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Peter Buggenhout at Kunstmuseum, The Hague

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Peter Buggenhout at Kunstmuseum, The Hague

Second Sight

From February 24 until November 24, 2024

“Metaphorically speaking, culture is an enormous steamroller that creates order by pushing many things to the sidelines, leaving a vast mass of rubble in its wake: ideas and goods that no longer serve us. Looking at the mountains of rubble, we have to ask ourselves to what extent such a system can offer us salvation.”

Peter Buggenhout (1963) studied in Ghent, where he still lives and works. He began his career as a painter. Since 1996, he has focused on sculpture, a discipline that allows him to create objects that ‘are simply what they are’ without the need to represent anything. His sculptures, based on clear construction principles, are made of materials atypical of art, brought together without any discernible logic. Buggenhout creates his works through a combination of virtuoso craftsmanship and the latest digital-scanning and 3D-printing techniques, mixing a rich variety of moods – colorful, cheerful, gloomy and dark – to create a new reality.

His works reject the tradition of beautiful sculpture, which since classical antiquity has evoked an image of perfection and purity while simultaneously repressing unwanted or negative elements to the unconscious. Buggenhout sees the aesthetics of rubble and waste as an antithesis to the ideologies and utopias that give us the false hope of endlessly available resources and limitless growth. In his sculptures, the waste of large-scale industry merges with the remains of mass production and consumption – things that our society systematically banishes from its field of vision.

The Anthropocene is the first geological epoch in which human culture and industry determine the Earth’s structure and atmosphere and the quality of life on our planet. When future archaeologists examine the sediments from the era of human civilization, they will find the remains of technological miracles and vast industrial ruins, shiny products and toxic dumps compressed beneath the surface. Buggenhout’s sculptural creations in Second Sight offer us a taste of the footprint left by our industrial present. His art is both a rejection of the optimism of progress and an ode to human creativity.

For more information about this exhibition go to following website:

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