A three-year liquidity. Report from Bruges

A three-year liquidity. Report from Bruges


Silence reigns in Bruges, broken only by the noise of the carriages that, drawn by horses, run along cobbled lanes, and hundreds of canals. The machines are sporadic and the signs are discreet so as not to damage and preserve the historical character of the city. And the atmosphere of another era. It is in the heart of this enchanted town, a World Heritage Site, recognized by UNESCO in 2000, that it was decided to set up the Triennale, now in its second edition and curated by & nbsp; Michel Dewilde together with Till-Holger Borchert.

Liquid City is the title of the Bruges Triennial 2018 hosted in the historic heart of the Belgian town. The event formula includes the participation of artists, architects and collaborations with theorists and scientists. Projects are widespread in many sites in the city that include squares, streets and canals. The goal is to present a liquid city literally surrounded by water, open, shared. An ideal laboratory, the engine of a desirable cultural and social change. At the center, the community that finds itself sharing experiences, ideas and dreams. The key words of this edition, in addition to fluidity, are transition, influx, hospitality and exchange. The mission is to formulate, through the contribution of artists and architects, responses to the current crises in contemporary society: unemployment, ecological disasters and many other themes in a participatory mode. In fact, the inhabitants and visitors are called to participate actively in this process.

The Triennale is divided into three main sections: Inviting and hospitable public spaces, with artists and architects who develop public spaces, transforming them into places of sharing where diversity stimulates the meeting; (Co-) creative associations, which sees the collaboration between artists and architects with partners from other disciplines with which they contribute to radically change urban identity; The imagined city, which brings together a group of artists and architects focused on the symbolic representation of urbanity. The participants of this edition come from all over the world and are: Jarosław Kozakiewicz, Wesley Meuris, Renato Nicolodi, Nlé - Kunlé Adeyemi, Obba, Roxy Paine, John Powers, Raumlabor, Rotor (project in collaboration with Beaufort2018), Ruimteveldwerk, Tomás Saraceno , Selgascano (Jose Selgas & Lucia Cano), Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Studiokca and Peter Van Driessche-Atelier4.

For its second edition, the Bruges Triennale has invited the Frac Center-Val de Loire to organize an exhibition, curated by Abdelkader Damani, starting from his collections linked to the theme of the liquid city. Set up in the church and gardens of the Grootseminarie, the exhibition presents monumental works that bear witness to "the arrival in the Nineties of a new approach to architecture, influenced by the development of innovative methods of design and digital production processes". This is the starting point for starting the visit to the Triennale and discovering, among the many projects, a new futuristic bridge that does not lead anywhere, a floating platform from which to dive and bathe in a canal cleaned for the occasion , a giant and circular net for relaxing, a temporary school where "building" things, a house of time dedicated to young people and a huge whale-shaped structure made entirely of recycled plastic.

The title of the Triennale Brugge 2018 is Liquid City. We have deluded ourselves that globalization would have made everything more liquid, open and shared. And instead…

It's a complex issue. For Zygmunt Bauman liquidity was a condition of contemporary society, but its negative side has always prevailed. Just think of the unemployed, immigration, not to mention neo-capitalism. In Bruges we started from this concept, trying to make it positive. How can we look at the city and the community through liquidity? Can we think of the city differently and not rigidly? How do we deal with ecological disasters?

The Rotor project revolves around the exotic and numerous Chinese crabs that we do not only have in Bruges, but in Italy, in France ... How can we solve this problem in a positive way? Rather than get rid of them and kill them, maybe we can relate to them, cook them, eat them. Space is equally important. We must share it with foreigners, do something with refugees ... This Triennale has many jobs that try to do something positive that is liquid. Utopian, idealistic? Yes, it is utopian because we try to be a little more optimistic. We have exotic species like crabs or plants and, rather than destroying them, we work. With all the people coming to Europe, rather than sending them back, we can do something with them. Building a new world.

It is equally utopian because we thought the world, in the global era, would be more connected, freer. Today, paradoxically, social, physical and digital barriers have increased. New walls are built.

We dare to be naive. Ecological issues have become fashionable, but we do almost nothing. We react! We invited Raumlabor to build a house of the time dedicated to young people. A place of sharing and recreation. In every city young people seem not interested at all in these problems and in the cities. & nbsp; Let's do something with them, let's get them involved. We try to change their mentality. Small steps can change their personal life, their connections with society. The dream is very important.

The curators of the next Venice Architecture Biennale have written and shared a manifesto that revolves around the concept of public space, generosity, the gift and the relationship between nature and architecture. Share this poster? And how does it relate to the Triennale?

Absolutely. The city is not out of nature. When we think of the city, we believe it is out of nature. The biggest hope I have is to bring people to this idea. The city and nature are a single entity. For me it is one of the key elements of this Triennale.

Bruges is a very small and protected city. We cannot compare it to other cities like Rome or New York. It is a completely different condition. Bruges has been designed on a human scale, we have no motorways, there are few cars. In some ways we are already in an ideal situation. There are so many types of cities that it is difficult to refer to a model, but it would certainly be interesting if we could inspire people. Bruges can serve as an ideal laboratory for larger cities.

This is one of the problems. We should re-use existing buildings much more. 25% of the spaces in Bruges are empty. Huge churches that are no longer used, convents. In every city in the world there is a large amount of empty buildings, but we continue to build. New buildings outside the cities where, on the contrary, for a high percentage they are empty. We need to adapt those spaces to people.

Many know Bruges and its history. However, architecture and contemporary art allow you to look at the ancient city with other eyes. We could have "hidden" the projects inside buildings, as happens at the Venice Biennale, at the Arsenale for example. Instead we placed them outside to see the city differently and have a higher and deeper view of it. It is not just decoration. The main actor of this Triennale, the leading artist or architect, is the city itself. The Triennale is a theatrical show with only one actor: the city.

Daniele Perra is a journalist, critic, curator and strategic consultant for communication. Columnist and director of the cover of "ARTRIBUNE", he collaborates with "GQ Italia", "ULISSE," SOLAR "and is professor of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture at the IED in Milan. He was the founder and co-director of "unFLOP paper" and collaborator of numerous magazines including "ArtReview" "Mousse", "Harper's Bazaar art Latin America". He was a strategic consultant for the communication of the Modena Arti Visive Foundation, Director of Communication at the Pecci Center in Prato, Strategic Advisor for Media and Communication at Malmö Konsthall and Director of Communication of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Foundation. He was part of the selection team for some awards including the FURLA Award and The Sovereign European Art Prize. He has written texts for catalogs and curated exhibitions including: Shahryar Nashat in collaboration with the Centro Pecci, Cantieri Culturali ex-Macelli, Prato (2003); Hans Schabus and the Very Pleasure (Laboratories of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, 2006). He published the book "Digital Impact. From the image processed to the participated image: the computer in contemporary art", Baskerville, Bologna. He gave lectures at NABA and a course in Phenomenology of contemporary art at the Polytechnic School of Design in Milan. He was editor-in-chief of "celestial theme" (1999-2007), editor-in-chief of "KULT" (2007-2010), he collaborated from 2000 to 2006 in "Il Sole24ORE" (Sunday) and in the culture insert Saturno de "Il Fatto Quotidiano ".

[...] can and must be crossed with the one that follows the works scattered around the city thanks to the Triennale Brugge 2018 - it is the Piazza del Mercato, a city pivot since the tenth century. Here one of the most [...] faces

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Events in Bruges