Sebastian Kulbaka, Monsters

master beeldende kunsten
autonome vormgeving
Mentoren / Mentors:
Ruben Bellinkx
Kristof Van Baarle

For some years now I have been experimenting with a series of rituals that investigate our difficult emotions. All those emotions such as, quarrels, bereavement, sense of inadequacy, anger, abandonment, jealousy, feelings that change our perception of our everyday life and the perception we have of ourselves, of time and of our relationships. Through a public installation, people were invited to draw, share and unravel difficult moments of their lives, all within a cube made of wood, beeswax and cotton. During this time, in contact with people, I started working on a new subject: monsters and shadows. Together with the interweaving of different painting mediums in conjunction with lace, embroidery and beeswax, I began to make monsters that are the result of personal analyses of my way of being in the world: how I reflect, what appeals to me, the relationship I have with my work, my identifications towards the world of art and the figure of the artist, the relationship I have with time or breathing. This way of proceeding evokes feelings that over time build up real representations of figures that I call monsters of the threshold. These monsters grow with me and change with time, ideally, some of them can encompass so many things that they could fill a room. These threshold monsters position themselves in the middle of my journey, between a before and an after. They hold me in certain conflicts that I must be able to overcome. Once these conflicts are integrated, I will be able to cross the threshold, otherwise I will be forced to go through the same dynamics over and over again.

Three monsters:

The carousel monster – Full of colours and objects stuck to the ground, this monster enchants me with its beauty and vividness and disorients me with all its colours. It traps me in a vortex to make me experience new impressions that enhance my mind and perceptions. This monster pulls me away from my linear goals, distracts me by proposing things that appear new but at root are the result of the same question: Where to stop? What to choose? By creating this monster, the goal should be to realise that repetition of the same things, improves discipline in completing a task, instead of distracting me with new illusions.

Bee of time and space – This monster represents a dance of the eight in an infinite space. It has an anthropomorph appearance, half human and half bee, it is delicate and fragile, but it has to do constant work, because only then it can identify with what it is. This threshold monster makes me experience physical, repetitive work, without identity, like a number that once consumed can die. This monster reminds me that the work of an individual builds a community like that of the worker bee and its hive. This bee makes me produce until I understand how to fulfil myself in life and get out of a mechanical flow of production and consumption. This monster represents the feeling of being consumed and at the mercy of events.

Chronos, the devourer of time. It makes me believe that time exists, and makes me feel anxiety when time gets out of control, when I miss a train or am late for an appointment. It punishes me when I do not pay my bills on time or when I do not remember important moments in certain relationships. It makes me delude myself that I can control time if I run faster. But in reality all it does is devour me piece by piece. This monster holds me in time to make me forget the importance of breathing. When I observe my breath I feel present in the moment and can observe myself more carefully. Breathing and running against time is a struggle between opposites and I feel I am in the middle. I am working on two monsters representing Chronos – time, which has devoured its children for fear of being ousted. This monster represents rebirth, from the womb of Chronos, but also a trap for all the times we identify with time.