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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Els Wenselaers

Master’s degree in Visual Arts, Ceramics

2010 - 2011: Academy of Fine Arts, Niel
2010 - present: Cultural Centre De Steiger, Boom
1995 - 2009: Academy of Fine Arts, Boom
1996 - 1997: Academy of Fine Arts, St-Niklaas
1995 - 1996: Academy of Fine Arts, St-Niklaas

“I am currently using ceramics and mixed media. My work is characterized by a reflection of contemporary society with a subtle humor and a tendency to idealize. I make works that stand alone, as well as installations.

The ceramic figures of ‘Sisyphus Work’ are condemned to an inevitable and senseless action. The titles that I use are referring to an existentialism in which an absurd figure plays the main role, extending far beyond the limits of vanity. They perform actions, although they realize that life is without meaning, but they stubbornly refuse to take the escape routes of death or faith. Spraying grass green, air exchange systems which are much too small to have any effect, machines that suck volatile odors, trying with mental control to move a vehicle…. Again, and again, and again. Acceptance of the fundamental emptiness is the only thing that’s left.

The “Human Hybrids” installation is about the possible consequences of genome manipulation and malleable man.
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism’s genome using modern DNA technology. In examining the effect of specific genes, scientists have already made a fish that glows under UV light, pork with spinach genes, goats which produce spider’s web and there is also a Genmouse with super muscles that is protected against obesity.

The series of Human Hybrids are embryos in which an animal gene has been incorporated, resulting in the development of a beak, horns, or a pig snout. At a distance, it seems toddlers who are playing together. Once viewing closer, the extra dimension of the work breaks through. They exist only in terms of science and can also be used for organ transplants. As individuals they do not exist, they are merely the sum of their individual useful trans-plantable parts.
There are many objections to human genetic engineering, including the loss of identity, individuality and human diversity, but also the moral and religious issues are added dealing with the deliberate killing of human embryos. Perhaps the biggest concern is whether the man himself might not be just another man-made thing. As is the case with any other man-made things “is the designer a master over its design. Not as an equal but as a superior, transcending it by his will and creative skills.” Els Wenselaers


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