Sybren Vanoverberghe: Sandcastles and Rubbish (APE)


‘Sandcastles And Rubbish’ is the fourth publication by Sybren Vanoverberghe with APE and is a continuation of his visual research on artefacts and non ordinary sites. ‘Sandcastles And Rubbish’ puts its focus on the site of the port and the industrial landscape around it.

In previous projects Vanoverberghe shows statues and pillars made out of stone, ruins in desolated landscapes or nature in a constant state of transformation. For ‘Sandcastles And Rubbish’ a change in materiality took place, a change wherein Vanoverberghe investigates ‘new’ artefacts of our time. Rusted and bent steel, gravel pits, sturdy and raw structures flirt with composition and elegancy. Photographic works are presented alongside artefacts or ‘objets trouvées’.

Questions are raised about the value of an object and how value changes as time passes by. Vanoverberghes work is characterised by a constant flux of place and time.

Sybren Vanoverberghe was born in 1996 in Kortrijk, Belgium. He lives in Ghent, BE and works in Otegem, BE. Vanoverberghe mainly works with the photographic medium but also with found materials he collects at scrapyards. The work of Vanoverberghe shows the landscape and its remnants in a constant state of change. The correlation between place and time is shown in works where history, nature and heritage collide. The photographs of Vanoverberghe were taken both at places with historical importance and at industrial or ordinary sites. His work confronts presets of existing structures with what could be seen as artefacts of the future. Vanoverberghe’s works are highly anachronistic, certain images, for example, represent a past that has never existed.

In his books, Vanoverberghe often works around the cyclical aspect of particular sites that are no longer geographically situated. The work poses hypothetical questions going back and forth in time in an equal measure. When, for instance, can an image be considered a document of the past and when can it be seen as a prophecy for the future? There is a constant tension between accepting images as documents of the past and denying those which appear to be prophecies for the future.

In March 2022 he will have a duo exhibition together with Manor Grunewald at Barbé Urbain, Ghent (BE) and his works will be included in the group exhibition ‘Tribute to Panamarenko’ at Platform6A/Keteleer Gallery, Otegem (BE).

Sandcastles And Rubbish is published by APE (Art Paper Editions) and available now at —