Wannes Goetschalckx

Wannes Goetschalckx,1 WITHOUT, 2010. Photograph by Thierry Bal 

Wannes Goetschalckx,1 WITHOUT, 2010. Photograph by Thierry Bal 

Belgian artist Wannes Goetschalckx (b.1978, Belgium) explores the emotional and physical, and the ideological and imaginative, in relation to the body and space. His practice combines videos, objects and performance actions in sculptural settings that are occupied, probed and altered by Goetschalckx’s own intervention.

By posing physical and mental challenges to his own mind and body, his work aims to reveal to the viewer both the immediately apparent and also the hidden and psychic constraints that bear on human life. The coexistence of comfort and pain, exposure and enclosure, and cage and shelter are frequent denominators in his practice.

For Touched, Goetschalckx developed a multi-channel video installation comprising short films depicting the artist engaged in everyday actions and rituals within a minimal wooden space. Performed in hermetic solitude, Goetschalckx’s actions reflected upon the behavioural possibilities and rituals that might be enacted by a single human being or creature ‘in captivity’. The setting of the videos reappeared in modified form within the gallery as a space for activity and contemplation where visitors could experience a ‘warm’ shelter, acting as a counterpoint to the ‘cold’ white cube presentation of the video installation.

The title of the work, 1 WITHOUT, alluded to the composite of words and meanings within Goetschalckx’s spoken language – in Dutch ‘wit’ means ‘white’ and ‘hout’ means ‘wood’ – while also referencing the ‘empty’ twelfth plinth that formed part of the installation and that became an occasional platform for live interventions by the artist.

Wannes Goetschalckx at Liverpool Biennial 2010

, 2010
Video and mixed media
Commissioned by and exhibited at Tate Liverpool 

Supported by

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation