Het Multiversum

Patrick Van Caeckenberg

Patrick Van Caeckenbergh’s Het Multiversum (The Multiversum) ingeniously combines a haptic micro experience with a cosmic macro perspective.

By simulating the impressive beauty, magic and wonder of nature, each exquisitely decorated bubble gum gently addresses our anthropocentric, destructive relationship to our environment. The complexity enters when this dizzying image simultaneously also resembles the toxic soap in which viruses develop and grow, until the moment where they jump from animals to humans and freeze our daily life to a stop. Similar to a bubble gum which gets viscous and evokes aversive stimuli when you chew too long on it. Or a disrespectful exploitation that explodes in your face.

Het Multiversum consists of a vending machine with 107 numbered plastic capsules, each containing a hand-made bubble gum accompanied by a prescription. The machine is coin-operated (2 Euro) and stands beside a complementary photographic print, depicting the artist’s underlying reflection.

Patrick Van Caeckenbergh attempts to reorder and re-map the world in a highly personal, but at the same time universal way. He distances himself from the known outside world and he pseudo-scientifically scrutinises his own life. His illusive collages and peculiar sculptures of figures and phenomena originate from a process of restructuring the everyday things. With little means, the artist incalculably creates assemblages that remind us of features of fables and fairytales. The binding factor in his oeuvre is the aspects of thinking and tinkering. Van Caeckenbergh wants to escape from the one-sided, limited, mechanical and technical methods of cultural behaviour and involves notions of coincidence and obscurity, typical for the way nature operates. His work is philosophical and critical of the social structure. Van Caeckenbergh is a dreamer, philosopher and brilliant thinker.

Het Multiversum is commissioned by Frans Masereel Centrum (Kasterlee), as part of the offline and offsite group project Solitude (Fall-Winter 2020).