Conversation with Abdelkader Damani (FRAC), Till-Holger Borchert, Michel Dewilde (Triennial Bruges) and Caroline Voet
With the exhibition “Architectures Liquides” in the Grand Seminar, Triennale Brugge offers a historical and theoretical counterpart to the contemporary architecture and arts course in the city center. Together with the FRAC (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain) in Orléans, which is known for its impressive collection of architectural drawings and models, Triennale Brugge has made a selection from that collection which is exhibited in the church of the Grand Seminar. The selection of drawings, plans and models is based on the theme Liquid City, but from a historical perspective. We have looked for projects that fit within this theme from different angles: architecture, sociology and biology. Designs from the twentieth century that were then experienced as radical are today more relevant than ever. Ideas by, among others, Peter Eisenman, Aglaia Konrad, Ionel Schein, David Georges Emmerich, Zaha Hadid and others make us dream of a new urbanity, a vision of the present and the future. In the Grand Seminar we listen to the director and curator of the FRAC, Abdelkader Damani, in conversation with the two curators of the Triënnale, Michel Dewilde and Till-Holger Borchert, moderated by Caroline Voet (KU Leuven).
The monumental works of art in the exhibition itself illustrate the rise in the nineties of a new architecture that was influenced by new design methods and digitized production processes. By allowing for shape variation, which is characterized by the flow of information that runs through it, these methods have stimulated the creation of an animated, lively and dynamic architecture in which biological processes and fluid dynamics intersect. This tendency, called numerical, arithmetic and digital, re-questions an architecture that would be unchanging and definitive in favor of a “liquid architecture” (Marcos Novak), with free and evolutionary forms, in which organic circles and continuous surfaces to mix. This fits in with the style of that other architecture that in the years 1960-1970 reverts to older styles (Gothic, Baroque, Expressionism) by evoking the curve, the organic and the movement versus the stiffness of the right angle.
Director Museums Bruges
Till-Holger Borchert (1967, Hamburg) is an art historian, author and museum curator. He studied art history, literature and musicology at the University of Bonn and at Indiana University Bloomington (USA) and taught art history at the universities of Aachen and Memphis, Tennessee (USA). He was curator of exhibitions about van Eyck, Memling and other old masters in Bruges, and of highly acclaimed exhibitions in Brussels (BOZAR), Maastricht (Bonnefantenmuseum), Madrid (Museo Thyssen Bornemisza), New York (The Frick Collection) and Rome ( Scuderie di Quirinale). He also participated in exhibitions in Beijing, Washington, Paris, Rome, Cleveland and Dijon.
Curator Fine Arts, Cultural Center
Michel Dewilde (1963, Ghent) is an art historian and curator. He studied art history and archeology at Ghent University, gender studies at the University of Antwerp and gender and postcolonial studies at Utrecht University. He was curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, at S.M.A.K. in Ghent and Gynaika in Antwerp. As a freelance curator he has put together exhibitions for, among others, the Poetry Summers Watou, Ename Actueel, Enchanted Forest (Aalter), Be-Part (Waregem), CAB (Brussels), Recyclart (Brussels), Annie Gentils Gallery (Antwerp), Warp (Sint -Niklaas), Azad Gallery and Mohsen Gallery (Tehran), De Witte Zaal (Ghent) and the Free Academy (The Hague).
ABDEL FRAMEWORK DAMANI
Abdelkader Damani is director of the FRAC Center-Val de Loire in Orléans. Damani, trained in architecture in Oran (Algeria), later studied art history and philosophy in Lyon. He was responsible for art and architecture projects at the Center Culturel de Rencontre de la Tourette, architecture of Le Corbusier, and since 2007 has led the platform “VEDUTA” at the contemporary art biennial of Lyon. Among his recent publications: Curatorial practices outside the white cube (Center d’art Parc Saint Leger, 2014), Le spectacle et le quotidien (Presses du Réel, 2011 with Thierry Raspail and Hou Hanru) and Recycling et Urbanité (Editions de la Villette ), 2010). Damani was also one of the three guest curators of Producing the Commons at the 11th Dakar Biennial, Senegal.
Caroline Voet studied architecture at the Henry van de Velde Institute in Antwerp and later at Architectural Association in London with a fascination for digital art. Afterwards she worked at Zaha Hadid and Christian Kieckens. In 2013 she obtained a doctorate on the work of Dom Hans van der Laan. Caroline combines research and education and is a professor at KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, Campus St-Lucas Ghent and Brussels, with a focus on spatial systematic and architectural methodology. She is co-author of the Architectural Yearbook Flanders and in 2016 co-editor of the book Autonomous Architecture in Flanders. In addition, she curates exhibitions and designs interiors for clients such as the VAi (Flemish Architecture Institute), the arts center deSingel, the Interieurbiënnale in Kortrijk and Cinematek Brussel.