The sculpture made of Jura stone consists of no fewer than 29 hand-chiselled elements. Two irregular, geometric stone blocks form the gateway to a tall column on a Greek pedestal, which is surrounded by a spiral of triangular paving stones. The appearance of each element is a combination of polished surfaces and roughly finished volumes. Fin de Siècle can be categorised as what Soubry himself calls his ‘abstract work’: stone works of art that follow the tradition of geometric and abstract sculpture.
The presence of the stone blocks also stimulates the imagination. Passers-by sometimes refer to this sculpture as ‘the sundial’. Both the formal resemblance to a sundial and the title Fin de Siècle lead the spectator astray. The real message is contained in the stone column, which represents a chisel and was placed on a pedestal by the artist.
The work is first and foremost an ode to sculpture as an art, and a reference to those who chisel the rough stone. According to Soubry, the irony of the work of art lies in the use of materials: the stone chisel, which is usually made of metal, is represented in stone, the very material he is actually meant to work. The stone chisel that forms the key element of Fin de Siècle is unfinished, because it is still partially hidden in the rough stone. The stone shards lying around the column were created during the chiselling of the object.
Fin de Siècle was created between 1996 and 2000. Once completed, the sculpture was placed on the VUB Main Campus that same year. It was officially unveiled during the celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of Vrije Universiteit Brussel. By installing the sculpture on campus, Soubry wanted to turn the open space into a place for reflection, where people can come together or take a breather on their own.
Plan your visit
The Humanist Sculpture Park is open 24/7 and can be visited free of charge.
Parking is available and the area is wheelchair-accessible.
VUB Main Campus
Information about the sculptures
Each sculpture is accompanied by a QR code that gives access to an audio fragment. You can play it on your smartphone to discover the stories behind the sculptures. We recommend that you bring headphones for a more comfortable audio experience.