BORDER BUDA EXHIBITION

speed equals distance over time

Upon arrival in Buda – be it a singular visit or a routine part of one’s week – what immediately stands out is the presence of various transport axes in the area. Train lines and waterways, viaducts and tunnels, paths and highways, bike arteries and air traffic, each characterised by their distinctive range of speed. The network of persistent motion is set against the backdrop of a landscape that retains a relative stillness, shaped by the remnants of industrial development. Vacant buildings and rampant weeds occupy the area, a blind spot to many, as the sole audience for its dissonant polyphony.

In physics, speed is defined as the rate at which an object covers distance over a specific period of time. These three parameters – speed, distance and time – as elements that define experience in a given space, are the artistic points of departure for the presentation and creation of newly commissioned artworks in the public spaces of Buda. The formula also mirrors the methodological approach of the artists. What occurs when the speed parameter is altered, and how does this adjustment impact the ratio between distance and time? How does the variation in time, when isolated and rearranged within the equation, influence the outcome? Border Buda provides both space and time as essential factors for the development of artistic projects in the public sphere, with the distance overcome to reach the Buda area becoming an integral aspect of each project. The artistic processes harness the potential of speed, decelerating the urban rush and stimulating new encounters.

time equals distance over speed

The group exhibition that rounds up the first phase of the three-year project Border Buda consists of temporary and permanent installations by thirteen local and international artistic practices. These artworks have been developed in a site-sensitive manner, informed by and reflecting upon the historical, socio-cultural and ecological characteristics of the area. The seven temporary artworks, inaugurated simultaneously on April 26 but spanning over different temporalities of presence and permanence, were created by Amel Omar, Elias Cafmeyer, Ignace Wouters, Marine Kaiser, Pieter Chanterie, Nel Maertens and Zinaïda Tchelidze. This group of artists was composed through an open call to engage in a durational research residency trajectory, gathering every other week over seven months to explore the area of Buda together and meet with the local experts. The six permanent artworks, created by Evita Vasiļjeva, Haseeb Ahmed, Ilke Gers, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Katja Mater, and Nico Neefs & Colas Fiszman unfold on different timelines. While the inauguration of Ilke Gers’ Landmarks in October 2023 marked the public launch of the project, the works of Evita Vasiļjeva, Haseeb Ahmed, Katja Mater, Nico Neefs & Colas Fiszman are inaugurated along with their temporary counterparts in April 2024, followed by the commission of Jean Katambayi Mukendi, that will be realised on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Buda Bridge next year.

An important trajectory within Border Buda is focused on looking back in time. Het Be(h)lang van Buda, the socio-cultural heritage section of the project, collects knowledge about the history of the Buda area, working closely with the heritage enthusiasts of the local history circles from Vilvoorde, Machelen, Neder-Over-Heembeek and Haren. Besides functioning as the breeding ground for artistic and curatorial research in the process of creating the exhibition in public space, the stories collected through Het Be(h)lang van Buda will be shared through conversations and guided tours on April 27 and 28.

distance equals speed times time

Border Buda is an initiative that brings together three municipalities – Vilvoorde, Machelen and Brussels – whose borders run across Buda. Moreover, the area is traversed by the administrative and linguistic divide between Flanders and Brussels. Despite being integral to Buda’s identity, the borders that exist on maps dissolve on site, leaving subtle indications that hint at the geographic designation of a particular location, such as the hue of road markings or the visual style of street signs. The periphery, encapsulating numerous complexities in the challenge of living together, living with difference, often seems further and more rigid than it actually is. Border Buda aims to bridge this relative distance, drawing attention to Buda among the neighbouring residents and the broader (inter)national community through a series of artistic initiatives.

The project adopts the notion of change, rather than permanence, as the framework for conceptualising reality, thereby perceiving the area of Buda as continuously subject to transition. Within this motion, we seek to notice the forms of being that emerge as a blueprint for life in urban environments, and as guides towards the future.

