29.06—06.10.2024
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Nathan Coley c Stad Kortrijk

The Lamp of Sacrifice (145 Places of Worship, Kortrijk)

Nathan Coley, GB
145 cardboard models
Coley's installation starts by observing the hard work, generous resources and all but unrivaled passion religious communities invest in the construction of their houses of worship. They make every effort to include as much meaning in their buildings as possible. This creates an unmistakable architectural design language that distinguishes religious buildings from the rest of the landscape. Coley's work is the result of a labour-intensive process with the students and staff of the art school of Kortrijk. About 20 volunteers worked on the many sculptures on the site where the installation is now on display for just over six months. With amazing precision, they recreated the 140 buildings in cardboard using Coley's design language. Almost by accident, this temporarily made the participants a small community themselves, working towards one common goal. By recreating this work 20 years later in a digital age where this kind of sculpture can be reproduced much more time-efficiently, the artist questions the significance of this kind of manual work. Finally, the installation inevitably also offers an unusual perspective on the value of the Flemish religious architectural patrimony that is losing its original function at an ever growing rate.

23 artists present inspiring work at unique locations at historical sites in Kortrijk

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