Theatrum Mundi V - CYTHERA

26 June 2010 - 08 August 2010

Deeply rooted in western culture, Depelchin’s drawings and installations tell universal tales. The artist developed his own unique image language, with strong references to classical and Renaissance iconography (not too remotely reminding of Bruegel, Bosch and Dürer). Recently, oriental fantasies emerged in his work as well. Using recognisable symbols, typical for ideologies and social systems, Depelchin links these to his own experiences. His playful assemblages are laden with allegoric, parodic and often ironic meanings. Daringly, he creates his own world, constantly challenging and questioning the spectator.

Cythera refers to Venus’ mythical island of birth. Mythical, therefore inaccessible … Traditionally, every human being spends his entire life pursuing an inaccessible goal. This quest for purpose and self-fulfilment manifests itself in an endless variety of shapes.

Theatrum Mundi: life as a theatre; the spectacle directed by man himself. Depelchin’s work exposes our struggle with existentialist drives and fears. Can we achieve our goal, or does our life merely revolve around the means to that end: (uncontrolled) satisfaction of needs, (sexual) drive, self-assurance, ego tripping, ...?
Depelchin thereby criticises the established, manipulative power systems (e.g. the church) and related ethical codes. They regulate our drives and sometimes even try to fully suppress them. He reveals this mechanism without wanting to play the part of moral crusader.

Awesome mythological and fairy-tale figures, literature fragments, irreverent jokes, wry tones and castle citations somersault in the work of the charming idealist as if it were a hellish fun fair. The gesture is baroque, the technique almost classical, which only adds to the intrusiveness of the underlying meanings.

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