Tekstboks: #

Portrait of a sculptor


On the foundation of his artistic commitment in defence of humanism, Jens Galschiot declares:
Tekstboks: “I create my art manifestations to highlight humanism independently of political, religious and economical interests. To me it is equally alarming whether it is Serbs who persecute Muslims or vice versa. The yardstick for evaluating an atrocity is the same regardless of who is the perpetrator or who is the victim.
In my work with sculptures and happenings, I try to ask why and how our ethical and moral self understanding is connected to global and local reality. I leave it to the spectators to work out the answers for themselves. I create surreal pictures of reality, i.e. symbolically posed questions. It is my aim to show the grotesque and absurd in what we normally call reality. 
A happening has a language of its own, consisting of simple nonverbal symbols, and is able to focus on complicated problems on different levels at the same time. The happening, as an artform, is often provocative, but it is also an accepted one, especially in the cultural context of the west. It may, however, go beyond the limits of what is allowed and what is not.
In contrast to many other artists, my messages are not breaking or violating boundaries in the traditional artistic sense; in a sense they are ‘conserving’, aiming at the defence of the ethical foundations of our civilization. They question what the consequences will be when we suffer a decline in moral character and ethical behaviour. For example when racism increases, or when we allow a global imbalance, with thirteen million children dying every year.
My art installations function as gigantic theatrical productions. They take place not in the traditional theatre but in the open in the real world. My sculptures set the scene. Suddenly they turn up in the street and the play starts. Politicians, the media and the public are brought in as actors. Those involved adopt their new role with ease as the symbolism of the happenings is open for interpretation. They cannot avoid taking part no matter what they do. They contribute to the dynamics of the happening by constantly creating new symbols.”

Indigenous children in front of

the Pillar of Shame, Acteal, Mexico