Freek Wambacq

RACK IV, 2005

In its old sense the verb “bricoler” applied to ball games and billiards, to hunting, shooting and riding. It was however always used with reference to some extraneous movement: a ball rebounding, a dog straying or a horse swerving from its direct course to avoid an obstacle. And in our own time the “bricoleur” is still someone who works with his hands and uses devious means compared to those of a craftsman.

Claude Lévi-Strauss, the savage mind

Freek Wambacq’s œuvre investigates the uncertain intersection between sculpture and architecture with the devious ingenuity of a “bricoleur”, diverting the everyday furniture of the world for new and unlikely ends. In the tradition of Arte Povera, the artist makes use of readily available materials, bric-a-brac, remainders and leftovers found in his studio and elsewhere. His installations draw on DIY techniques and the aesthetics of old consumer catalogues and flea market displays (including that digital flea market Ebay), and frequently find inspiration in chance encounters and discoveries. Lying behind Wambacq’s multiform objects are different stories or subtle sociological commentaries, which add another dimension to their intrinsic aesthetic quality. Two important aspects of Wambacq’s practice that must also be mentioned. The first is his wry, satirical sense of humor, revealed in pieces wonderfully absurd, as if the farming machine had popped a wheelie and found itself planted against the wall of a barn, thus becoming an “accidental” readymade sculpture. Another concern is highlighted equally in his works: the exhibition context and more generally, the physical and ideological framework in which things become visible. Described by the artist himself as “showing the plinth not the object”, these interventions reveal in a rigorously post-Duchampian fashion, the architectural infrastructure of the gallery space and the conditions for mounting an exhibition.

Aaron Schuster

Born in Brussels, 1978


2008 Rocaille, Gereedschapskist en Le Vase--entrepôt, Netwerk, Aalst 
2008 Freek Wambacq, Solo Project at Present Future, Artissima, Turin 
2008 Le chasseur qui chasse sans son chien de chasse, Kiosk, Ghent 
2007 Gravures sur pommes II (LLN), Stuk, Leuven 
2007 Gravures sur pommes I (Gibellina Nuova), Le Bonheur, Brussels 
2005 Objets temporairement retirés, S.M.A.K., Ghent 
2005 Freek Wambacq, White Out Studio, Knokke 
2005 Window Exhibition, White Out Studio, Knokke 


2008 Seven, Elisa Platteau Gallery, Brussel
2008 Curiosität, Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp 
2008 From love, with Brussels, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven
2008 It's not fair – Le monde est arbitraire, Huis Van Winckel, Dendermonde
2008 Europa Vostra, Trafo, Budapest 
2007 Over the hedge, Academy of Fine Arts, Tianjin, China 
2007 Certaines voitures ont encore une âme, Komplot, Brussels 
2007 Small Stuff Three (Meeting Lohaus), H. Teirlinckhuis, Beersel

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