Eric van Hove's first comprehensive solo show in Germany on view at Frankfurter Kunstverein

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Eric van Hove's first comprehensive solo show in Germany on view at Frankfurter Kunstverein
Eric van Hove, Dorigin, 2016. Photo: N. Miguletz. © Frankfurter Kunstverein, Courtesy Eric van Hove.

FRANKFURT.- Frankfurter Kunstverein is presenting the first great institutional exhibition of Belgian/Algerian artist Eric van Hove in Germany.

In his mechanic sculptures, large-scale exhibits and films Eric van Hove puts the spotlight on global economic coherencies. The concept artist takes a close look at social transformations in the context of increasing automation. What role does local production play in a globalised economy? What ramifications does growing industrial fabrication have on the individual and his/her technical knowledge? In his work, artist and activist van Hove enters the terrain of the entrepreneur – and gains new aesthetic insights.

Beside the presentation of large-scale exhibits, one of the exhibition spaces has been transformed into a functional and publicly accessible workshop. Work benches, common rooms and materials from Van Hove's Marrakech studio temporarily have been incorporated into the Kunstverein’s building. Here van Hove and his assistants, ten mechanics and artisans from different fields, continue work on their current project. The “Mahjouba II” is a manufactured electric motorcycle, which is being refined and finished in cooperation with local experts of engineering, craftsmanship and design.

The objects presented at Frankfurter Kunstverein are products from the age of industrial mass production, recreated by van Hove and his team by employing valuable materials and highly specialised handicraft techniques. Instead of keeping his work abstract, the artist transforms it into an entrepreneurial venture. Van Hove illustrates the significance of continuous transfer of knowledge in the age of information and demonstrates the importance of local economies within global context.

The exhibition title, “Atchilihtallah”, refers to a Moroccan idiom, meaning “this is, what God gave us!” The phrase reflects an attitude of trust into the productive and meaningful use of “what we have been given.” At the same time, it asks us to deploy the resources at our disposal in the most creative and efficient way.

First Comprehensive Solo-Show in Germany
The exhibition at Frankfurter Kunstverein is curated by Franziska Nori and presents a selection of the artist’s most crucial works as well as pieces specifically designed for Frankfurter Kunstverein. Sculptures, photographs, and current video works also are on view.

One of the exhibition highlights is the Mercedes-Benz “Dorigin”. This fully functional Mercedes-Benz 240 D was assembled by van Hove and his team from original components in Morocco and subsequently driven from Marrakech to Frankfurt. The long journey of 2000 km is conceived as part of the exhibition at Frankfurter Kunstverein and is being shown as an elaborate multimedia documentation.

Another highlight is the sculpture “V12 Laraki”. This object is a reference to both the V12, a 6 litre motor by Mercedes-Benz and to Abdeslam Laraki, a well-known manufacturer of sports cars from Casablanca. By invoking this great Moroccan name, van Hove investigates the interdependencies between European and African industry.

The exhibition is a collaboration with Mu.ZEE Ostende and will be presented there next year.

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