For the first time two

You find yourself clicking a hyperlink, and here you are in the virtual space of a fleeting exhibition on the day of the opening : September 30th 2017.

It was to take place on two barges moored on either side of the Brussels Canal, an urban area undergoing substantial transformation. One floated on the edge of Bruxelles Ville (at the foot of an idle industrial crane), the other at the edge of Molenbeek. The canal doesn’t belong to any commune. It is managed by the Port of Brussels. This liquid territory is a powerful place : connecting and splitting at the same time. Spanning the entire region it is an axis of transformation for the capital, as announced in a vast Canal Plan. The allocated budget proportionate to the demographic and economic challenges. Close to where the barges were to be found, a flagship cultural beacon is emerging from within the Citroën garage. Wanted : The Bilbao Effect.

Amongst this febrile context, the central area of the canal is located between dereliction (including allée du Kaai1) and ‘gentrification’. Secured private parties are allowed to invade the docks2 but the two barges, for complex reasons, have been asked to take to flight. In their wake they leave a void and the impossibility of visiting the exhibition in its context.

So here you are in the virtual zone of an exhibition that could not take place in situ. You navigate the waters of the web, your body does not feel the slight sway of the barges, your sensory perception cannot connect with your analysis of the context. The works are dematerialized, only perceptible by your eye via your LCD screen. They are on ‘stand by’ between their material existence and their immaterial archiving.

The organiser of this exhibition is a fragile and nomadic structure. Its strength and its will is to put artists to work in the very fabric of the transforming city : La Dent Creuse. This name calls to mind a void, a gap in a row of teeth, houses, buildings. Hollow ? (Creuse) Tooth ? (La Dent). Not quite… Its assumed future informed by its neighbours. As if we were anxious to give it a shape : a shape similar to the others in the row. All the while, this gap is obvious like in the mouth of a 7-year-old child.

The city manufactures hollow teeth, by extending across nature or through demolishing parts of its centre. It is these cavities that the artists of the 1960s rushed to in resistance to the standardization of the city and of life. Thus, Gordon Matta-Clark sculpted emptiness in buildings about to be demolished. One of his famous cuttings — ‘Conical Intersect3’ created on rue Beaubourg in Paris in 1975, pierced through the working site of the Centre Pompidou. A response to an invitation from Jean-Hubert Martin, then curator at the National Museum of Modern Art (future department of Beaubourg).

This example demonstrates how much burgeoning creation was included in the programming of the Centre Pompidou. This centre of art and culture grasped something unique because it responded to the social, political and artistic crisis of 1968. Pontus Hulten had announced that Beaubourg would aim to “state that creation in all its sensitive forms becomes the most immediate and complete language of our time”4.

Half a century later, we are living in a new crisis due to civilizational, technological and geopolitical mutations. (A thought for Zygmunt Bauman and his ‘Liquid Society’.) Significant resources are mobilized in Brussels for the realisation of a huge cultural project as part of the Canal Plan. Rescue surveys of the Citroën building as well as economic and tourism strategies are irrefutably pushed. There is talk of an alliance with Centre Pompidou. It would therefore be wise to take inspiration from the origins of Beaubourg.

What about the memory of the current artistic scene in Brussels ? Why does urban planning thoughtlessly remove the living fabric of artistic creation instead of cooperating with initiatives like La Dent Creuse ? How will todays creation be conveyed to future generations ? Many artists are concerned with being ‘on the ground’, as close as possible to the community but it isn’t this that is exhibited in the contemporary art museums. Will we become amnesiacs ?

The works have not been exhibited but as you can see they have been liquefied online. They need to exist. Brussels has an ambitious project to create ‘a new generation museum’ where the challenge of communicating works is open and inclusive, beyond contemporary art. Meanwhile, we all know that La Dent Creuse will continue to find gaps to explore. Brussels is overflowing. See you there5.

