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Éric van Hove 1.2 2020 - 7.3 2021

Sparkling mother-of-pearl, shiny copper, polished mahogany - these are just some of the materials that are combined in the artist Éric van Hove's (b. 1975 in Algeria) replicas of advanced automative engines. Each part, from the smallest screws to the cylinder heads and camshafts, is manufactured with millimeter precision by skilled craftsmen. In this, his first solo exhibition in the Nordic countries, van Hove shows what people can do with their hands. At the same time, he encourages reflection on globally important issues such as distribution of wealth and sustainable production models.

That van Hove works mainly with engines is no coincidence. The engine symbolizes industrialization, which in many countries has meant the dismantling of the traditional crafts sector. By making impressive handmade copies of complex industrial products, van Hove is moving the gaze back to crafts. He also sees the engine as a beautiful metaphor for society at large. It is a  construction in which each part contributes to a functioning whole. All parts must be adapted to each other for the system to work.

Since 2012, van Hove is based in Morocco, a country in which the crafts sector occupies 20 percent of the population. In Marrakesh, he runs Fenduq, a studio where a dozen of artisans but also artists, economists, and theorists work side by side. The name Fenduq is a combination of the Arabic words 'fenn' (art) and 'funduq' (traditional Maghrebian workshops and meeting places for traveling caravans). In other words, it is a site for creativity and dialogue. Working within the framework of Fenduq means an evaluation of how individual craftsmen view their own ability. It is also proof of he collective capacity - both within the group and in the crafts profession as a whole.

The exhibition also shows handmade variations on a vehicle that can actually be used: an electric moped. During the exhibition period, its fourth prototype is developed, in collaboration with Moroccan, international, and Småland craftsmen. Here, the local meets the global, and with tongue in cheek challenges the hegemony of big companies in the automotive market in a way that can almost be compared do David's fight against Goliath.

Éric van Hove was born in 1975 in Algeria. He grew up in Cameroon as the son of engineers involved in development projects. When he was 14, the family returned to Belgium. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, van Hove traveled to Japan, where he earned a master's degree and doctorate.

Exhibition catalog Éric van Hove, click HERE

The exhibition is a collaboration with Fries Museum, the Netherlands, and is part of the interregional project New Småland.

Thanks to Vandalorum Partners, Swedish Arts Council, Region Jönköping County, Värnamo Municipality and Skeppshultcykeln.


Photo 1: Éric van Hove, D9T (Rachel’s Tribute), 2015. Collection Fries Museum, Leeuwarden. Acquisition supported by the Mondriaan Fund, the BankGiro Lottery and the Friends of the Fries Museum. Photo: Lieven Geuns. Courtesy Éric Van Hove / Copperfield Gallery.
Photo 2: Éric van Hove, Mahjouba I, 2016. Collection Fries Museum, Leeuwarden. Acquisition supported by the Mondriaan Fund. Photo: Alessio Mei.
Photo 3: Working on V12 Laraki. Photo: Keetja Allard.

Today's lunch