The series “Fractum Domum” by Jonas Vansteenkiste makes use of architectural ornament as a motive. The use of a typical 19th century ornament is a deliberate choice by the artist to make a reference to the use of floral motifs. The intervention creates the illusion that nature — the overriding theme and impression of the work — will eventually claim human culture back itself. Vansteenkiste activates a more layered dialogue by placing these works in a public domain. The reference creates an effect of a palimpsest — when writing on a manuscript is written over by later authors and effaces the earlier text. Vansteenkiste seeks a holistic view in history of a place, space and text. The artist references this old tradition of scraping away texts on manuscripts in order to re-use them and add a new layer of text, in this way the history of the base text bleeds through in the new text and may effect its current interpretation. The work “Fractum Domum” in the public domain reacts to the ancient stone of city walls and the current of graffiti. The temporary language of street art further alludes to the future of such a piece. It makes the intervention of the palimpsest, an urban intervention.
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