Nicolas Baeyens is associate professor and coordinator of sculpture (metal sculptures, research and documentation) at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. As an artist he makes monumental sculptures out of steel, copper and paper. The last series of sculptures have been modified in a scrap machine, crushed as a happening or fragmented by the spectators. The works are not isolated permanent entities and always enter into dialogue with video and wall drawings. During his first study, Restoration/Conservation at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, he developed a critical view on the preservation of art.
Since 2017 he has been a researcher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp with the starting project 'Crush and Generate'; this project was followed up in a two-year study 'Sculpture as a flexible ephemerality'.
From 2020 to 2024 Baeyens is working on his PhD thesis 'The medium is the memory, the support the souvenir'. In this PhD he goes deeper into the memory that functions as a medium and the physical work of art that is reduced to the technical support of the concept. Is the work of art the packaging of an idea, just as our economic system stimulates the consumer with evocative packaging? The content is processed and the packaging is temporary and seductive. Thus he questions the material character of a work of art by viewing it as a variable carrier of an immaterial message shaped and transformed by the viewer's memory.