The dwelling has been a concern for each of us since the beginning of our existence. We need to build it, fortify it, transform and demolish, until we might have to displace it to a different planet. Man builds with dedication but not without a certain rage as well.
Brune Campos and Michiel Reynaert want to put the theme of urbanism, which in their eyes resembles a grotesque tragicomedy in the city of Brussels on the theatre stage.
“ [...]tout le patrimoine préindustriel s’impose à nous comme témoignage éclatant d’une capacité perdue de créer ou, encore, d’une capacité de démolir ses propres créations pour mieux continuer, ainsi que ce fut l’usage à travers les générations.”
Françoise Choay, Pour une anthropologie de l’Espace p.245
Starting from these concerns, the project consists of the building of a structure made of movements and gestures in which they house photography, sculpture, scenography, sound and video recordings, objets trouvés, texts and words, documents found in archives, etc. They meet people and record their testimonies. They place their thinking as artists next to that of these actors and environments, each of which contains its own realities.
They put the habitation problem on a theater stage. Aiming for a tactile result, they reduce their research to the context of Brussels. Nonetheless, an audience from across the globe will find a universal story in this one.
The existing practices in urbanism already contain questions that are directly linked to the various disciplines exercised by Campos and Heyvaert. Take for example the concept of landscape quality, known in Dutch as 'beeldkwaliteitsplan'. This does indeed involve a 'photographic' image which meets aesthetic needs: the landscape which nourishes the eye, so to speak. That same landscape is equally capable of reappraising our relation to the body, for example through the variety of tactile differents caused by the choices of materials being used. On a broader cultureel scale, they are also attentive to what the landscape says about their relation to manual labor and expertise: this one of the reasons why they maintain industrial heritage, like the overhead crane at Quai de l'Industrie, part of the project co-designed by l’Escaut architectures, where they will be welcomed as residents.