Pauline de La Boulaye
Bruxelles, october 2017

  • “Quai des Matériaux, comprises a zone of spontaneous action. The collective Toestand17 is temporarily active on the site, in agreement with the City of Brussels, whilst waiting for the construction of a new park. Everything is possible : cultivation, manufacture, transformation, activation.” Excerpt from the book Being Urban, for art in the city, Brussels, under the direction of Pauline de La Boulaye and Adrien Grimmeau, published in 2016 - edition cfc.
  • Foire aux questions, Brussel.be
  • Gordon Matta-Clark, Conical Intersect (Intersection conique, Before), 1975
  • Origines et mise en place des relations internationales au Centre Georges Pompidou, thesis of Pauline de La Boulaye Master en Histoire contemporaine, Paris X – Nanterre, 1999
  • La Dent Creuse

Boat Eliane

1

BNA-BBOTMarcher sur l’eau — Installation, stereophonic diptych

  • Le cri des cordesStereophonic diptych
  • Untitled — Installation, Boiling flasks (7 canal water withdrawals)
  • Untitled — Installation, Herbarium (11 vegetation species found on the docks)
  • C’est la nuit — Canal residents’ testimonial n°1 et 2, monophonic transmission
  • Les étoiles d’en bas — Canal residents’ testimonial n°3, monophonic transmission
2
3

lodewijk heylen & elise van mourikAll your dreams will come true but first will mine — Idea, Dimensions and duration variable. The phrase may be reiterated or reproduced in a variety of ways (written, spoken, thought) or remain latent. It is not the expression of an idea, but the idea itself.

Boat Molenbeek

4

Louise boghossian & alicia zatonLove affair — Mixed media installation

  • Boy look into my eyes — Print on fabric, 110×162 cm
  • I’m not blind — Mixed media, 46×54 cm
  • I’m not blind (détail)
  • I can see through your disguise — Mixed media, 122×120 cm
  • I can see through your disguise (détail)
  • Two hearts can’t be wrong — Mixed media, 105×50 cm
  • I can see through all your lies — Glass, 410×72 cm
  • I can see through all your lies — Glass, 410×72 cm
  • Tell me you’re for real — wax, mud from the canal bottom, 110 cm, Ø 15 cm
5

marion menan & kathi seebeckObjet d’étude — mixed media installation, variable dimensions found objects, threads, video projection

6

Lionel Catelan & Baptiste TosiAu-delà de toute chose s’étend l’océan — Edition, laser print, spirit duplicator 17×21 cm

Biographies

BNA-BBOT

is a Brussels based organization founded in 1999
bna-bbot.be

Historical strengths and issues are everywhere. However, no history index all of the historical strengths and issues that are simultaneously played out, or has been played out, in it. Every history is cut of a part of itself, and let gaps: a total history would only be conceivable as seen from outside history itself, from beyond ourselves. Yet, it is at the heart of this gaps that the cards of history can only be reshuffled, where new historic forms can be experimented. This is what the works of Bruxelles Nous Appartient-Brussel Behoort Ons Toe (BNA-BBOT) is about : historicizing, dynamically archiving a local set of spoken experiences. The spring of this micro-story is the sound, its writing is the voice. The voice as a micro-trace irreducible to any textual typing, to any visual presence. With an indefinite inventory of voices and sounds arising from lived experience, the sound collection of BNA-BBOT forms a living and organic biography of the city. It tells the city as it is sometimes, as it might have been, as it might be.

BNA-BBOT is a bicephalous organization founded in 1999. Its sound collection, consisting of testimonies, snippets of conversations, monologues, songs or rough sounds, forms a minor and granular history of the city. A form of documentary experience in the very long course, which is not only capturing voices and sounds passing by, but create multiple forms to be heard, and restore them to the city so that it can actively be reworked by its living memory, and the memory constantly reworked by the city. A database and a sound map classify and play back, an entire sound archive. Daily updated, these archives are free of access. Every year, a dozen original productions, ranging from radio documentaries to theatrical performances, are made from the stories and sounds of the city.


Lodewijk Heylen, 1989 (BE)

lives and works in Brussels
lodewijkheylen.be

Lodewijk Heylen is a visual and conceptual artist, who is fascinated by the the human urge to imitate, improve or harness the forces of nature. In his work he relates to industrial traces, transformations and concepts within a post-industrial society.

