crate react trace par Wannes Goetschalckx
Wannes Goetschalckx, crate react trace, 2019, performance, vidéo, sculpture. Crédit photo: Wannes Goetschalckx.

Wannes Goetschalckx

Artist / Fall 2019

Wannes Goetschalckx – crate react trace

In his multidisciplinary art practice inspired by both the formalist aesthetic of minimalism and the theoretical and ideological issues raised by conceptual art, Belgian artist Wannes Goetschalckx combines video, sculpture, and performance to highlight the absurdity of the everyday and the impermanence of the human condition. Without claiming to be didactic or spiritual, Wannes is nevertheless highly philosophical, as he formulates an amused and caustic critique of the vacuousness of passing time and the elusive lightness of being.

During his residency, Wannes thus reiterated a practice of repetition and process, creating a path for comprehension from the incessant and banal act of making the artwork in order to understand why we exist. Conceived of as a project with no beginning or end, his work crate react trace started with a wooden crate made from ten objects that he had produced beforehand, which were shipped to him at Est-Nord-Est. Inside the crate was a hard disk containing all of the videos taken during the process of deconstruction and reconstruction of the crate. Once it was in Wannes’s studio, the crate was once again dismantled, providing him with the raw material for making ten new objects (toilet seat, bowl, spoon, table, chair, and so on), which he used until they were eventually dismembered and reused to build a new crate, which was finally shipped back to his residence in Belgium. The video documenting the making of the crate, recorded onto a hard disk, was placed inside it.

Nothing was left behind and nothing was produced, the recycling of materials – like that of ideas – formally and conceptually reflecting our own footprint in this world. Paradoxically rigorous but light-hearted, uncluttered but allegorical, crate react trace is intended as a metaphor for our existence, a conceit representing the energy and almost mystical selflessness that he puts into trying to slow the inexorable course of things. Deciding to laugh instead of giving into disillusionment, Wannes, with work that is always refined and meticulously produced, has a capacity to transcend reason to touch the imagination and give us a glimpse of what is sublime in everything.


The works of Wannes Goetschalckx often illustrates the absurdity of everyday life. The various vexing videos, the intriguing ingenious installations and poetically painful performances are resourceful, radical and repetitive. They question themes such as labour, nature / nurture, ecology and modern society behaviourism in an often wood and/or body related, seamingly minimalistic but layered way.
The artist lives and works in Belgium, where he graduated at the HISK (the post graduate program for fine arts) a decade ago. Since then he takes part in international exhibitions and residencies.