Kasper Bosmans (Lommel, BE 1990) designed the project Wolf Corridor specially for the main space and the wool-storage rooms at De Pont. This installation includes sand sculptures, murals, sculptures, bronze reliefs and paintings.
The title refers to the artist’s concern for borderareas. A corridor is an ecological connective zone that brings communes in contact with each other so that a free exchange of individuals and genes becomes possible. Bosmans relates this idea to an area known as De Kempen, where he was born: a sandy region, south of Tilburg, which was once part of the Duchy of Brabant.
De Kempen has traditionally been characterized by illegal activity and its very own mores. The border area is known not only for sheep farming, but since the Middle Ages it has also had a reputation as a robbers’ den and an area where all sorts of illicit activities, such as the smuggling of butter and drugs, take place behind the picturesque facades of farmhouses. In his research on De Kempen, Bosman takes a kaleidoscopic view of these surroundings. His eye comes across the herdgang, for instance – a triangular square that played a role in medieval shepherding – and he immerses himself in the archeological discovery of the earliest drop of bronze in a Tilburg crucible. He also studied local household traditions. The ancient custom of women scrubbing floors clean with sand, first strewn about in decorative patterns, prompted Bosmans to create sand paintings.
Bosmans consults both historical archives and the Internet, feeling just as comfortable delving into legends about the saints as local gossip. By going off the beaten path he shows, in fact, that the present and the past constantly interact with each other. And that a new perspective on history allows us to look differently at culture and the socio-political developments in our surroundings.
But with his work Bosmans, born and raised in the Belgian Kempen, also creates a world of his own in which he feels at home. A world that happens to be formed not on the basis of the heteronormative view, but rather the notion of a queer space, a place also familiar to the lgbtq+ community.
Bosmans has a masterly ability to establish associative links among highly diverse subjects. He renders these in small, emblem-like paintings (‘legends’) that serve as explanations for his spatial installations. Together they make up a new visual ‘historiography’. One that is less clear-cut, lending itself to interpretation. Occasionally the corner of the veil is lifted, but the question is whether we should want everything explained. His work seems, above all, to ask viewers to conjure up their own stories with it, so that new interpretations and personal perspectives can arise.
Kaspar Bosmans (Lommel, BE, 1990) studied at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp and at the H.I.S.K. (Higher Institute for Fine Arts) in Ghent. His work has been shown at Gladstone Gallery in New York and in Brussels, at the S.M.A.K. in Ghent, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and, earlier this year, at Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro in Milan. Recently the publication ‘Dovetail’, a survey of work by Bosmans until now, was released by Walther König.
Wilhelminapark 1, 5041 EA Tilburg, Netherlands