Arne Quinze perceives his Stilthouses like human beings. They appear fragile and shaky, only standing on small, narrow legs, and look as though they might collapse any minute. People possess the same fragility but also an enormous flexibility to adapt to any situation with which they are confronted. It is man’s equilibrium that Quinze wants to represent with his Stilthouses. Although supported on thin legs, they keep standing; they survive in every context. An ideal Stilthouse is very tall, as people are always trying to reach and look farther. These sculptures keep watch over their surroundings in order to safeguard their existence without taking on the disturbing connotation of surveillance.

These installations return to the theme of how the artist views cities. He leaves a crisscross of numbers—some are left untouched, some are blotted out, and some are crossed out—on unequal wooden slats, revealing a geographical map of the city that represents the inhabitants still living there, those that have moved, and vacant buildings. Stilthouses strike the balance of protecting themselves while stimulating openness and bring different views and groups in society to the forefront. These are archetypes for people according to Quinze’s analysis of how societies are shaped nowadays.

I’m really digging the artistic expression of the stilts. Up until now I haven’t seen the stilts as an expressive element, but by looking at this artist’s work, there seems to be a little more potential in what the stilts can actually do.


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