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Exploring the potency of abandoned, disused, failed, and otherwise dysfunctional places in Bruxelles. Commissioned by Beursschowburg art center, displayed as a 5-screen installation at “I Fail Good” exhibition from 5 October until 24 November 2012.
The photo of The Palace of Justice is available to purchase online through our web store.
The Palace of Justice in Brussels (Belgium court of law) is one of the most important and beautiful architectural landmarks in the city. It was the biggest building constructed in the 19th century and one of the most expensive ones, standing as a silent monument to the grandeur of the State. No wonder it was one of Hitler’s favorites. In 2003 the renovations have started, still continuing to this day. As a tribute to this beautiful but somewhat dysfunctional space we dedicated a 5-minute long humping action, a sequence of pre-climax moves that never realize themselves into an orgasm.
Think of Brussels and there’s a lot of associations popping up to mind: the EU (of course), horrible transportation, the brussels sprouts, probably the beer (if you know it), Jacques Brel, great choreography scene (by the way!), the Waterloo battle, the Justice Palace (which was Hitler’s favorite building, by the way). Oh and by the way, how do you write it? Bruxelles? Brussels? Brussel?
In any case, when we received an invitation from Beursschouwburg arts center to do the new mission in Brussels, we thought it would be a very fertile ground for humping. Especially that the theme of the exhibition where the work would be shown was “I Fail Good” – a celebration of everything that is pushed aside by neo-liberal society labelled as dysfunctional, unsuccessful, and simply not good enough. We were interested to uncover the notion of a failed city through approaching the sites in Brussels that had a lot of potential but somehow lost it and could not realize it to the fulles extent. The continuous humping loop, a frozen pre-climax state that never reaches the orgasm, seemed to be the perfect physicality to invoke these meanings from the city’s architecture.
Starting from Beursschouwburg itself (which used to be a burgeoning hotspot for music and art back in the days), continuing our journey into the city. We were interested to find the attractions that did not fulfil expectations or that borrowed their present glory from the past: Cite Administrative, EU parliament, Waterloo mountain, the Palais de Justice, and residential rooftops of the city itself.
All of these places now stand still as the silent memorials to the human ambition, desire, utopia, and the endless drive towards success. And as much as it may seem ridiculous, it may also be beautiful, touching, and evocative.