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Architecture Workroom
Brussels

Exploring the metropolitan condition

 

In the context of an artist residency, Dutch photographer Dieuwertje Komen was asked by Architecture Workroom to photograph the clash between the existing urban fabric, the Regional Express Network (RER) and the fabric of the periphery of Brussels, and thus to document and expose the potential of these areas-in-transition. A specific focus of the project is the impact of large-scale infrastructure and architecture on the urban reality as possible driving forces for new urban development.

 

Picture Dieuwertje Komen

The present development of a regional public transport network in and around Brussels ̶ the well-publicised RER ̶ is more than merely an infrastructure project. It encompasses an extremely diverse series of multiple areas and situations in a single system. Thus parts of the city, landscapes, historical villages, industrial sites and housing developments become part of a metropolitan Brussels. The large-scale nature of the constructions, however, stand in sharp contrast to the fragmented fabric they intersect. Hence, today we encounter the Brussels periphery in a state of transition. The urban transformations expose the intrinsic conflict between the visionary ambitions for the metropolis and the historical identity of the local fabric. It is this friction that is often described as alienating. Consequently, the incorporation of the hinterland in the 21st century and the construction of the Brussels metropolis ̶ capital of Europe ̶ is not an easy task. This, however, does not take away from the fact that the tension created is bursting with possibilities.

An initial public moment within this research project is a small publication, a snapshot as it were, that reveals the work in progress on the occasion the Open House of the Brussels art workshops and as part of the Kunstenfestival Des Arts. This is taking place in co-production with the work Retroterra by Italian artist Anna Rispoli and her Spanish colleague Edurne Rubio. This artistic work attempts to grasp the relationship between city and users by means of sound clips and conversations. In the process, a three-fold dialogue emerges in the form of narration, photography and cartography.

Initiative & Cartography

Architecture Workroom Brussels

Joachim Declerck (director)

Roeland Dudal (director)

Thomas Cattrysse (cartography)

Photography

Dieuwertje Komen (http://www.dieuwertjekomen.nl)

Manon van den Bliek (assistant)

Graphics

Hans Gremmen (http://www.hansgremmen.nl)

Retroterra

Anna Rispoli & Edurne Rubio (artists)

Ivan Carozzi (text)

Els Viaene (sound)

Anna Rispoli (direction)

Manuel von Rahden (production assistant)

With the support of the Flemish government, VGC and COCOF

Tags

Brussels, atelier, ongoing

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Exploring the metropolitan condition
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