Using preexisting materials and formats he constructs large scale installations that transpose between the natural and the artificial. Rather than confiscating space, the works material presence dissolve into their context, resulting in the question if it hasn’t always been there. Lodewijk has lately shown his work at Hardbakka Ruins Projects in Norway, for Citadel’arte 2016 in Diest, at Verbeke Foundation in Kemzeke where he was artist in residence, at the Hans-Baluschek-Park in Berlin for a solo show...



Elise Van Mourik, 1988 (CH)

lives and works between Brussels and Amsterdam
elisevanmourik.nl

Elise van Mourik’s practice mainly explores the manipulation of reality and fiction. With a methodology that posits itself between the production of scenarios and that of situations, her works take the shape of scripts, scenographies, performances, sculpture and interventions in the tradition of the conceptual art practice.

Her work has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions as well as part of public performance programs and in the frame of artist run spaces, notably at Centre Pompidou in Paris, Unfair in Amsterdam, Hekla in Brussels, Enterprise Projects in Athens, gallery Stigter van Doesburg in Amsterdam, Association Jeudi in Geneva, Marion de Canniere in Antwerpen, 1m3 in Lausanne, Club Wanderlust in Paris, and The New Institute in Rotterdam. Since 2013 she teaches a programme at the Master’s of Architecture at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She is also co-founder and co-director of Parking Club together with the designer Laure Jaffuel.


Baptiste Tosi, 1989 (FR)

lives and works in Brussels
baptiste-tosi.eu

After several years of studies in Switzerland at HEAD – Geneva, Baptiste Tosi completed his training in 2015 in the south of France at ESAD – Valence.

During his studies he undertook a research work on the technologies of medical imaging and the diversion of his tools. His practice tends towards the use of free alternative tools and a practice of computer code as a graphic design tool. In August 2015 he founded the BEK studio in Brussels with nine other people, a place where people of different artistic practices collaborate and work. He has since worked with various artists and institutions such as the collective Kom.post, Constant, Loop-s, HEAD-Geneva and IMAL. He now works within the group of graphic designers Luuse.



Lionel Catelan, 1983 (FR)

lives and works in Paris
lionelcatelan.com

Lionel Catelan is graphic designer and photographer. He graduate of a DNSEP in design at the School of Fine Arts of Valence in 2010, then of a Post-Graduate at the School of Art and Design of Saint-Étienne.

His research in editorial design focuses on the landscape as construction of the gaze, starting point for reflections on the photographed and printed image, and on book design as sensitive objects of transmission. Independent, he works with different artists, institutions and publishers, such as Pierre Paulin, Nicolas Momein, CNAP, FRAC, Éditions B2, Éditions Cité du Design and teaches in La Fonderie de L’image.

Vesna Faassen, 1986 (NL)

lives and works bewteen Gent and Amsterdam

Lukas Verdijk, 1984 (NL)

lives and works bewteen Antwerp and Gent
faassen-verdijk.com

For three years now, Vesna Faassen and Lukas Verdijk have been working as an artist duo. Their collaboration began with a shared interest in photography’s relationship to culture and heritage. This interest was not surprisingly and directly influenced by their prior studies in psychology and history. Photography’s attraction as a medium, its historical connection to the production and fixation of identity, the politics of representation, power relations and debates over what exactly is pictured have inspired them.

Explorations of contemporary socially engaged art in relation to (post)colonial, cultural and photographic theory led to the development of their collaboration – which has the main focus in their current residency at HISK. In general, the work explores a central paradox in our culture : the excited denial of racism and colonial violence coexisting alongside aggressive racism and xenophobia. Faassen-Verdijk have shown their work recently in EXTRA Magazine of FotoMuseum Antwerp, at In de Ruimte in Ghent and the BORG Biennale in Antwerp… to name a few.


Adèle Jacot, 1990 (CH)

lives and works in Brussels.

