On War, Art, Race, and Much More | Interview With Thibeau Scarcériaux



Award-winning artist and designer, Thibeau Scarcériaux, is known for his unique work centered around the nation of societal taboos. We had the chance to speak to Scarcériaux about his inspiration and work, keep reading to find out more.


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The work of Belgium-based artist Thibeau Scarcériaux lives somewhere between the realms of functional design and artistic pursuit. Through the transformation of seemingly mundane, every-day objects, Scarcériaux creates one-of-a-kind sculptures which are simultaneously monumental, yet practical. An exploration of taboos – controversial subjects – are inherent to many of Scarcériaux’s works, as he hopes to help create space for important dialogues from his viewers’. 

Here, we spoke to Thibeau Scarcériaux about his ascent into design, the catalyst of taboos in his work, and upcoming installations.


How did you initially get into design?

I've always been drawn to creativity and craftsmanship from a young age. My journey into design began with a fascination for transforming ideas into tangible, functional objects. This passion led me to pursue studies in furniture design at Thomas More, where I had the opportunity to refine my skills and develop my unique aesthetic. Alongside my formal education, my background in industrial design further fueled my exploration into the realm of design, ultimately shaping my diverse and innovative practice.


Can you walk us through your creative process — material sourcing, aesthetic? What inspires you as a designer?

My creative process is deeply rooted in experimentation and exploration. I'm constantly seeking out new materials and techniques, often finding inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. Whether it's repurposing industrial remnants or incorporating natural elements, I'm drawn to the inherent qualities of materials and how they can be manipulated to evoke emotion and provoke thought.

Aesthetically, I strive to strike a balance between form and function, often pushing the boundaries of conventional design to create pieces that challenge perceptions and ignite curiosity. My work is a reflection of my fascination with the interplay of light and shadow, texture and form, resulting in sculptural objects that captivate and engage the senses.


A lot of your pieces are grounded in the concept of the "taboo," as you call it. Can you speak more to this? How is the theme of taboo explored in your works and what dialogues do you hope your work inspires?

The exploration of taboo subjects lies at the heart of my practice, serving as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue and introspection. Through my works, I seek to confront societal norms and challenge preconceived notions, inviting viewers to confront uncomfortable truths and engage in honest conversations about difficult topics.

Whether it's addressing issues of sexuality, mental health, or cultural stigmas, my aim is to spark thought-provoking discussions that transcend surface-level perceptions. By creating objects that embody the complexities of taboo, I hope to foster empathy, understanding, and ultimately, positive change.


In a similar vein, can you discuss themes of war in your work?

The theme of war is a recurring motif in my work, stemming from a deep-seated desire to confront the human cost of conflict and violence. Through my pieces, I aim to capture the dichotomy of destruction and resilience, exploring the emotional and psychological impact of war on individuals and communities.

Whether it's through symbolic imagery, evocative materials, or immersive installations, I seek to evoke a visceral response that prompts viewers to confront the harsh realities of war and its lasting effects. By shedding light on these often-overlooked narratives, I hope to honor the memories of those affected by conflict and inspire reflection on the true cost of violence.


How do you provoke dialogues about racism through your pieces?

As an artist and designer, I believe it's crucial to use my platform to address issues of systemic racism and inequality. Through my work, I strive to confront the pervasive nature of racism and its impact on individuals and communities.

Race is a categorization of humans based on shared physical or social qualities, generally viewed as distinct within a given society.

"X-race" is a series of objects that invite you to reflect on the matter of racism. I uses X-rays to show the true form of the human body and what people really are, to show there is no anatomical difference between one another. The monotone colors used in x-rays create a metaphorical view on the subject.

Through the "X-race" series, I aim to challenge the constructed notions of race and dismantle the false dichotomies that perpetuate racism. By stripping away the superficial markers of identity, such as skin color or facial features, the X-rays reveal the fundamental sameness of all human beings. This stark visual representation serves as a powerful reminder of our shared humanity and underscores the absurdity of racial hierarchies.

By confronting viewers with the unadorned truth of our physical bodies, I hope to provoke introspection and dialogue about the arbitrary nature of race and the enduring legacy of racism. Through these conversations, I believe we can begin to dismantle systemic injustices and move towards a more equitable and inclusive society.


What, in your opinion, sets your work apart from other designers?

I believe what sets my work apart is its ability to seamlessly blend artistry with functionality, while also addressing complex social and cultural issues. My dedication to pushing the boundaries of design, coupled with a relentless pursuit of innovation, results in pieces that resonate deeply with viewers and provoke thought long after the initial encounter.

Additionally, my interdisciplinary approach to design, drawing from elements of industrial design, sculpture, and conceptual art, allows me to create truly unique and multi-dimensional works that defy categorization. By challenging conventions and embracing the unconventional, I strive to create a body of work that is both visually captivating and intellectually stimulating.


Are there any new projects or collaborations you are currently working on?

Yes, I'm thrilled to share that I have several exciting projects and collaborations in the pipeline that delve into new taboo subjects. Building on the themes explored in my previous works, these upcoming projects will tackle pressing issues such as drunk driving, uranium waste, and other societal taboos.

From immersive installations to interactive experiences, each project aims to provoke thought and foster dialogue about these often-overlooked topics. I'm particularly excited about the opportunity to collaborate with experts, activists, and communities affected by these issues, ensuring that the resulting artworks are both impactful and socially relevant.

As always, I'm committed to pushing the boundaries of my practice and using art as a catalyst for meaningful change. I look forward to sharing more details about these projects in the near future and continuing to engage with audiences on important issues that resonate with us all.


All Images:
@ Thibeau Scarcériaux

+ Words:
Tori Palone
Luxiders Magazine