18-09-2021 [• in practice • HoP
El camino de Flandre / Bilal Kamilla Arnout and guests
Rue de Flandre, 1000 Bruxelles: 18 & 19 Septembers 2021
Once upon a time, more than a hundred years, in Brussels there were no cars, but horses.
People coming from Flanders would use small streets to enter the hearth of Brussels and bring fish, vegetable and sell them to Brussels people.
No Facebook, no numbers, people would just meet spontaneously and exchange primary materials. While Petit Chateau was a protection from external dangers, Rue de Flandre was one of the veins which would bring oxygens to the city.
In a way, Rue de Flandre is a symbol for that osmotic movement which makes Brussels a city able to absorb, integrate, interpolate, combine different people all together.
There was no limitation between left, right - in the street - people would just go both directions in a lovely confusion. Newcomers, goers, workers…Similarly to these days, it was not rare to see Italians speaking with Syrians, speaking with Spanish…this is existing already since many years, and it is something El camino de Flandre wants to celebrate. During the days of Belgian Heritage, Bilal Kamilla Arnout decides to involve Rue de Flandre spaces and people to celebrate an immaterial, unpalatable heritage which is the diversity of (certain parts and environments) of the city of Brussels.
The enfilade of bars in that street constitutes stations of “el camino”, a strip of land used for going from one place to another.
Rue de Flandre - located in the Senne district of the city of Brussels - and is an extension of Rue Sainte-Catherine near the docks which, until the beginning of the 20th century, formed the port of Brussels.
On the occasion of a yearly brocante, Bilal Kamilla Arnout invites himself and other fellow artists to take over the toilets of bars in Rue de Flanders and cover in pictures their walls. While at the toilet - a place where people use their phones, plan their errands - people would then have the time to appreciate pictures taken by artists in Rue de Flandre and nearby. Pictures as windows on the camino itself, as mirrors of a city as diverse as possible seen through the lens of a group of artists.
Pictures are the result of Kamilla Arnout’s long-stay residency by day and night in rue de Flanders. They are fruits of a continuous observation of the site, where the artist lived his days during the last months. Locations are chosen by Bilal Kamilla Arnout after having negotiating the idea and the space use with the bars owners. Every locations will have different modalities of displaying interventions, as different were the negotiation between the owners and Bilal, as different were the negotiations between sellers and buyers back in the days in which there were no cars, but just horses in Brussels.
The title plays with an improvised “esperanto” language, in the conviction that, in Brussels, people spontaneously use a mixed, mis-use language to communicate, yet they understand each others.
* House of Practices is exploring permeability: how to make space in existing places? In dialogue, through their practices and those of guests, Simone Basani, Hans Bryssinck, Heike Langsdorf and Miriam Rohde, want to come closer to what the transformative power of a physical place can be: What does a place with its specific history, former and current inhabitants/users allow for? What makes it relational and permeable and for whom? How do our practices create closeness and distance to one another? What of it contributes to the making of community, and what to avoiding or even destroying it?