Stainful steel is based on images that have been recorded during the construction of an art work in the middle of a recently developed office center in Antwerp, Belgium. Next to the Central Train Station, the Kievitplein, a new business neighbourhood has been created with four buildings for a major multinational, one building for regional government offices, one budget hotel, one luxe hotel and one building with appartments for rent. Given the protest of the neighbours, it was promised to be also a meeting point for the people, but it has not a single green space.
There is a square planned for the middle of that space. And what is most ironical is that the space has been assigned for an art work in the form of five baobabs of rusty steel.
The irony comes from the fact that baobabs are an ecological statement themselves. In the arid West Africa, they are able to store hundreds of liters of water. Babobabs can survive the most dramatic living conditions and as opposed to most trees, their wood is not solid, but soft instead. Almost like flesh.
However beautiful, the steel trees are themselves a sign of how ridiculous human pretentiousness can be when we face the possible extinction of life: the trees are empty.
Have we accepted that trees will die and are we substituting them?
Or have we accepted that trees are dead and are we building statues for them?