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the sky above our heads

Deconstructing the former studio of sculptor Jean-Paul Laenen, a space he built in the garden of his home in Mechelen. A beautiful building made of wood and glass, leaning against an old “beguinage” wall.
The structure was old and about to collapse, it was necessary to remove it immediately. Our action was to dismantle it piece by piece, following the construction of the building in reverse, learning how it was built and documenting the process. While were taking the construction apart we had to find creative ways to document or capture our process. 
Our material: drawings, photos, videos, discussions, observations would become the compost where we could rebuild it at some point in the future.

 

In 1976 the sculptor Jean Paul Laenen (1931-2012) built his studio in the “Grand Beignard of Mechelen”. The architecture he constructed consists mainly of wood, bricks, glass and is built in an intuitive way. Different ingenious solutions and details make the construction unique in its kind. Unfortunately, after the artist’s death the place has fallen into decay and had to be demolished. Since deconstructing or dismantling a building is more essential and educational than demolishing it, we decided to turn it into a workshop in which we can learn as we “deconstruct” it together.

For a week we followed in the artist’s footsteps and discovered how the space was built.

Seeing deconstruction as a process of learning how to build, how to learn from one’s way of living and working, how to create from the materials and resources available in a way that suggests new structures and possibilities for the future.

 

From 24/10 to 28/10 we stayed at the site in Mechelen at the Schrijnstraat 25. It was a wonderful week (late October 2021), hosted by his family members Sylvie Laenen & Nina Janssen.

Thanks to Nico Dockx, and the great ‘guerilla deconstruction team’ -> Philip Angermaier, Jackson Shallcross-Platt, Jeannette Slütter, Rien Schellemans, Yi Zhang, Xiaotong and us (Ersi Varveri and Gijs Waterschoot)

• A one week workshop, organised by pink house press and Nico Dockx, at the studio of artist Jean-Paul Laenen: Schrijnstraat 25, Mechelen (be)

• Monday 24/10 - Thursday 28/10

- workshop : deconstruct the studio as a learning process of how to build.

Mechelen, October 2021

hosted by: Sylvie Laenen & Nina Janssen

with: Nico Dockx, Philip Angermaier, Jackson Shallcross-Platt, Jeannette Slütter, Rien Schellemans, Yi Zhang, Xiaotong and us (Ersi Varveri and Gijs Waterschoot)
• presentaton of the outcome during Articulate reseach days 2021.

Friday 29/10

- soup session Royal Academy of Fine art, Antwerp

soup by Leen, bread by Lynn