Running in Circles – Deer Boar Hare Man, 2020
Following from his previous works, where he created art from running, during the covid pandemic lockdowns Jeroen Jengoleen created a series of videos Running in Circles, in which he marked the empty sites around Rotterdam with his legs as tools. In Jengoleen’s practice, leaving traces in urban landscape – through interventions, texts or images – is motivated by his understanding of art as being about free speech and movement, about opposition as the essence of a truly vibrant democratic society. “As an active citizen, the vandalistic gesture of leaving a mark on the fabric of regulated space is an invitation to my fellow citizens in the free and unlimited usage of our surroundings,” Jengoleen explains. The precise and delineated shapes created around the city – on its rooftops, highways, fields and beaches – manifest the freedom to use public space that goes against the structures regulating and directing citizens’ behaviours by means of advertising, urban planning or corporate influence. With the duration of making each of the circles ranging from an hour to 100 km, Jengoleen’s works rely on a basic gesture, stamina and concentration to leave a trace by effort. Although repetitive running in circles during the lockdown – quite literally remaining constrained to an outlined sphere – might appear as a self-imposed rat-wheel, for the artist it became a means of reclaiming the city and a “self-invented covid pseudotherapy”.