Anna Laganovska and Koi Persyn

Amel Omar

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  • 1 - Pipes and stuff 2022, galvanized steel spiral pipes.
  • 2 - Chase, chase (FPV) 2023, 14:50 min, 4K video, color, 16:9, stereo sound. Photo taken by Sid Dankers.

Amel Omar - Wishing u well, 2024

Water sources, essential for supporting all forms of life, have traditionally held a sacred significance. The practice of making wishes by offering tokens, such as coins or cherished items, into wells is a shared tradition across European cultures, with roots dating back to medieval times. The mirrored surface and infinite depth evoke a connection between the underground and the sky, while the act of making a wish at a well embodies both personal and communal dreams and aspirations for the future. Thus, the well can be seen as an object that transcends time and space, symbolically linking the past, present, and future of a particular place.

Located on the grounds of Machelen, between two railway lines, the artwork by Amel Omar mimics a historical stone construction of a water well. Although the Buda area is rich in natural water sources, since the mid-19th century, with the implementation of modern water systems and increased urbanisation, many natural access points to water have disappeared. With the work Wishing u Well, the artist draws attention to the water well as an overlooked, yet still significant, part of our lived environment. In addition to the well, the artist installs traffic mirrors at the site. These mirrors are strategically positioned to enhance drivers’ visibility of blind spots or challenging areas, allowing them to navigate intersections or narrow passages more safely. In this sense, traffic mirrors serve to reveal hidden aspects of the road environment, just as the well draws attention to overlooked water wells in urban landscapes. Both the traffic mirror and the well evoke a sense of reflection, prompting shifts in perspective, revealing hidden aspects of our surroundings, and perhaps even encouraging us to reflect on our relationship with the environment and the passage of time.

Facing a sign that extends a wish for a good day, mounted on the wall of the former Renault factory across the train tracks, the artwork stands at the intersection of two dead-end streets. The location, predominantly used by local workers, truck drivers or driving students, and occasionally mistaken for a dumping ground, is experienced as a functional rather than aesthetic space. By incorporating aesthetic objects into this location, Amel Omar prompts visitors to view it from a fresh perspective – not solely as a passageway, but as a serene environment where the melodies of birds blend with the passing trains and the gentle rustle of wind through swaying bushes, marking the space as a threshold between the mundane and the magical.

About

Amel Omar’s (1995, NL) practice consists of practicing performative interactions with everyday (architectural) objects, the camera and the user. This results mainly in videoworks, in-situ installations, performances and sculptures. It’s the accidental architecture – the architecture of remnants and overlaps that become the in-between space – that intrigues her and which she seeks for with her work. It’s the architecture that expects no visit and can present itself unannounced. No usable form of manners is provided, and from this strange confrontation, the user himself is encouraged to find a way around. She turns to performing the camera or performing the (architectural) object to break through conventional structures of human use. The camera not only provides a form of translation, but it also possesses the power to completely claim an object. This creates a game of appropriation, improvisation and anticipation in which spaces and objects - and their associated uses - are constantly challenged. Her work is strongly driven by the aesthetic and experiential approach. She sees the inbetween state and the associated vacancy of a space or an object as terrain open to exploration. Wandering is the basic principle for rediscovering it, and the camera then functions as a tool to create distance. It is a way to pry space loose from its physical, determined context and place it in a new perspective.

ELIAS CAFMEYER

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1 - Untitled (Viaduct), 2017*. In situ installation for Capital M, UAntwerpen Stadscampus Rodestraat, Antwerp. Wood, texture paint, bister, charcoal, parquet varnish. Photo by Rufus Michielsen

2 - Carwash Grote Baan, 2023*. In situ installation for Shifting Sceneries, FelixArt & Eco museum, Drogenbos. Metal, light elements, vinyl sticker, plexi glass, fountain pump, high pressure sprayer

Elias Cafmeyer - Au Coeur Vaillant Rien d’Impossible, 2024

The project of Elias Cafmeyer refers to the industrial history of Buda, which housed factories of many important industries. Imagining the area as an archaeological site and an attraction for tourists in the far future, the installation Au Coeur Vaillant Rien d’Impossible represents fictitious ruins of a factory that may have been located on the site. As Buda undergoes a process of transformation, Cafmeyer’s work alludes to the history that is embedded in the very soil upon which future residential and recreational infrastructure will be erected.

