Nuit Blanche BXL 2018 - in Austria a term which has the connotation of Fête Blanche, an event which I’ve always avoided to go to - in Brussels an yearly art event in early autumn like in other cities like Paris as well.
Nuit Blanche here made me extremely happy last Saturday - a night long installations, performances, and interventions of local and international artists on diverse places of the quartier Marolles immersed the visitors “in contemporary art in a friendly way” as the info folder states. And, it turned out to be fantastic. Highest quality performances for free in public space on well chosen locations with prevailing topics for everyone! I enjoyed that night with my 9-year old daughter who was as fascinated as me, and the other audiences as diverse as the neighborhood (and the artists) - simply as it has to be in my opinion.
This year’s Nuit Blanche picked up the topic 2018 Year of the protest and therefore opted for Marolles, a quartier historically known for resistance and protest, as the place to act.
Don’t know where to start sharing some impressions of that night with you - the installations PeoPL, an immense ice sculpture in the roofed courtyard and basketball site of a primary school in form of a statue of Leopold II was a perfect and surprisingly good beginning of our eve’s tour. The sculpture by the Belgian/Ruandan artist LAURA NSENGIYUMVA was meant to melt throughout this eve and a reflection on the slowly but gradually mental decolonialisation process.
In another primary school there were robot like self-moving protest sign under the title Activists by the Slovenian artists NIKA OBLAK and PRIMOZ NOVAK.
Place Jeu de Balle, the daily setting for the city’s most famous fleamarket surrounded by bars and restaurants was venue for several performances, among them the Mission Roosevelt by the French-Italian Tony Clifton Circus - not only fun, but a well drafted and penetrative production. About 25 wheel chairs, a tabu object, symbol for inferiority, immobility and marginal groups, were bound together for a tour with the artists and participants from the audience who navigated through the quartier adding a whole lot of diversity.
Our absolute highlight of the night took place at La Dalle in front of two massive high buildings (“Plattenbau”) in an L-shape, a residential complex for hundreds of families, where I’ve already seen a great opening performance of Kunstenfestival two years ago. The concrete place became venue for the production D-Konstruktion by Compagnie Dyptik — a stunning and moving performance on the topic of contemporary revolutions and urban movement! It’s a must-see for everyone, would love to invite this French group to Vienna.
Well, last but not least we got involved in the first KLAPPING event in Brussels, a global movement in urban dance originating in Australia. Simply a great approach to dance developed from the incorporated moves in soccer these guys are developing at least to me completely new kind of body movement and co-creation between each other. Ahilan Ratnamohan and Feras Shaheen, both dancers and former soccer players introduced us into the world of KLAPPING in a public soccer field and with the youngsters playing soccer there every day*
For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.