To round off this third edition of European Lab Brussels, various subjects will be discussed, including temporary occupation: a hot topic in Brussels.
To discuss this issue, we will bring together the Brussels Secretary of State for Town Planning, Pascal Smet, and the Communa association.
The role of art in the investigation (with Forensic Architecture) and the definition of identities (with Africa Desk) will then be examined during two debates that will close this edition of European Lab Brussels.
15:30 - 17:00 A New Era for Temporary Occupation
Last April, a twentieth commune was born in Brussels: Saint-Vide. Resulting from the merger of several associations, the collective aims to highlight a worrying issue in the Belgian capital: 6.5 million square metres that lie empty and uninhabited – equivalent to all of Ixelles. While some promoters sensed the opportunity to develop lucrative activities reserved for a happy few, other stakeholders aim to unite and ensure that these spaces benefit the whole community. The aims of temporary occupation must go beyond profit generation and the creation of ‘pop-up bars’. It is urgent to define a framework that would turn these initiatives into real tools of urban development, capable of meeting the urgent needs of European societies, from Brussels, to Riga and Paris. Communa will set up its STUN Camp on 10 October on the Vive Les Groues brownfield site, in order to sow the seeds of an urban utopia, where temporary occupation is seen as an opportunity to develop new practices and uses for social, cultural or citizen appropriation.
18:30 - 20:00 Art Talk: An Afrocentric idea of Art
De-centering curatorial practices and audience engagement
The exhibition IncarNations. African Art as Philosophy presented at BOZAR marks the first time that classical and contemporary African works of art are presented together in dialogue as two interpretations of the same spiritual initiatory function of art. The intent of artist Kendell Geers and collector Sindika Dokolo is to supply the visitor with a new reading of African art, with an emphasis on the Afrocentric. Can this approach contribute to a renewed and enriched understanding of African art that transcends the present stereotypical categories? What are potential future implications for artists, exhibition makers and collectors in looking at African Art from an Afro-Centric ‘African Art as Philosophy’ perspective?