for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric

every three years, the historic core of bruges becomes host to an immersive exploration of contemporary art and architecture. since 2015, triennial bruges has invited both international and regional artists and architects to present new temporary installations that engage with the surrounding environment — in-situ along historic waterways, through cobbled streets, in peaceful places of worship, or on wasteland.

 

from now through october 24, 2021, the third edition of triennial bruges features 13 artists and architects presenting spatial interventions under the theme TraumA. the 2021 edition shifts focus from the public space to a number of hidden dimensions of the city, exploring the line between the visible and the obscured, while at the same time responding to the nineteenth-century perception of bruges-la-morte as a symbolic city. ‘it shows two sides: the dream and the trauma,’ says till-holger borchert, of the triennial bruges curatorial team. ‘here, in bruges, that mainly means the balance between the paradisiacal, the idyll of this city, its beauty, its heritage and all the stories, with all the aspects that aren’t always visible,’ continues els wuyts of the curatorial team. ‘namely the things we question, and the things that go on behind the walls and curtains — we want to reveal the city’s hidden places.’

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
héctor zamora, strangler, 2021
labor, mexico; luciana brito galeria, são paulo; albarrán bourdais, madrid – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge
image by matthias desmet

 

 

the curatorial team — comprising till-holger borchert, santiago de waele, michel dewilde, and els wuyts — has asked the selected participants to each interpret the theme of TraumA in their own way. in response, the artists and architects have devised sculptural, architectural, and organic interventions that respond to the complexity, versatility and dynamics of the city — an under-the-skin analysis and interweaving with little-known aspects of the urban fabric. in line with the theme, the creatives searched the alleyways and back gates to discover goings-on in the courtyards, and on the construction sites of the seemingly-perfect city of bruges. in turn, their temporary interventions and creations enter into dialogue with the area, its inhabitants, and its visitors.

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
héctor zamora, strangler, 2021
labor, mexico; luciana brito galeria, são paulo; albarrán bourdais, madrid – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge
image by matthias desmet

 

 

the starting point of triennial bruges is the poortersloge (burghers’ lodge), where a group exhibition encourages reflection and imaginative responses on the theme. from there, a route through the city traces a course where bruges is discussed in all its facets, with room for experimentation and discourse in a journey behind-the-scenes of the urban imagination. ‘people come to bruges hoping to encounter a city where time seems to stand still,’ curator michel dewilde says. ‘that is fiction. TraumA should inspire us to think about how we experience the city.’

 

read on to discover each artist’s contribution to triennial bruges 2021…

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
héctor zamora, strangler, 2021
labor, mexico; luciana brito galeria, são paulo; albarrán bourdais, madrid – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge
image by matthias desmet

 

 

héctor zamora, strangler

 

for strangler, héctor zamora stimulates a dialogue between art and the public, rooted around a large austrian pine in the center of the walled garden of gezellehuis. zamora has installed a scaffolding structure that completely envelops the tree, recalling the strategy of the strangler tree that grows in tropical forests — which often smothers and out-competes its host. the artist aims to create a tension between the universal symbols of nature and life that a tree represents, and the use of a man-made scaffolding structure. zamora’s use of luminous red accentuates this collision. visitors are invited to climb the scaffolding and interact in a completely new way with the tree, nature and ultimately with themselves.

 

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
héctor zamora, strangler, 2021
labor, mexico; luciana brito galeria, são paulo; albarrán bourdais, madrid – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge
image by matthias desmet

 

 

henrique oliveira, banisteria caapi (desnatureza 4)

 

brazilian artist henrique oliveira was inspired by the hidden archaeological remains of the first medieval city wall. the thick wooden branches of banisteria caapi (desnatureza 4) erupt over the stone edge to the water, seemingly freeing nature from behind the walled gardens. however, as oliveira’s twisting branches are artificial, and mimic nature in a masterful way, the artist subtly plays with what we see in the city every day and what lies behind that reality. oliveira reflects the notion that our lives can be guided by things that are unconsciously present in our environment.

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
henrique oliveira, banisteria caapi (desnatureza 4), 2021
vallois, paris; van de weghe, new york – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge | image by matthias desmet

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henrique oliveira, banisteria caapi (desnatureza 4), 2021 | vallois, paris; van de weghe, new york – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge | image by matthias desmet

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
henrique oliveira, banisteria caapi (desnatureza 4), 2021
vallois, paris; van de weghe, new york – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge | image by matthias desmet

 

triennale-brugge-2021-installations-insights-designboom-H

henrique oliveira, banisteria caapi (desnatureza 4), 2021 | vallois, paris; van de weghe, new york © triënnale brugge | image by jasper van het groenewoud

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
henrique oliveira, banisteria caapi (desnatureza 4), 2021
vallois, paris; van de weghe, new york © triënnale brugge | image by jasper van het groenewoud

 

 

nnenna okore, and the world keeps turning

 

nnenna okore’s artistic career has been greatly influenced by her background and upbringing. the daughter of two academics, she spent her youth mainly in the nigerian city of nsukka, where she and her family lived on the college campus. the artist learned about local life in market places and the countryside, and her work demonstrates an absorption and processing of these impressions. for the monumental fabric work and the world keeps turning, okore drew from the common brick façades in bruges and the technique of lace-making. the textile installation accentuates the shape of a late medieval tower — a relic where gunpowder was stored. the sculpture is composed of a succession of amorphous shapes made of weather-resistant PVC that temporarily change the building’s appearance. okore’s installation stands as a metaphor for how time intrudes, keeps spinning and moves in a circle, like the sun.

