Organ/Orgel is part of a series of works of the Belgian artist Tom Bogaert, in which historical constructions are combined with contemporary forms and materials.
Inspired by the interior of the parish church in Kefermarkt, its famous altarpiece and its organ from the year 1778, Tom Bogaert developed a site-specific installation made with plastic inflatable objects such as air mattresses, rubber boats, beach balls, swans, and swimming armbands. In his specific realizations, Tom Bogaert was guided by the characteristics of the respective interiors, so that each project took on a specific form.
In this case, the materials collected in a participatory process with the communities surrounding Kefermarkt were assembled in a sculptural intervention around the column below the church organ. Its final shape resembled a whirlpool or a tornado, creating a visual tension that drew the viewer’s eye towards the vertical, towards the organ. The artist drew unexpected metaphorical connections between diverse topics, such as climate change and extreme weather patterns, plastic inflatables as symbol of holiday consumption and the lightness of life, the cult of the Virgin Mary and medication, Covid-19 and airlessness, lungs and organs.
Thanks to: Hans Mayrwöger für die Mitarbeit und technische Unterstützung / for the support on carpentry and the technical assistance, Ars Electronica Futurelab und DORFTV, Christoph König, Sonja Steinmetz, Pfarrgemeinde Kefermarkt / the parish community of Kefermarkt
After a career working with refugees for the United Nations and Amnesty International, Tom Bogaert started to work as an artist. At the age of 38, he gave up on his career in law, in order to settle down in New York as an artist. His artistic practice is geared at long-term and site-specific projects that explore and deal with the overlaps between politics, entertainment, art, and propaganda. Many of Tom Bogaert’s pieces stand out through their humour and lightness that create a certain balance to their conceptional frameworks.