Peer Vink

Peer Vink. It Was Good While It Lasted, Part 1, 2023.

Year granted: 2022 Website: Part of Prospects

At Prospects, Peer Vink (1990) is showing his Wellness Sculptures (2019-ongoing). Shaped like a column and a wall altar, these sculptures are monuments for contemplating society’s preoccupation with lifestyle and luxury. To Vink, this is not about the habits we all could (and should) pursue, like eating well and exercising regularly, but more about treatments that are not available to everyone. “While the obsession with eternal youth is as old as mankind, each era has its own myths to explain why that youthfulness should only be available to a small group of people.”

In all those stories Vink recognizes the characteristics of conspiracy theories: they are always about some kind of pact that can only be carried out through making victims. How such conspiracies are explained, reveals something about the era in question, according to Vink. A current explanation revolves around the chemical compound adrenochrome, which is thought to make you younger, while it is rumoured that it can only be extracted from the blood of others. In reality, the compound is simply made in a laboratory, but unfortunately has little effect on our physical appearance. Vink’s work thus plays with the impression that there really is something like a parasitic elite, exploiting the rest of the population. His sculptures show us things all of us might want, such as an effortlessly obtained attractive appearance, a completely care-free existence, and maybe even eternal youth. Aren’t we all in search of things that are just too good to be true?

Text: Jorne Vriens

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang