The heart of the iron tower is iron, solid mass, but the multitude of stories and people is already bending the tower from within; how to look for pliable structures without undermining ourselves, for shapes open to shifting meaning without adapting or deforming appearances?
Een toren in aanbouw, a tower under construction, une tour en construction 2023 Multimedia installation Dimensions variable
'A tower under construction' is a multimedia installation created by Jeanne de Preter. The installation reflects her search for new ways of shaping tower constructions.
Her research began around the history and aesthetic form of the 'ijzertoren' - the iron tower, a construction that is both a monument to peace and a symbol of Flemish autonomy. De Preter asks whether this tower, coloured by and a symbol of collaboration, can be deconstructed without modifying its appearance in a way that undermines its patriarchal and repressive meaning. By constantly repositioning and reflecting on new outcomes, she tries to answer the question of whether 'meaning can shift if we do not adjust the appearance.' De Preters shows three different worlds. Two of these are digital/virtual realities, which deal with the mutual influence between the tower and herself. The third is an immersive installation in which she aims to counter the fragmentary and chronological representation of her video by placing several representations and elements of the tower in a single space at the same time. In this way, she attempts to oppose the standard theory of hierarchical meaning. She does not want to arrange the constructions hierarchically but let them be building blocks of the bigger picture. All elements have been carefully positioned in the exhibition. The result is an installation in which each element functions both as an individual tower, and as a part of the whole concept: they are dependent on and influenced by each other.
This installation strives for a clear, non-hierarchical overview of possible approaches to build a tower, with individual constructions progressing through communication. Only by working together do they have the ability to improve.