24 October 2010

short cut Leuven

photo © Bert De Leenheer

‘Short Cut Leuven’ follows the idea of an imaginary straight line across the city centre of the Belgian town of Leuven. A string of walkers, inhabitants of the city, move on a trajectory from 

point A (Naamse Vest) to point B (Engels Plein). The shortest way between point A and B necessarily passes through private territory. The walkers for instance enter through the front door of a house, walk through the adjacent garden and exit back outside through the house of a rear neighbor. 

Like many of my works, this performance is about the desire to transform reflection that is contained within the isolation of the arts into a word outside the arts. This longing for a broadening and openness is presented almost literally by traversing the intimate environment. On the one hand dichotomies of more general concepts such as intimacy/openness and more urban concepts such as private/public are blurred, while on the other hand what is considered private or personal loses its obviousness. This mixing up of absolute values or certainties makes tangible real sensitivities that living in a city entails. 

In addition to this, there is the idea of ‘the straight line’, ‘the straight track’ or ‘the shortest track’ that can be considered as a metaphor for the modernistic ideal. That this ideal is not realizable here is obvious. The trajectory is inevitably full of barriers. Both the physical constitution of these obstacles as well as the possibilities they create to make associative ways of thinking make this work what it is, a work that has as its subject the breaking open and making visible of realities and parallel realities. 

photo's © Liesbeth Bernaerts
photo © Bert De Leenheer

fragment of the film short cut Leuven, 30', ( Robbrecht Desmet, Stijn Van Dorpe)

installation 'short cut Leuven'
film short cut 30' and 15 copperplates (and the entire email correspondence of the project)

photo © Dirk Pauwels

photo © Dirk Pauwels

The copperplates symbolize the 'social' obstacles (the houses and institutes we walk through). They describe the trajectory we passed within each private property and reflect the negotiations preceding the performance.

photo © Dirk Pauwels

view STUK Leuven