Through an exhibition in M-Museum (Leuven) I came in contact with the work of Peter Buggenhout. I must admit that I am not that familiar with the contemporary artscene. There for it was the first time hearing of Buggenhout his name. I was interested at first sight, a form of curiosity arose.
Buggenhout uses abjective objects. Objects that got rid of their original contexts and are placed in a completely different one. The used materials are collected from a necropolis of industrial supplies. Throughout the process of becoming abject, the objects lose their form and meaning. Buggenhout describes this as the reason why his sculptures are so repulsive, it’s because of this ambiguity.
With the industrial finds he forms a sort of amassment. By covering them with dust he tries to overcome any form of symbolism. When walking around in the exhibition there’s an presence of peculiar smells. This is caused by the use of different materials, such as pigs blood, intestines, dust, fabric, and so on.
The smaller sculptures spoke to me the most. In a small compact form he succeeds to create such an interesting piece. Combining all kinds of materials with colours. By walking around the sculptures you notice that not a single side is the same. When gazing at the sculpture you immediately try to recognize something, this is a concept which interests Buggenhout. The human brain trying to find something recognizable in every shape. His idea consists of the human not being able to grasp the complexity of the matter.
The first encounter with the sculptures produces a sense of repulsiveness, even a sense of unnaturalness. It isn’t something that you’ll see pop up in nature. In every human lives a form of curiousity, which brings you closer to the sculptures. Which makes you look and discover all the different textures. It isn’t Buggenhout his intention to create sculptures that are memorable, only the product of an autonomous sculpture.
The exhibition shows a sort of chronological evolution throughout the work of Buggenhout. The white cube- rooms of the M-museum are ideal for the monumental sculptures of Buggenhout. The focus is completely on his work, they are highlighted by the abscence of other elements.
This was originally published on Our Pursuit of Art.