The architectural design of the structure is influenced by the former Wanson company building, where industrial steam boilers and kettles were produced, used to heat other factories in Buda as well. The building was demolished to accommodate the construction of the new Haren prison, which stirred controversy in Buda and its surroundings due to its architectural importance and the factory’s role in advancing and implementing modern workplace concepts. The organisational philosophy extended to offering workers amenities such as free dental care, access to a library, and even a meditation room, all located on the factory premises. The Wanson building exemplified modernist architecture, drawing inspiration from the design of the Belgian pavilion at the 1937 Paris World Fair. It featured sculptural elements intended to inspire its workforce. The title of Cafmeyer’s work, translated into English as “nothing is impossible to a valiant heart,” is a reference to a slogan that was inscribed on one of the walls at Wanson. In Cafmeyer’s work, the factory ruin serves not only as a fictional tourist attraction for architectural history but also as a symbol of the decline of the company’s pride and the deterioration of human relations within the cultural dynamics between employers and employees.

About

Mainly working with sculptures and video installations, Elias Cafmeyer creates site-specific installations often in public space or inspired by the use of public space in the context of the city. He sees the city landscape as a metaphor for social construction and focusses on traces of urban development and forms of signage orchestrating mobility. His interventions deal with strategies such as inversion, juxtaposition and contrast, creating a sense of alienation. Apart from his video installations, Cafmeyer often uses raw, industrial material such as metal, untreated wood and concrete.His site-specific installations result often in tragicomical illusions questioning the use and the representation of public space and its impact on the social construction in the urban landscape. He hereby investigates the friction between the personal gain of its user and its developer. His goal is to exhibit the differences of interest of policy makers and inhabitants by evoking a sense of surrealistic exaggeration of changes in city planning. These interventions react to urban phenomena such as gentrification, disneyfication and urbanization of the rural landscape. Elias Cafmeyer had the opportunity to exhibit in prominent Belgian museums such as S.M.A.K. (Ghent) and Extra City (Antwerp). He made temporary installations for the public space in collaboration with the cities of Antwerp and Ghent. He was invited for several solo shows as independent artist by art galleries such as Keteleer and mariondecannière (Antwerp) and had the opportunity to show work in The Netherlands, Germany and France. His solo show at spazioSERRA in November 2022 is his first exhibition in Italy.

eliascafmeyer.com

Evita Vasiljeva

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  • 1 - If there is something heavy, there should be something light, 2023 Photo by Thomas Gunnar Bagge
  • 2 - Bed-Room-Bed, 2021 Photo by Martin Argyroglo

Evita Vasiļjeva - A Short history of unresolved spaces caused by attempting a greater speed, 2024

The installation, titled A Short history of unresolved spaces caused by attempting a greater speed, comprises three large sculptures and several small block-like modules, playfully arranged around Witloofplein and engaging in a dialogue with the nearby industrial site and the train network that triumphs over the horizon with its grandiose pillars. Modernism promised more light, air, and space, with architecture grounded in new and innovative construction technologies such as reinforced concrete, steel, and glass. By employing faster construction methods and modular systems, structures ascended towards the sky, aiming to provide more affordable housing and improved speed and connectivity.

As buildings rose taller incorporating larger green areas around modular concrete architecture connected by highways for efficient movement, architects and urbanists overlooked that they have created pigeon holes in their system. High-speed bridge constructions created desolate spaces underneath, while highways transformed into noisy thoroughfares, prompting people to relocate away from them, which resulted in empty spaces between the lines of progress that is not clear what exactly to do with it. This space became an organic industrial zone of disorganisation (*In Buda, it represents an industrial zone. In France, it’s often viewed as dysfunctional social housing. In Latvia, they are unappealing sleeping districts, serving as reminders of the history of socialism).

