EPEKEINA was my contribution to the art route ‘Border Imagination’ from April 20 to July 14, 2013
With the project “Border Imagination,” the four border municipalities of Halluin, Menen, Wervicq-Sud and Wervik brought together several artists in 2013. They were each tasked with shining their light on the theme of “Border,” in the broadest sense of the word. Each artist interpreted the concept of the border in their own way, often with the river Lys as a common thread. The artists, in turn, confronted the landscape. They made us look at our boundary in a different way, sometimes with a quip, others with a great sense of reality. The 25 km bicycle route Border Imagination, in cooperation with the Streekvertelsels, was a fascinating and surprising sequence of stories and art in often unusual locations along the border and the Lys.
As part of the “Border Imagination” art tour, the installation “Epekeina” provides a slightly clearer representation of the “border image” that has existed in the park cemetery for 12 years.
“Epekeina” is a Greek word meaning “beyond the border” or “beyond the side of. Many philosophers have included “Epekeina” in their writings.
According to Harold F. Cherniss, an expert in Greek philosophy, “Epekeina Nou,” means “Beyond Human Reason,” or “Beyond Reason. I can relate this meaning to a letter addressed to me by Gilbert Decouvreur which stated, “It was the great and glorious task of the designer to speak to the afflicted in the language of beauty, a language of peace, beyond all understanding.”
In addition, “Epekeina” here also provides a boundary image with a connectedness. Plato said, “Epekeina tes ousias,” meaning the “transcendent. The “transcendent,” which does not fit into our day-to-day coexistence, but into an existence beyond being. With which he highlighted the possession of a superhuman connectedness and perfection of humanity’s existence.
Friedrich Nietzsche also said it beautifully, “The essence of art wants to extend existence to a state of perfection and fulfillment. Art is essentially affirmation, blessing, deification of existence.”
To this I might add that the boundary of water is a timeless and universal boundary in man’s search for the unknown, the unspeakable.
Thus, the installation “Epekeina” here clarifies a brilliantly deep-human and mythical boundary image and, through an unspeakable language of beauty and peace, exhibits a connection between two worlds separated by water.
Landscape architect Andy Malengier’s Border Imagination project gave him the opportunity to make the Wervik cemetery he drew out 12 years ago even sharper as a border image. His installation not only emphasized the physical water boundary but also focused on the philisophical approach to the boundary image between life and death.
Hey Andy! I have visited, seen and heard EPEKEINA. Hereby my and Noel’s compliments! Apparently there’s been some commotion around it but we think it’s really successful. I sat down in the chair and was completely gone and absorbed in the entirety of the installation!
Andy, I am enormously fascinated by the theme. Too bad I didn’t know this before. My PhD was just now about the metaphysical meaning of the term: frontier! Not the infinite or the unlimited or the absolute, but the relationship or the “boundary” between the concept of finitude/indefinity is (I think) the basic condition in order for us to be there as human beings, to enjoy, to create,… but also so that we can be mortal as human beings – and mortality here I do not mean absolute (or unbounded) negative.