TJ-II | 2022 | Okoume, EPS foam | 500 x 500 x 180 cm
Visual artist Rick van Meel (1985, Breda) regards scientific research as one of humankind's most worthwhile pursuits, a way of getting a grip on the universe we inhabit. His interest in science provides the starting point for his artistic practice. He studies the laws of physics and closely follows all kinds of scientific experiments.
In the courtyard - the heart of the museum - Van Meel has placed a new 'core'. He has created a sculpture based on the TJ-II stellarator, a nuclear fusion reactor in the Laboratorio Nacional de Fusión in Spain. This device is used to research a new method of clean energy generation.
By reconstructing the TJ-II stellarator, Van Meel invites the visitor to physically engage with this complex device. At the same time, the object in the courtyard no longer fulfils any function. Its abstract forms - interlocking and tumbling - could be seen as a visual monument for this experiment, a tribute to science.
Many many thanks to Stedelijk Museum Breda and Mondriaan Fund for their trust and for helping me realise this work!