The Witloofplein, perhaps more fittingly described as a noble roundabout than a conventional square, hosts one of the few bus stops that welcomes visitors to the Haren prison. Although the bus stop has no waiting shelter or seating element, the sculptures offer a place for contemplation, rest, and reflection. Furthermore, they serve as a physical interface between the freedom of movement and the seclusion of imprisonment, evoking this contrast through the use of coloured light and greenery within the square.

About

Evita Vasiljeva (b. Riga, 1985) mainly works with sculpture, installation, and sound. Having grown up in Latvia in the period of post-Soviet transition, the artist often draws on visual and sonic imagery of generic architecture and rough suburban landscapes. She creates sculptures and interactive installations by appropriating materials, usually used for construction, such as concrete, armature, metal profiles, lanterns, and various electrical appliances, and by combining them with household objects: beds and blankets, fridges, microwaves and soap, but also movement sensors which were commonly used in Latvia in the 90s to secure houses.By manipulating and repurposing a large variety of materials, Evita Vasiljeva invents her own aesthetic, as well as provokes relational dynamics between spaces, architecture, memory, and spectators’ bodies. While her works tackle the issues of anxiety and control, through ways of coexistence within the present moment, they always remain open for multiple interpretations.In 2022 Evita Vasiljeva was nominated for the 8th Purvītis Prize for outstanding achievement in visual art of Latvia and exhibited at the Latvian National Museum of Art in a duo exhibition with artist Kaspars Groševs. Recently, the artist has participated at the Lyon Biennial (2022, curated by Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil); Una Boccata d’Arte 2023, Italy (Fondazione Elpis, curated by Bruno Barsanti); Intermezzo, Moen, Denmark (Kunsthal 44Moen, curated by Rene Block); Baltic Triennial 14: The Endless Frontier, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius (2021), (curated by Valentinas Klimašauskas and João Laia); Blue Lagoon House, Cēsis Contemporary Art Centre, duo exhibition with Kaspars Groševs, (2022, curated by Daiga Rudzāte and Žanete Skarule); Publiek Park, in collaboration with SMAK, Ghent (2021); the Salon de Normandy by the Community, Paris (2020, curated by the Community); Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz (2020, curated by Inga Lāce); Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga (2019); Tallinn City Gallery, Tallinn (2018, curated by Kim?); Foundation Ricard, Paris (2018, curated by Barbara Sirieix, Maija Rudovska and Joachim Hamou); P/////AKT, Amsterdam (2017). Her works are included in the collection of the Latvian National Museum of Art and private collections.

evitavasiljeva.com

Haseeb Ahmed

Haseeb Ahmed (b. 1985) is an American artist who lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He produces objects, installations, and films. His work is often collaborative and draws from the hard sciences, blending art and aeronautics, myth and technology, to create new narratives. Over the last 10 years Ahmed has structured his research-based artistic practice around fluid dynamics of wind and water. His focus is on what we can learn about our changing climates through the movements of the wind and the waters by what they carry, both physically and in terms of cultural associations throughout history.His work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Antwerp, BE) and has been exhibited internationally at the Göteborg Biennial (Göteborg, SE), Museum Bärengasse, (Zurich, CH), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, USA), De Appel (Amsterdam, NL), and the Frestas Triennial (Frestas, BR), amongst others

haseebahmed.com

Ignace Wouters

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  • 1 - Installation View, The Conspiracy of Influencing Machines, 2023 (foto: Lola Pertsowsky)

  • 2 - Installation View, Pump Pots, 2023 (foto: Lola Pertsowsky)

Ignace Wouters was born in Genk in 1992 and lives in Brussels. Before deciding to become an artist he studied art history. When we asked him for an introductory text to publish on our website, he sent us the following: “When playing the role of artist I like to interrogate situations and conventions. In my work certain themes keep reappearing: visual identity (how is our world shaped and produced?), history (how does our perception of the past contribute to our view of the present?), humor (which joke allows us to see reality better?) and criticism (which assumptions are worth challenging?).”