Mélanie Peduzzi, 1989 (FR)

lives and works in Brussels.
habitants-des-images.be

Respectively specialized in urban planning and photography, the artists Adèle Jacot and Mélanie Peduzzi confront their practices within the Asbl Habitants des Images, which they founded in 2013.

This Brussels-based platform takes the city and media as a field of action. It is about making Art an echo of social or urban issues by ensuring an active contribution of their subjects : participants, inhabitants, institutions. The resulting artistic creations use a variety of mediums, and always involve the public space during the process (streets, squares, communal houses, social networks, etc.). The work of Habitants des images has been activated at BOZAR and PointCulture in Brussels, at Maison des Femmes in Schaerbeek, during the festival Signal organized by Cifas in Brussels, at Les Halles in Schaerbeek…


Louise Boghossian, 1992 (FR)

vit et travaille entre Bruxelles et Paris
louiseboghossian.net

Although Louise Boghossian has studied sculpture, her practice involves a variety of media. Her inspirations come from specific moments, visual impressions and interpretations of thoughts or circumstances of the everyday life. Furthermore, Boghossian’s work explores the triviality of materials through the balance between the white and the color and the interactions with the light. Many of her works refer to the body, the skin and its relationship with the exterior world. Louise Boghossian has recently participated to the group show A rob is robe at DOC in Paris, Tradition doesn’t graduate curated by Komplot in Brussels, Fresh Winds in Island, or even for the D+T Project Prize in Brussels where she was awarded.


Alicia Zaton, 1989 (FR)

lives and works in Paris
aliciazaton.com

In 2014 Alicia Zaton gets her diploma DNSEP at École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris/Cergy. During her formation she also studied at the School of Art of Rueil-Malmaison, and ENSAV La Cambre in Brussels. She is now working and getting involved in the DOC, a production and exhibition location.

Her multidisciplinary practice uses photography as well as sculpture, installation, video or edition.
Since 2010, her work has been presented in a personal exhibition Ferme l’œil at Progress Gallery, as well as in group exhibitions : 61e Salon de Montrouge, Le lait du miroir, 6b in Saint-Denis ; Podwurko, DOC, Paris, Dé-placement, Camden Collective, Londres ; Le dos du désert, Crédac, Ivry ; Dysfonctionnement , Instants Chavirés, Paris. Articles have been published about her work in Quotidien de l’art and Lechassis. She recently participated in a residency at Ateliers des Arques.


Marion Menan, 1987 (FR)

lives and works in Brussels
vimeo.com/marionmenan

After a Master’s degree in literature and theater, Marion Menan completed a Master in Art in Public Space and ISAC at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. She developed a work at the intersection of installation, movement, and theatrical performance.

With these three materials, she questions the concept of fiction, through the notions of memory, research, decision and randomness, or even repetition. Her approach focuses on the spectator’s desire to believe, and on his ability to create his own narrative logic. Her latest work is a video, querying the fictional potential of internet search, which has been presented at the Drodesera festival at Central Fies in July 2016. The main material of this film has been showed within the festival Côté Court in Paris in June 2017. Marion Menan has activated her work in various spaces such as Greylight Projects and Hidden in Brussels. She also collaborates with Simon Loiseau, and works as a performer for Léa Drouet et Morena Prats.


Kathi Seebeck, 1989 (DE)

lives and works in Brussels
www.kathiseebeck.de

After studying philosophy and fine arts in Germany, Kathi Seebeck is now researching on the edge and in the middle of both fields. The starting points for her practice are usually questions related to daily life, such as What is work? For what reason is work necessary ? When am I learning ? How can I better remember this ? Why is there a limit to my comprehension and capacity ?

She approaches these questions and their multiple answers in reading, writing, by exercising with different materials and by exposing herself mentally and physically to different circumstances and situations. A special attention lays on found objects that contain information and vice versa presumably can be filled with ‘content’. The core problem of these investigations remains: how to organize, assemble and make accessible the bits and pieces of knowledge acquired in the course of a research. Her work has been presented at Greylight Projects in Brussels, Kunsthallen Rottstr5 in Bochum ; Geidai in Tokyo ; and B32, Maastricht.

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