Beach Castle, 2018
At the entry point of the city of Knokke-Heist, Jean-Francois Fourtou constructed a tower of beach cabins. The formation does not look as if it was strictly planned. Rather, it looks as if a big storm has taken the cabins up in the air and has piled them up, after which they got stuck together by coincidence and have been left as such. Fourtou has a longstanding fascination with architecture: in earlier works he has worked with houses and interiors that he remembers from his childhood and built exact copies in a surreal size or turned them upside down.
It is no surprise that his interest was piqued by beach cabins, a very typical architectural structure along the Belgian coast, having a history of its own. The cabins have been around as long as tourism has existed. Today, their dimensions and shapes are regulated for each city, most of them being present in the sculpture. Situated at a prominent place in the city, the sculpture gets the allure of a totem or an emblem of the city. Since totems originally represent the people of a community, the structure could be considered as a monument for beach culture; a symbol of unity for the beach culture that connects all the cities of the Belgian coast, each city represented through its own beach cabin design.
Jean-François Fourtou has had solo exhibitions at the Galerie Mitterrand in Paris, France (2015), the MAMO in Marseille, France (2014) and the Galerie Aeroplastics in Brussels (2011). He participated in group exhibitions including Le beau, la belle et la bête, Château du Rivau, Lémeré, France (2018), OÖ Kulturquartier, Linz, Austria (2017), Constructeurs d'absurde, bricoleurs d'utopie, CAC Meymac, France (2015), Fantastic, Lille 3000, Lille, France (2012) and Un monde sans mesure, Musée Fesch, Ajaccio, France (2011).
Maurice Lippensplein, Knokke-Heist
- Tram stop: Knokke Station
- Cycling node: 68
- Walking node: 24