Laisse pas trainer ton Fils (Don't let your Son hang around)
53 x 20.5 cm
Polyester & Marble Powder, Edition of 5
If time had not been running out so fast, a new work should have seen the light of day in response to Prosper De Troyer’s Sacred Heart of Jesus among the People. It would have born the same title to illustrate with irony a contemporary reinterpretation of the expression of faith, of sharing, or even of the value of Christianity.
Here is a brief description of the work that should have been:
A bench, a metal bar, some evocative details, a graffiti... Gray/monochrome sculpture, except for a sacred bright red heart. A seated Christ, in a subway, a young man almost lying on the bench, legs spread under his dress, nonchalant air. A hand on his thighs, looking at his smartphone, absent ... On the smartphone, a sacred heart, and no one to see it...
The objective with this piece would have been to capture of a great loneliness escaping from the setting, highlighting the growing religious disinterest, or the disinterest for sharing, by extension. The work would have been the prequel of another piece that I made in 2014, titled Laisse pas trainer ton fils (Don’t let your son hang around), in reference to the famous NTM song. An opposition approach between the signified / signifiers as is almost always the case in my work.
In the end, this earlier existing work is the one I chose to treat the resonance of our respective pieces. In my cultural lexicon, this sculpture evokes a disillusioned and/or honest vision of an abandoned father/son relationship. It is a representation of a son abandoned to his fate by a father who seems very poorly sensitized to the notions of support, education and trust.
"Don’t let your son hang around, if you do not want him to fall..." (lyrics of the song). If God is Love, and especially in our image, why then would his lack of paternal involvement not get back at him, like a boomerang, in the form of a disillusioned and dissocialized son? For me, it was a question of humanizing the divine figure, and without a doubt to also humanize the paternal figure. Once made human, God/father would be more likely placed on an equal footing, at times forgiven, perhaps understood.
This dialogue between the work of Prosper De Troyer and mine was an opportunity for me to discover the work of this artist. In fact, it seems that some of our semantic research have followed similar paths. At least, as far as the treatment of Christian subjects is concerned.
In his work, I detected a touch of irony or at least a desire to distort reality so as to inspire in the viewer an emotional reaction. It has to do with distorting a well-known and defined subject by drawing on its symbols, however unconscious, to create a new expressive intensity. The result should be in an invitation to decipher a superior reality that can be broken down into multiple levels of reading. And even if the first layers might seem light, this process stems from a desire to see successive levels of reading as steps going down, one after the other, to an ever more serious understanding of the subject.
Moreover, if our artistic aesthetics are far apart, his work triggered in me the melancholy of the Belgian landscapes, the coldness of this country that needed a long time to seduce me. But it is precisely these melancholic sensations that remind me that our common country is deeply rooted inside me, and that it nourishes the expression of a Belgianhood now fully claimed in my work.
Born in Etterbeek, Nel-14512 is a Belgian symbolist-surrealist sculptor.
Her body of work is born out of the inventive blending of a figurative style tainted by pop art with the deconstruction of the French language. At first sight, the viewer discovers works that play with expressions and their mental projections to perpetually oscillate between the symbolism of a concept and its literal representation.
What is the meaning of an image? Must it be one with its explanation? Thus being one with its title? Following this very interrogation and this play on signifying and signified, Nel-14512’s work undeniably adopts the visual style of surrealism, with the same attention to detail and resemblance, but her own use of language does not translate into an absence of link between the word and the image. It is quite the opposite, for her sculptures dive deeper into the meaning of their title, gracefully exhausting its symbolic meaning.
Nel-14512’s technical and documentary research all aim at creating a visual shock resulting from the juxtaposition of images, words and objects, whereby she expresses herself almost philosophically, shamelessly shaking some of our core beliefs.