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Maarten Vanden Eynde

Natural Capital (2017), Meessen De Clercq Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (photo: Philippe De Gobert)
Pinpointing Progress, RIBOCA/Riga International Biennial for Contemporary Art, 2018 (photo: Ivan Erofeev)
The Power of None (2018), Artefact 2018, STUK, Leuven, Belgium
Since the dawn of man, progress has been the main driver for evolution. Contemporary globalisation bearing daily changes at an unprecedented speed favours a linear model as the only applicable frame to comprehend time. The world of the present is being pushed and pulled towards the future, leaving the constant growing past behind. In a collective frenzy of euphoria we are all together building a better and more convenient world. Or are we?

For almost two decades I study humanities ecological impact on Earth, visualised by the current geological layer we will leave behind for future generations. Most of my works start from an investigation into the materiality of objects that surround us, ranging from the origin of the different materials and the contexts in which they are extracted, transported and transformed, to the remains after they are no longer in use. The Anthropocene, a new and contested geologic chronological term for the epoch that began when human activities started having a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems, is my main area of interest. The discourse around this new term and its entanglements within a global and post-colonial context is at the core of my artistic research.