Maarten Vanden Eyde
Hours and dates
- Oct 26 from null to null
Maarten Vanden Eynde (Belgium, 1977) is a visual artist who graduated in 2000 from the free media department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (NL), participated in 2006 in the experimental MSA (Mountain School of Arts) in Los Angeles (US) and finished a post graduate course in 2009 at HISK Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent (BE) where he is a regular guest tutor. Since 2020 he has been a PhD candidate at the University of Bergen in Norway, focusing on the history and evolution of external memory devices. In 2017 he was nominated for the first Belgian Art Prize and won the Public Prize.
In 2005, together with Marjolijn Dijkman, he founded Enough Room for Space, an interdependent art initiative that develops and coordinates events, residencies, research projects and exhibitions worldwide. Recent solo exhibitions include: Exhumer le futur at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, FR (2022) ; Tracing Memories at NOME gallery, Berlin, DE (2022) ; Digging up the Future at Mu.ZEE, Ostend, BE (2021).
Recent group exhibitions include : Beaufort 21 Triennial, BE (2021) ; Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture, Hasselt, BE (2020) ; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, DE (2020) ; Tallinn Photomonth – Contemporary Art Biennial, EE (2019) ; 6th Lubumbashi Biennale, DRC (2019) ; RIBOCA/Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Riga, LV (2018) ; Belgian Art Prize 2017, Bozar, Brussels, BE (2017) ; 2050. A Brief History of the Future at National Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, TW (2018), Palazzo Reale, Milan, IT (2016) and The Royal Museums of Fine Art, Brussels, BE (2015) ; Réalités Filantes, 4th Biennale de Lubumbashi, CD (2015) ; Beyond Earth Art at Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, US (2014) ; Ja Natuurlijk, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, NL (2013) ; The Deep of the Modern, Manifesta9, Genk, BE (2012) ; The Museum of Forgotten History, M HKA, Antwerp, BE (2012) and Dublin Contemporary in Dublin, IR (2011).
Vanden Eynde is represented by Meessen De Clercq gallery in Brussels, Belgium, and NOME gallery in Berlin, Germany.
The five major oceanic gyres – the North and South Pacific Gyres, the North and South Atlantic Gyres and the Indian Ocean Gyre – collect and contain plastic from around the world. It was in the North Pacific Gyre in 1997 that Captain Charles Moore discovered a vast accumulation of plastic debris which came to be called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It led him to set up the Algalita Marine Research and Education Foundation in Long Beach, California.
It was from Captain Moore that Vanden Eynde acquired his first samples of plastic. Back in his studio he found that when it was melted the plastic took on a seemingly more natural form, resembling a colourful coral reef. The plastic rubbish gained a strange beauty whilst at the same time generating a double reference to both the worrying abundance of plastic in the ocean and the accelerating loss of coral reefs worldwide. Thus began the construction of Plastic Reef, a growing sculpture which over the next five years gained weight and size every time it was exhibited, helping to raise awareness of plastic pollution as well as alluding to its escalation. In total over 1000 kilograms of plastic debris from all five gyres was extracted from the oceans. By 2012, when it was exhibited in the Manifesta9 Biennial in Genk, Belgium, Plastic Reef had attained its maximum size of 450 × 500 centimetres. Subsequently, several smaller plastic reefs were created.
Ironically and tragically, in 2015 scientists discovered that natural coral was ingesting micro-plastics, poisoning itself in the process. Next to acidification and the rise in ocean temperatures, this is one of the main reasons why the Great Barrier Reef is disappearing.