Ilke Gers

BORDER BUDA EXHIBITION BORDER BUDA EXHIBITION
Landmarks (2023). Droneshots by Luuk Kramer

Ilke Gers (1981, New Zealand) created the first artwork in public space for Border Buda. Landmarks consists of nine ground paintings at various locations in Buda, crossing the borders of Machelen, Vilvoorde and Brussels. « Landmarks » originated from boundary markers dividing lands and kingdoms, which over time became more generally used as conspicuous markers in the landscape for finding one’s way. The nine ground markings at specific points across Buda can be used as points of reference for orientation and movement. Each marking or gesture relates and responds to its location, together fitting into a sequence like a sentence. Accessible by foot, the locations of the markings create a walking route that can be followed as a starting point for a new way to navigate, embody, and draw together different locations spanning the three municipalities. Ilke Gers is a visual artist from Aotearoa New Zealand, based in Rotterdam. She makes installations and works with text, drawing, print and publishing to explore the relationship between the body, movement and language. Her work intervenes in standardised forms of communication and circulation, through open-ended processes that are contingent on spatial conditions, physical interaction and time. Her work has been presented at the Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre (London), NDSM Werf (Amsterdam), LLS Paleis (Antwerp), the Biënnale Van België (Ghent), Kunsthal Rotterdam, 019 (Ghent), De Appel (Amsterdam), De Fabriek (Eindhoven), D21 – Kunstraum (Leipzig), and Beursschouwburg (Brussels). She holds a Master from the Werkplaats Typografie, and was artist in residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie (2014-2015).

ilkegers.info

JEAN KATAMBAYI MUKENDI

Jean Katambayi Mukendi was born in 1974 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He lives and works in Lubumbashi, DRC. Trained as an electrician, his entire artistic practice is imbued with his fascination for mathematics, engineering, geometry, and technology. Profoundly marked by his upbringing in the workers’ camp of his mining hometown and by its mechanisation, Katambayi creates fragile and complex installations and drawings inspired by sophisticated electrical circuits and technological studies. His works are part of a search for solutions to social problems in current Congolese society, as well as to the country’s depletion of its enormous energetic resources. Often made of recycled and impermanent material, such as cardboard and recycled electronic material, the artist’s poetic pieces attempt to redress the imbalance of the world’s hemispheres. (text source: www.waldburgerwouters.com)

Katja Mater

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  • 1 - tempus fuGit

  • 2 - elude TiMe

Katja Mater is a visual artist, editor, organizer and educator with a practice that focuses on the optic media as non-transparent. By creating hybrids between photography, film, drawing, performance and installation Mater documents something that is often positioned beyond our ability to see. Interested in revealing a different or alternative (experience of) reality through capturing the areas where optical media hardly behave like the human eye. While mediating between time, space, perception and our understanding of them, Mater records events that simultaneously can and cannot be – holding midway between information and interpretation.

katjamater.com

MARINE KAISER

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  • 1 – The assistant Jan van Eyck Academie
  • 2 – The only thing that can affect magnetic inversion is bad news. Photo by Nikos Staikoglou

The documented narratives of Swiss-French artist Marine Kaiser investigate the networks, tactics and arrangements generated through the applications of control. Borders in displacement, invasive species, sculpture in changing states, a closed eye allowing the gaze to pass, passwords ; Marine Kaiser’s interventions compose contradictions and complexities by standing at the thresholds of temporary communities. Graduated from HEAD Geneva and Erg Brussels, her work has lately been exhibited at Espace Contact (Neuchâtel), reclame (nomadic), Pavillon de l’Arsenal (Paris), AGB (Berlin), Manifesta 12 (Palermo), Le 18 (Marrakesh), Les Brasseurs (Liege), Palais de l’Athénée (Geneva), KANAL - Centre Pompidou (Brussels). In 2021/2022, she was artist-in-residence at Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht).

marinekaiser.ch

Nel Maertens

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‘Zaaien en Oogsten’, pigment diluted with wheat flour on concrete floor, 5x20m, 2023.

