Today I am leaving Brussels, to move to Bilbao. Looking forward to the green mountains, beaches and of course delicious food. But sad to be leaving WOLKE studios and beloved Brussels. I hope to be coming back to Belgium to continue with the live performance work I am developing with Justine Maxelon.
Every thursday morning I go to the Molenbeek markets which have a beautiful range of fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs along with synthetic leggings in multiple hues and cheap kitchen equipment. Molenbeek is an often maligned suburb of Brussels, but one of my favourite places in the city to walk, unexpected and idiosyncratic beauty is the reward for wandering its’ streets.MORE
Forgive the crappy photography – an amazing disused Boulangerie in St Gilles. Bone like enamelled Art Nouveau supports, for skeleton loaves. I think that I might like Art Nouveau because it really challenges taste, it is beautiful but also ugly and florid, not good taste at all by current standards, and that is interesting.
This week was my first week of a three month studio residency at WOLKE studios here in Brussels. WOLKE is an artist run space over three floors of a sky scraper (10.11.12th floors), there are studios, a workshop, rehearsal space, cinema and exhibition space. As you can see we are up in the clouds with Brussels stretched out below. I am looking forward to getting down to work in my new space.
From Wednesday the 10th of July, Chloe Langford and I will be doing a micro-residency at foAM here in Brussels. We will be blogging about the residency at the foAM website: HERE
MOREAlso we have a public response session, Research Gathering – All Welcome!!
on Monday 15 July 2013 @ 18h00
Koolmijnenkaai 30-34Here is some writing from our proposal:“There is something about how it’s kind of ugly and sticky and
misshapen and almost banal and obtuse. Or obstinate – it doesn’t care
what I want, it is just a lump. Obstinate Lump.”
Dough resists neatness and control, an aesthetic of the unmade, lumpen
and formless. It is an unwieldy mass that provides a physical
confrontation with intractable matter. This stuff is not fluid, it is
a sticking point for the mind to flow around, and as such acts as a
provocative anchor to the
Last week at Wiels, I attended an inspiring lecture by Steven Jacobs, a professor at the University of Ghent. Jacobs spoke on the films of Henri Alekan and Carl Theodor Dreyer, that use sculptures as their subject. Jacobs structured the lecture around two main works, Dreyer’s film ‘ Thorvaldson’, and Alekan’s ”L’Enfer de Rodin’. Thorvaldson was a Danish neoclassical sculptor, and Dreyer films his white marble works against soft velvet drapes, light and shadow linking delicately across the image. Alekan films Rodin’s complex and profligate work ‘The gates of hell’ and the drama, sexuality and violence of the work is conveyed in swirling shots and stark black and white contrasts.The films are dominated by a fascination with the static (sculptural)object as subject for film;MORE
With great joy I have noticed that the Bruxelloise seem to keep a lot of houseplants prominently displayed in their front windows. So many intriguing forms and somewhat perplexing aesthetic choices. Now I must get better at photographing through glass.
Brussels’ architectural composition is heavily laced with Art Noveau, butted up against annonymous tiled apartments, golden glass skyscrapers and peeling wooden shutters. Walking around my local area of Ixelles there are many beautiful sgraffito murals and bronze door knockers to be seen despite the uncontrolled developments of the 1960s. On Wednesday I visited the Victor Horta museum, which attempts to restore and preserve his house and studio. As a structure it evokes a strange uneasiness of Modernism that is not Modern, in the sense of Art History. In fact it is a blind spot of Art History, too decorative, louche and well, freaky to be fitted into the canon properly.
Horta subscribed to the gesamtkunstwerk, or ‘total work of art’, a term first used by K. F. E. Trahndorff in an essay in 1827. Richard Wagner also used thMORE
J and I are now living in Brussels for a while. By the kind auspices of friends of friends in the arts community we have found a wonderful flat to sublet for the first few weeks. The flat inhabits the body of an old ballroom, in a slowly decaying Art Nouveau house. We live mainly in one grandly proportioned room with magnificent windows and intricate parquet floor. In the manner of hermit crabs we live in this grand shell, it feels like camping, or breaking into an abandoned castle – and reminds me a little of the parts of Varda’s ‘Sans Toit ni loi’, where Mona lives in the chateau. It is a beautiful space, and we are now spoilt for ‘normal’ flats.