Cédric Van Parys

analytisch - artistiek onderzoek - conceptueel - geschiedenis - installatie - internationaal - objecten - publieke ruimte - sculptuur

Cédric Van Parys is an architect, researcher, artist and founder of Office CCXD, a Rotterdam based practice operating at the intersection of architecture and the visual arts. His work is based on historical and analytical investigations and is defined by a fascination for monuments, symbols, rituals, archetypes and the city as our collective memory. The result of his findings is then reimagined and appropriated into powerful artworks, installations and configurations balancing elegance and boldness, the old and the new, the natural and the artificial and the quotidian and the extraordinary.

Drawing inspiration from (architectural) history, archival research and natural science, Cédric Van Parys / Office CCXD aims to foster curiosity about the world we have made and inhabit and how this relates to the planet, the cosmos and beyond.

MonoXylon - an Internationalist Monument It is reminiscent of obelisks from ancient Egypt or totem poles of the Native Americans but it is neither. As a new, still to be defined internationalist monument, this solid wooden sculpture invites you to think into the future. It is a centerpiece and symbol around which people gather, defining a place for contemplation and encounters. It invites us to renew our relationship with nature and the cosmos and searches for original approaches to existing social, religious, political or cultural norms. As such—contrary to many other monuments—the MonoXylon does not impose power from above, but rather concentrates collective power from those who surround them.
Equilibrium - The contrasting realities of life and death are etched in Egypt’s topography and iterated in the dualities that informed the ancient ideology—divine and mortal, fertile and barren, order and chaos. Egyptian Culture at its best was characterized by its dedication to maintaining an equilibrium of those dualities and the continuity this implied. Survival depended on close observation of nature’s manifest order, with all its pros and cons. To the ancient Egyptian, the desert was a vast and tangible memento mori whose presence instilled the awareness of vulnerability that is a requisite for real strength. In more ways than one, they were way ahead of us. This series of 'Beacons' captures this equilibrium between nature, people and their creations as it is today.
Monuments for Progress - Over a period of ten months, Cédric travelled to all the different corners of Shanghai, seeking the architectural landmarks that gloriously represents the city’s breakneck progress since China’s economic accelerations in the early 1990’s. Researching Shanghai’s urban development and architectural history, while living and experiencing the city, has directed him towards a number of mysterious monuments, located on top of the metropolis’ skyscrapers. This installation—presented in Sala d’armi, Arsenale, at the 2017 Venice Art Biennale, and created during his time at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel—is the result of a system that was projected on top of Shanghai’s urban network, to select a series of ‘monuments’ that truly represent the city’s history, present and future.
Nothing New Under the Sun - This latest collection of objects explores a desire to imitate nature by presenting a series of small dual displays. Sculpted from anthracite and subsequently casted in aluminum, each twin “shelve” is unique and can be used to display any precious or peculiar object. Unlike the widely applied marbles, travertine and onyxes, this material has a specific “aura” which is comparable to the Chinese scholar’s rock (gongshi). It is a stone shaped by natural forces, which is appreciated for its particular appearance. Whilst the original coal rock is unique and permanent, the casted aluminum rock is transitory and reproducible. By placing them next to each other Nothing New Under the Sun stimulates a series of thoughts. Together they celebrate the surrealistic transformational processes of nature.
The Winning Game — - The Winning Game is a collaboration between architect and researcher Cédric Van Parys (office CCXD) and artist Marianne Turck, exploring the surrealistic relationship between people, man-made objects and the natural landscape. This work combines the monumental and the spatial with the intuitive and the spiritual. By greatly enlarging the billiard balls, this installation transforms any place or space into a platform for an imaginary game. This artwork acts as a catalyst, moderating a conversation. Like erratic boulders in an empty dessert, they appear alien, but also rooted, as if they have always belonged there.
The Gatekeeper — - Exploring the boundaries between object, display and (re)presentation
Firmitas, Utilitas et Venustas - This is an art installation for Tools for Progress’ show at Collectible Fair 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. TFP’s first collection—a series of fine jewelries, solid bookstands and arched ashtrays—are presented as part of a cityscape.
Architecture of Appropriation - A Guerrilla Intervention in São Paulo: In collaboration with the Bienal de Arquitetura de São Paulo and the Dutch Consulate in São Paulo, The New Institute organized a program with workshops, a seminar and an exhibition around the theme ‘occupancy/appropriation’. As part of this program, Office CCXD, Studio Knol, ZUS & GOAA were invited for a 6-day workshop to create an “assembly” space for the residents of the squatted high-rise known as Ocupação 9 de Julho in São Paulo. In a short 6-day workshop we intensively collaborated with a movement of former homeless people (MSTC)—now the inhabitants of the Ocupação 9th de Julho. As a combative movement, this group is committed to the many homeless people of São Paulo and the importance for housing opportunities in the city centre. The appropriation of vacant (office) buildings in the prosperous city centre became their most important form of action. The movement jointly renovates the cracked buildings and makes it inhabitable floor by floor. As a well-organized movement, the MSTC could actually make a difference and occupy a building in the midst of the elite city-centre. After our first meeting with the MSTC it became clear what they wanted the assembly room in the building to be; a place to get together, to inform, to learn, to mourn, to enjoy. A church but also a living room. A space that has the urge to live on, transform and grow.
What is The Netherlands - In the context of the 34th World Expo is opening in Milan in spring 2015, Het Nieuwe Instituut addresses this phenomenon from different perspectives. The exhibition What is the Netherlands shows how the Dutch entries to the World Expo have always been the result of collaborations between government, industry, designers and artists. This exhibition is a portrait of 14 select Dutch contributions to World Expos since 1910. Every contribution is a glance in the mirror, showing where the Netherlands was at a particular point in history, where they want to be, and how this reality and this desire can be displayed at a particular point in history. Documentation and remnants of the exhibitions are collected here for the first time and present a dialogue between modernity and nationality, economy and image, corporate opportunism and collective ambitions. Sometimes exotic, sometimes packed with enormous quantities of stuff, sometimes boring and empty. Sometimes small and introverted, courageous and convinced, timid and modest, experimental and funny, but always Dutch.
Yingzao Fashi - Yingzao Fashi (YZFS), by state building supervisor Li Jie, is the oldest complete architecture treatise found in China. Written in 1103 AD – a time, like today, of immense growth in both population and prosperity – the Yingzhao Fashi offers a complete construction system defined by the state for all types of architecture, at all scales: from imperial palaces to curtain rod and covering detail descriptions, and for all subjects from account­ancy, construction management, responsible material use, and design. To save cost and improve the efficiency it is a nation-wide standardisation campaign which was successfully deployed from the northern plateaus of Siberia to the southern east Asian tropics. This project is an introduction to the most important part: the Dou-kung bracket system: an elaborated highly precise bracketing system that consists of multiple parts. Built only on pressure it requires ultimate precision and dedication.