On the roundabout at the Julianalaan in Leeuwarden is located a special object: a compressed block of metal. This used to be a car once. A grey Peugeot, someone’s mode of transport. Artist Erik Jahnsen borrowed this car wreck from junkyard A.S.O. Metall- und Schrotthandel in Bunde, Germany. The wreck was compressed there with the purpose to be recycled. The artists transported this chunk of material to Leeuwarden and placed in on the roundabout. By doing this he transformed this former tool into a temporary sculpture. After the exhibition period of one month the block will return to the junkyard, and will continue its journey through the ecosystem of the car industry: like raw material to be reused in new products.
Erik Jahnsen makes artworks out of the idea that all the material around us exists in a temporary form and can be transformed. Even a strong, stable material like steel, is continually in transition and movement, and is part of a larger circular motion. That’s also why he’s interested in this industrial cycle and how materials move through our society. The artist sees a parallel between this cycle and cars driving around a roundabout. On the roundabout the sculpture is a static object amidst all the traffic. This contrast symbolizes the pause the artist created for this object in its cycle of material to product and back to material. The shape of the sculpture were determined by the practical demands of the car industry: a square package, efficient and stackable. The artist did not make the object itself: instead of a maker he functions as a director.
About the artist Erik Jahnsen (Norway) graduated in 2018 from Academy Minerva and currently follows the master Fine arts at the Frank Mohr institute in Groningen. He makes sculptures and installations of metal. Steel is a material he likes to work with, the personality and characteristics of the material fascinate him. Without adding something or taking anything away, Jahnsen reshapes the material into a new form. To be able to do that he familiarizes himself with industrial machines and processes and employs them in his own way.
Photo: Nol Klis Special thanks to A.S.O. Metall- und Schrotthandel, Marretje Oldenburger, Sebian Lautenbach, Nima Pourtaran, Buitendienst gemeente Leeuwarden, Bram Bleeker, Klaas Koetje, Mannen van Staal, Nol Klis