Opening: Thursday 8 February 6 – 8 pm
Recently Emma van der Put made the videowork WTC, in which the direct surroundings are shown from one of the towers of the Brussels World Trade Center. Build in the 70’s as part of the controversial Manhattan Plan, these WTC towers replaced a part of the old city centre of Brussels. Based on careful observation, WTC elaborates on how people relate to urban public space. The film reveals the latent information that casual, transient moments can have in a time of unexpected tensions. This work was an important motivation for a series of new videos in which Van der Put observed the Brussels Expo area. Ideologically and systematically, this location was formed by the world exhibition that took place in Brussels in 1958. As the first World Fair held after World War II, it was designed on the basis of ideas and wishes of those times. Western Europe was recovering from the war with help from the United States through it’s Marshall Plan. High hopes were set on technological progress to be the way to a prosperous and peaceful future. As a part of Expo ‘58 a model neighbourhood, named ‘De Modelwijk / Cité Modèle’, was build on site that would give visitors of the fair a concrete example of the ideals about modern living.
The model neighbourhood is still inhabited, but only a few of the pavilions of the bygone Wold Fairs still exist today. With an observing gaze, Van der Put shows the area of the world exhibitions, with a preview of the future. The plans to fully ‘modernize’ this part of the city in the coming years, will add a new chapter to the wishful thinking about an ideal society.
The exhibition Mall of Europe plays with the different rooms of Tale of a Tub; both the ground floor, loft and basement are incorporated within the presentation. With its focus on wishful thinking about an ideal society, it addresses the architecture of the Justus van Effencomplex in which Tale of a Tub resides, built at a time with its own ideals about modern living and public housing as well. Music that is specially composed for this project adds a more abstract and at the same time architectural element. The various parts of the presentation slowly unfold an image of historical and contemporary future thinking.
Curator: Noor Mertens (director Kunstverein Langenhagen, DE)
About the artist
Emma van der Put (1988) studied at AKV St. Joost, ‘s-Hertogenbosch (2006-2010) and was a participant at De Ateliers in Amsterdam (2010-2012). She worked as an artist in residence at Lokaal 01, Antwerp (2014) and at WIELS, Brussels (2014). Recent shows and screenings include: Foreign Places, WIELS, Brussels (BE); Project Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (NL); LOOP, Barcelona (ES); Tribute to an Avenue, Sculpture International Rotterdam (NL); IDFA Paradocs, EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam (NL) and Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival, Villa Romana, Florence (IT). Solo shows include: Rincé Alien, Museum De Pont, Tilburg (NL); Room Fountain Token, tegenboschvanvreden, Amsterdam (NL) and Token, Lokaal01, Antwerp (BE). Emma van der Put is represented by tegenboschvanvreden, Amsterdam (NL).
Since government funding for the visual arts has been continuously diminishing for a number of years, a group of eight collectors came together and initiated the foundation Collectors of Contemporary Art (C.o.C.A.). The foundation awards a grant to a young, promising artist on an annual basis.