Guestronauts
Guestronauts

OLIVIER PAUWELS

(1974)

Belgian


Guestronauts


63 x 25 x 25 cm (93 x 25 x 25 with Plinth)

Mixed Media with TV, Hi-Fi and DVD, Edition 1/11

2013 - 2014

Apart from the fact that we received the same education and that I also started my career as a graphic designer in the advertising world, there is no real link between my work and Mara's later global work.


Although... Pol Mara (1920-1998) is part of generation in which many of my idols had their place in art history such as Vic Gentils (1919-1997) and in particular Paul van Hoeydonck (1925).


Paul van Hoeydonck... through his inspiring work I started visual work, the fact that Paul van Hoeydonck and Pol Mara were both members of the avant-garde group G58 Hessenhuis certainly reinforces my connection to Mara’s work and especially the period.


There is clearly a certain link, call it a resemblance, between the work I proposed and Two Women in Mirrors, in which two women are depicted with their heads trapped in an elliptical bubble. As a spectator, it is not immediately clear what Mara means by this. Is it a kind of futuristic image? Are they astronauts of some sort? Whatever his intention, it brought me immediately back to my Guestronauts, where I also trap the faces (via TV) in a spherical helmet that is part of a bigger astronaut suit.


It is a strange feeling to see these faces, apparently trapped in a kind of sphere. Trapped in a static robot that can come alive at any time. Trapped in a closed world. Our world. My intention is for the face on this TV to be that of a guest, hence the title Guestronaut. Up to each collector to then choose which guest to record and to trap into the space suit! The Guest becomes the artwork!



Olivier Pauwels (1974)


Olivier Pauwels, also known by his tag BOHI, is a Belgian artist. He started his career as a painter and graphic designer, but quickly turned his attention towards three-dimensional assemblages. With an eye for detail and a strong preference for old materials, combined with sweet little babies, Pauwels creates an apocalyptic image track. This track seeks the balance between humor and threat, violence and love, renewal and reconditioning.


Famous for his cyber babies: android creatures, born from classic toy dolls and old machine parts, Pauwel’s humanoid contraptions, which originally were given an undeniably steampunk look or donned military attributes, are moving as well as fascinating. Through them, the artist guides us towards a surreal world of "Cyber Babies" and futuristic machines. It’s an escape from reality, as well as a statement about launching every baby, every new-born, into an outrageous world. A world in which the mass hysteria of the constantly wanting more determines our rhythm of life. These babies are the seed for the next generation. They’re a blank slate on which we can project our wishes, fears and dreams of the future.


In his work, objects are decontextualized and are given a new dimension, a new identity, whereby they lose all connection with their past. “Where the life of an object stops… the dream world of the artist begins.” The artist’s specific way of assemblage got him in touch with film legend George Miller in 2010 and he participated in shaping the image of the movie Mad-Max Fury Road (2015), which was rewarded with 6 Oscars.