Where is Europe ?
The Europe Square and the Mayor's Series projects
"Europe Squares" is an art research and intervention project ongoing sonce 2002 that explores the relations between the symbolic values and the concrete urban situations of squares named "Europe Square", in and outside Europe. The Mayor's Series is the narrative, initiated along the Habitat3 conference in 2016, of a fictional mayor that travels from square to square, looking for models for the one he wants to build in his hometown. Meanwhile, the hometown has to govern itself without its mayor.
"Vienna Transit", groupshow curated by Wolgang Kos, Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna
The pimped barriers take a new metaphorical form, the tent. They remind of the temporary shelter, echoing Europe's contemporary challenge towards the "others", but also its weaker citizens. It also quotes a public artwork that disappeared from Vienna's memory: A kind of tunnel on the viennese Europaplatz that vanished in the wake of the construction of the extension of the main station. In the background, three compositions tell about the visits of the mayor in the cities of Vienna, Mulhouse (F) and La Spezia (IT), all following the call of the European Council in 1958.
Foto: Matthias Bildstein, courtesy Georg Kargl, Wien
This project, consisting of walks, listening sessions, poster campaigns and a mini-festival, is about the future cultural life in the Europe city but also about how the construction of that new city part already affects the existing neighbourhoods. Website of the project: www.amrandvoneuropa.city. More about the project (in German) here.
Europe: In the Search of new Narrative, Bozar, Brussels
The room provides several works as entry points about urban spaces called Europe Square. The works explore the way a concrete (urban, public) space can be connected to the (symbolic, abstract, distant) space made and named Europe. Modified barriers for working sites and beer crates from all over Europe serve as basic furniture. A surplus suggest a further extension or modification of the space. The table provides satellites views and a series of statistics of over 250 Europe Squares, freely browsable by the public. While the data is available, the question rises of who is enabled of making concrete use of them. An assemblage of original postcards & photos provide a thematic mapping of the relation of cities and european thematics. A fictive report mayor gone missing after searching for the ideal Europe Square provides a narrative structure. At the end of the room a double videoslideshow shows the local Europe Square of Brussels. The slideshow asks the viewer to recall his own memory of the square. While one monitor concentrates on the cycle of the weekly market, the other one reports on the physical features of the square, thus marking the rythmic complementarity of the empty square and its weekly occupation.
Performance with Audio-guide, Place de l'Europe, Lausanne
Audio-guide for a fictional visit of Europe square in two other cities, Bobigny and Berlin. Using the genre of Science-fiction, the audio-guide teleports the listener to the other city square and describes it, anchoring it onto details of the actual square, activating the listeners imaginary.
Installation with displaced and repurposed urban furniture
Groupshow Voglio vedere le mie montagne, Stella-Maris Archive (Noah Stolz), MAGA, Gallarate, Italy
Unused concrete flowerbeds from the rooftop of the parking building occupying Gallarate’s Europe Square are repurposed to equip the empty area in front of the museum with seating and sandboxes. A roughly built viewing platform with concrete blocks formed in the flowerbeds, gives a view onto the rearranged square. On the platform one can listen to the maosnry, about good and bad concrete casting, and look at postcards of the Europe Square
L'Europe en Devenir, Partie 1, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris
building site barriers repurposed and assembled for multiple functionalities, here as a table in an exhibition.