For this project, Nick Ervinck was inspired by archaeologic findings but even more by the clash between history and innovation. As an artist he has one foot firmly planted in the digital world. This means that he does not only experiment with the latest technologies to create new forms but the digital logic also largely determines his way of working. ESAVOBOR was created in the context of an exhibition at the Gallo Roman Museum Tongres and was inspired by Roman vases. Studying hundreds of these archeological findings, one thing that fascinated the artist was how all these different pieces and fragments they found came together and formed slowly a new form again and that the end result is a surprise as long as the pieces do not come together.
With ESAVOBOR, Nick Ervinck does the same by printing all the different little parts and let the come together in the very end. In the form you can even recognize some parts of a Roman vase but at the same time ESAVOBOR is clearly inspired by Transformers, animations, contemporary culture and sic-fi. This clash between history and futurism, tradition and innovation makes ESAVOBOR almost like an archaeologic finding of the future.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
NE: I really like the works of contemporary artists like Henry Moore, Tony Cragg and Anish Kapoor. Currently I’m also fascinated by the Art Nouveau from Hector Guimard and I also have an interest for a younger generation of sic-fi architects and artists like Michael Hansmeyer and Tobias Klein.