EQUIPOISE is a series of installations that vary on the same principle. They are constructions consisting of three elements: glass, stone and neodymium magnets. These installations are fragile, self-supporting structures. The three elements are combined in such a way that they keep each other in a delicate balance.
The magnets in these installations push each other upwards and at the same time hold each other and the glass panels between them in a particular shape. The result is a sensitive architecture in which each particle holds up the whole - a construction that, if it were to go out of balance, would cause an explosion of shattering glass and exploding magnets.
EQUIPOISE is a kind of ecological entity, with a sense of harmony when in balance, but with the risk of a chain reaction when the balance collapses. This makes the installations a strange kind of object, almost like science fiction. They look like flowers and are reminiscent of J.G. Ballard's singing statues or crystal gardens that have replaced organic gardens. Are these installations then a case of the risky balance we are living in, or do they already offer a glimpse of a world where the balance has long been lost and everything has become artificial?
EQUIPOISE is a thorough material study of the attraction and repulsion forces of magnets. Specifically, it concerns neodymium magnets. Neodymium is a so-called 'rare earth metal' and essential for the production of all kinds of 'smart' electronics such as smartphones, laptops or electric cars. Almost all of us have such magnets in our trousers or backpacks all the time, or we drive around with them. The term 'Equipoise' points at a state of equilibrium. In medicine, the term is used to describe a situation in which it is unclear which treatment should be chosen, because the costs and benefits balance each other out. And just like in many situations where conflicting forces keep each other in a tense balance and it is only a matter of time before the construction breaks down, the installations of EQUIPOISE are also temporary constellations. An ephemeral architecture that captures the moment when the different building blocks remain, for a moment, as if frozen in mid-air. Kristof Van Baarle
Concept : Kris Verdonck
Production : A Two Dogs Company
Dramaturgy : Kristof van Baarle
Technical coordination : Bram Waelken
With the support of : the Flemish Authorities, the Flemish Community Commission