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nnenna okore, and the world keeps turning, triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge | image by matthias desmet

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
nnenna okore, and the world keeps turning, triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge | image by matthias desmet

 

 

gijs van vaerenbergh, colonnade

 

gijs van vaerenbergh — the art and architectural studio of pieterjan gijs and arnout van vaerenbergh — unearth colonnade for triennial bruges. the installation lies somewhere between a forest of impenetrable trees, and a roman column gallery. the pavilion’s mysterious and classical character beckons viewers to step inside, where they enter and lose their way among 100 slanting columns. within the labyrinth-like space, where visitors have to negotiate their route by crawling or bending, one might be faced with a certain fear or disorientation. upon exiting, visitors leave colonnade feeling free and purified, possibly enriched with new insights.

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gijs van vaerenbergh, colonnade, triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge | image by matthias desmet

 

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
gijs van vaerenbergh, colonnade, triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge | image by matthias desmet

 

 

adrián villar rojas, from the series brick farm

 

in various sites across bruges lie the bird nests of argentinian artist adrían villar rojas. belonging to the series, brick farm, the title refers to the moment when his team found nests of the red ovenbird in a brick factory in rosario. the animal, the national bird of argentina, creates beautiful structures that look similar to ancient mud ovens designed by the early-agrarian people of argentina, brazil and uruguay. the artist and his team became fascinated by the ingenious architecture of these small habitats. villar rojas invites visitors to reflect on how closely natural and human artifacts are intertwined, and ponder if the bird itself had migrated and built its nest in bruges.

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
adrián villar rojas, from the series brick farm, 2021
kurimanzutto, mexico; marian goodman gallery, new york – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge
image by matthias desmet

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
adrián villar rojas, from the series brick farm, 2021
kurimanzutto, mexico; marian goodman gallery, new york – triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge
image by matthias desmet

 

 

nadia kaabi-linke, inner circle

 

inner circle by nadia kaabi-linke is an extension of the artist’s engagement in site-specific projects that seek to connect to the political, economic or socio-cultural context. here in bruges, a bench covered in shiny pins makes it impossible to encounter. the installation is based on a study of plaques or marks on façades that refer to exclusive clubs or associations, which often use the circle as their basic shape. with inner circle, kaabi-linke seeks to put these elite groups, and other social circles where the line between hospitality and exclusion is often fragile, into the spotlight. her sculpture draws attention to what is usually kept inside, and accentuates the emptiness that remains at its core.

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
nadia kaabi-linke, inner circle, triënnale brugge 2021 © stad brugge | image by matthias desmet

 

 

 

laura splan, disentanglement

 

inside the museum O.L.V. ter potterie (our lady of the pottery), visitors can discover a symbiosis between science, technology, and design through artist laura splan’s practice. the old hospital where the installation is sited was once the most important healthcare establishment in bruges, where many plague victims were welcomed and treated. the artist, fascinated by the molecular structures of viruses, the history of medical instruments and the details of human anatomy, drew from the outbreak of the coronavirus for disentanglement. for the triennial, splan presents textile patterns, digital animations and woven structures that appear as if they have always been at this site, interweaving narratives of science, fiction and religion.

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
laura splan, disentanglement, 2021 © triënnale brugge | image by matthias desmet

for triennial bruges 2021, artists interweave monumental interventions with the historic urban fabric
laura splan, disentanglement, 2021 © triënnale brugge | image by jasper van het groenewoud

 

 

 

triennial bruges 2021: TraumA
dates:
may 8 – october 24, 2021
open:
every day in the city center of bruges and zeebrugge / installations are accessible daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.*
*museum O.L.V. ter potterie (with the work of laura splan) and the garden of te gezellehuis (with the work of héctor zamora) are closed on mondays
participating artists: amanda browder, nadia kaabi-linke, jon lott (jon lott’s pavilion can be entered from may 16), joanna malinowska & C.T. jasper, nadia naveau, nnenna okore, henrique oliveira, hans op de beeck (the work will be on view in bruges from june 10 onwards.), gregor schneider, laura splan, gijs van vaerenbergh, adrián villar rojas, héctor zamora

 

exhibition ‘the porous city’
dates:
may 8 – september 26, 2021
location:
de poortersloge – kraanrei 19, 8000 brugge
open:
daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. / free entrance, subject to registration
participating artists: bilal bahir, semâ bekirović, rakel bergman fröberg, willem boel, dries boutsen, jana cordenier, thierry de cordier, sarah de vos, lisse declercq, danny devos, joëlle dubois, kendell geers, daan gielis, geert goiris, john isaacs, athar jaber, thomas lerooy, emilio lópez-menchero, enrique marty, cécile massart, hermann nitsch, ronald ophuis, štefan papčo, jasper rigole, sarah&charles, gregor schneider, mircea suciu, adrien tirtiaux, narcisse tordoir, ana torfs, gavin turk, ingel vaikla, caroline van den eynden, anne-mie van kerckhoven, filip vervaet, julie villard & simon brossard, friederike von rauch

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