19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

John Powers | 2018

For Lanchals, John Powers has drawn inspiration from the rich history and folklore of Bruges. He dug up the legend about Pieter Lanchals, an advisor of Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who was killed during a popular uprising in the 15th century against urban privileges. The Bruges population had tortured and decapitated serval prominent members of Maximilian’s entourage, including Pieter Lanchals. The archduke called for revenge and surrounded himself with an army of soldiers to plunder the city. Bruges ultimately recovered a number of privileges, but – as legend has it – in memory of the event, the city had to allow 52 swans (known as langhalzen or longnecks) on the canals.

White swans are still characteristic feature of the cityscape. For the Bruges Triennial, Powers erected a meter-high sculpture in the form of a swan’s neck on a square on the edge of the water, although it could also make one think of a backbone or a tornado. Every black building stone in the installation is its own module, an equally valuable piece of the whole, in which each one is supported by the other and stretches toward the heavens.





John Powers
The New York-based artist John Powers (1970, Chicago) studied with Tom Jay, at Pacific Northwest, the Pratt Institute and Hunter College. He usually builds his images from modules that he repeats to infinity. His constructions have already been exhibited at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), the Kohler Arts Center, the Black & White Gallery and the Brooklyn Museum. In addition, he writes contributions for various online art sites such as Star Wars Modern, Hyperallergic and Triple Canopy.

Other installations

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  • MINNE FLOATING SCHOOL MFS III - ‘Minne Floating School’ is NLÉ’s third prototype and iteration of the Makoko Floating Schoo...

  • BRIDGE BY THE CANAL The bridge beside the water is located on a quay across from a medieval firebreak. It is a non-place, a spot that has lost its function in t...