I think empathy begins with the willingness to become someone else for a moment.
For me the key to understanding anything lies in the repetition of it. Repeating and replicating is how I connect to the world around me; the way a cow will pass her food from one stomach to the next, I repeat “things” dissolving them in my acid and remaking them into my own.
In my inner workings I am perpetually swept around by a sea-storm of wishes that I need to fulfil, wishes which outside of art can never be fulfilled.
In my quest to become the other, I research the narrative devices that make it possible for us to, for a moment, become another.
Where lies the boundary between the character and the human? Where does the individual end, and the alter ego begin?
I am interested in the space between reality and narrative.
I am interested in character. And I am interested in the fluidity between character and person.
My statement as an artist is that I will always rather be something else.
“Because for me everything begins with something else.”
Jack Engelbrecht's artistic identity is constantly changing. "My art has to do with the copying of existing work and people," he says, and every time he chooses to do so with the greatest precision in chosing the fitting medium, a form in which he discloses an extremely intense empathy.
Jack thus relates to others, or to the other.
The jury was unanimous in its opinion that the intensity with which he crawls into the skin of others such as Gregory House from House M.D., or DCI Barnaby from Midsomer Murders, is fascinating. Rising above the anecdotal character of those characters themselves, questions about originality and reproduction unfold.
Perhaps the term "reproduction" is not really the right word in this. We may have to talk about "reinterpretation”.
Jack crawls in the clothes, in the skin, in the thoughts, of his constantly changing examples. He devours and consumes them. Jack examines the body and soul of a figure with almost frightening precision and intensity. He considers it's content and he appropriates it to an extreme degree every time.
VKC ART AWARD – first price 2019