Carolien Van den hole has master’s degrees in both Product Design and Visual Arts (specialising in textile design). By transforming almost trivial matters into poetic statements, she aims actively to expand the mind of the consumer by drawing attention to the durability of objects. Through her design agency Maison Caro, she creates jewelry (icy instant wedding rings, for example) but also designs scarves (with patterns drawn by moths) and sews raspberry stains on tablecloths. Previously, Van den hole made a serving set out of sugar and speculoos (a type of biscuit), thus formulating her own answer to the question of sustainability. As nothing is left over, there is no issue of waste. This is not to say that she approves of instant consumption; instead, she is constantly aiming for a poetic dimension. A sort of questioning recognition – a ‘Huh?’ moment, if you like. Van den hole’s SurprICE – an installation of wedding rings made of ice which allow people to get married just for a minute – is one of the many ways she addresses the concept of time. The game in which Chronos is first pulled close to the heart and then pushed away results invariably in a spectacle that you won’t easily forget. This memory is at odds with the transience of the ice: it seems to be an idiosyncratic theory of relativity, where an experience of a single minute becomes an eternal memory etched in the minds of the ‘bride’ and ‘groom’. In stark contrast to this is the wedding ring that Van den hole designed with a black layer, which rubs off little by little. Its lustre improves year after year, until finally, after 25 years, its perfectly polished brilliance can be seen.
text by Christophe Deschauvre & DPL