Nel Maertens (1996°, lives and works in Antwerp) explores colour, material, writing, and energy in her work. Nel graduated with a master’s degree in fashion from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp in 2019. Besides projects in the performing arts (costume design, performance), Maertens focuses on an autonomous visual art practice. She is an omnivalent artist who enjoys cross-sector collaborations and is a member of the artist collective FAAR.

Nel participated in group and solo exhibitions at home and abroad, in 2021 Charlotte Crevits curated a first solo exhibition of her work at CC Strombeek. This was followed by several residencies and collaborations with KMSKA, Europalia Georgia, Het Rubenshuis, Platform K and choreographer Femke Gyselinck, We Are The Next Generation, Art On Paper, Wouters & Hendrix, Coppejans Gallery, Baroque Influencers, Dieric Bouts Festival, Flanders DC Antwerp,… among others.

The three “classic” genres within art history; the portrait, the landscape and the still life, return again and again. Themes such as feminism and universal emotion she wants to revisit and actualise. Nature conservation and climate change are also important drives in her work.

For the third rendition of Zaaien en Oogsten, Nel Maertens will show her work at Firma Vilvoorde (in Buda) and Firma Brussels. She draws inspiration from the surroundings of firma, in the middle of the Buda district between the canal and the viaduct. The wild flowers and plants that bloom in this industrial part of Vilvoorde - along train tracks, busy roads and the canal - are the starting point for a striking, colourful, XL flower carpet.

More info on www.workatfirma.be

nelmaertens.com

PIETER CHANTERIE

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  • 1 – Open Your Chest to the Sky – I Miss You, my Diva (based on Crivelli’s Annunciation), 28,5 cm x 28 cm, Various painttypes on wood, 2023

  • 2 – The Barrel Organ (right panel), 63 cm x 2 m 40, Facade paint and acrylic paint on outside wall, 2023

Pieter Chanterie is a visual artist, born in 1996, in Leuven. He lives and works in Brussels.His work varies from small paintings on wood to murals, drawings, (wall) sculptures and books. There’s a large focus on the object in itself and its materiality, but also on making the 3D- or 2D-object a window to elsewhere. His visual language is a medley of contemporary and historical imagery, from infographics to Medieval miniatures. This sweet ‘n sour cocktail decorates the stage for spiritual, personal and fictional novellas.

pieterchanterie.be

ZINAÏDA TCHELIDZE

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  • 1 - Installation View, Parking Me, credit: Fabrice Schneider, 2022
  • 2 - Installation View, Cuttings, credit: Natalie Malisse, 2022

Zinaïda Tchelidze (b.1982, Georgia) is an artist and educator, working mainly with sculpture and installation. She obtained an MA in printmaking and art in public space from the Royal Academy of Fine Art of Brussels. Tchelidze is interested in performative aspects of exchange and sharing. She engages with recurring gestures, intertwines them throughout installations to explore spatial constraints, notions of collectiveness and isolation. As part of her collaborative practice she works with craftspeople, scientists, and artists to test the boundaries between creativity and (not)knowing. Inspired by the traditional Georgian feast (supra), she has been organising the “Rubeli” performative table questioning the phenomenon of hospitality and exchange, and their different forms in relation to time and social conditioning.Tchelidze lives and works in Brussels. She has exhibited at various venues such as Art Antwerp fair for the representation of the FW-B (2022); SB34-Clovis, Brussels (2022); Het Paviljoen, Ghent (2021); Morpho, Antwerp Art Weekend (2021); DuflonRacz, Brussels (2019, 2020); Vanderborght Building, Brussels (2019); CENTRALE for contemporary art, Brussels (2019); World Trade Center, Brussels (2018), among others.

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