The Molding Principle, 2017

The Molding Principle is part of a bigger project in which Sarah Van Marcke explores the archive of Ignace D.K., a man she never knew in life. Ignace died in 2013, a few months before her parents would move into the house in the woods that was his home. In this house Van Marcke discovered Ignace’s universe, perfectly organized, ordered and orchestrated. Everything that was left behind was left for a reason; he made sure that, even after his death, everything would remain as he felt it should be. Van Marcke uses the archive as a means of talking about our urge to exercise control and the strategies we develop to try and protect ourselves from the contingent nature of existence. In The Molding Principle and Territorial drift, Van Marcke focuses on the square architectural form of birdhouses as a metaphor for the control man likes to impose on nature. Birds are invited into a seemingly perfect environment, where issues such as comfort, safety, protection and weatherability are largely taken care of and a framework is provided for the creation of perfectly square nests. With a combination of scientific precision and seemingly ritual gestures, Van Marcke dissects every nest found in Ignace’s birdhouses.