Op de omtrek van de aarde komen begin en einde samen
Jean Bernard Koeman
Op de omtrek van de aarde komen begin en einde samen (‘The perimeter of the earth is where the beginning and the end come together’) is a wink to a statement by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus and the slogan artist Jean Bernard Koeman chose for his permanent sculpture on the picturesque village square of Meldert. It is his poetic ode to the cyclical life course of Hops, cultivated for years in the region, which now largely lives on in the imagination.
Koeman’s artistic work flourishes in the grey zone between the flawless humanity of poetry and the intransigence of architecture and sculpture. His installations, mental architectures and spatial discoveries are an attempt to honour heroes, memories and places, and at the same time a confrontation with their elusiveness. Koeman’s Hop Monument connects the local symbolism of the Hop with a larger whole: the village square of Meldert is also a place where beginning and end meet.
Jean Bernard Koeman himself talks about his work:
THE SENTENCE I USE IN THE WORK ALSO REFERS TO THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WHAT IS SMALL-SCALE AND LOCAL, AND WHAT IS LARGE-SCALE AND GLOBAL. IT IS A BUILDING WITH HUMAN CHARACTERISTICS; IT HAS A HISTORICAL CONTENT WHICH PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LANDSCAPE AND TO HOP-GROWING.
The new permanent sculpture by Jean Bernard Koeman on the village square in Meldert is a commission of the city of Aalst as part of the Kunst in de Wijk (‘Art in your Neighbourhood’) project. The work of art is the result of a participatory process with a group of local residents and local organisations, mediated by Netwerk Aalst. The Dutch Embassy in Belgium and the Province of East Flanders provided additional financial support.