“Belgium is challenging as it is an unescapable art platform in Europe”: Eric Stephany’s work on balance

In light of the brand new design festival Collectible, The Word-favourite creative collective The Hope has invited an impressive roster of artists from all around. One of them is Brussels-cum-Paris-based artist Eric Stephany (1970) who deals with the balance between body and geometry. We’ll be doing our bit to shine some light on these creatives ahead of the festival opening this Thursday 8th, in a rather impromptu yet necessary collaborative mini-series.

At its core, what is your work about? How would you describe it?

It seeks certain trembling verticality through this unconscious balance between our strong physicality and the fragility of architectures – mental or not – that surround us.

What is the starting point and statement?

Art has no starting point. Statements are shifting sand.

Can you talk to us about your approach in general?

I tend to privilege experimental forms in general, a certain suspended amateurism. Not being trapped in controlled mastered shapes and in a crafty kind of powerful attitude that I don’t like. I prefer unbalanced and uncertain paths through sculpture, photography and film.

What characterises your work?

A constant research of the untouchable balance between body and geometry. When I am working on a piece, there is no rule from start to finish, nothing you can choose.

What series and / or project are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a new film about the stride that everyone can experience while walking up and down staircases. This unconscious will or movement that hold our body through constructed geometry.

Art has no starting point. Statements are shifting sand.

Who would you say was instrumental in shaping your artistic practice?

Fluxus and conceptual art for the poverty of materials. American performers of the 70s like Acconci, Burden or Nauman in the way they put their body at the core of every single space they had to deal with. More recently, Mike Kelley and his Educational Complex that gather biographical inputs, political issues and formal experiments over several years.

What are the challenges you face as an artist working in Belgium today?

Belgium is challenging as it is an unescapable art platform in Europe.

How do you see yourself fit into the country’s contemporary art scene?

I don’t fit in scenes in general.

Talk to us about the people around you, your local scene. To what extent does it inspire and influence you?

Everyday life inspires me.

What does success look like to you?

Being able to keep on working over years.