Shelter is part of a series of video and photographic works created by Jens Luestraeten during his three-month DAAD scholarship in Las Vegas in the summer of 2007. Excerpts were shown there at a joint exhibition with David Sanchez Burr entitled Four Easy Pieces.
In the style of the casino city event and party culture, Jens Luestraeten films an ice sculpture. Far from being a glamourous motif, however, the latter is comprised of seven letters that form the word Shelter, each of them sixty centimetres high. Located in one of the countless parking lots in the fastest growing city in the USA, the letters are exposed to the harsh midday sun of the summer months.
In this real-time video film, they melt and shatter under the ruthless heat of the sun in the course of fifty minutes, until less than the proverbial nothing remains. With the symbolic destruction of the shelter, Luestraeten plays with the ambiguity of the English term, the different levels of interpretation and in the end the deeply rooted desire for safety.