Belgium

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Photography

A Photographer Captures the Bizarre and Idiosyncratic Collections Displayed in Belgian Windows

May 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jean-Luc Feixa, shared with permission

When photographer Jean-Luc Feixa moved from Toulouse to Brussels, he began noticing the cultural, linguistic, and architectural differences between the two cities. “It may seem anecdotal,” he tells Colossal, “but the windows here are much larger than in France and easily disclose the house interiors.”

On his commute, Feixa often would pass the glass openings displaying robust collections, family mementos, and items for sale. “One day, I came across a group of children who seemed to be fascinated by a LEGO construction. It was quite captivating to see them commenting on this installation for many minutes. That was the trigger,” he says.

In the seven years since his relocation, Feixa has captured dozens of windows around the Belgian city, which he recently compiled in a book titled, Strange Things Behind Belgian Windows. Each provides not only a glimpse into the residents’ lives but also the objects they both intentionally and accidentally display. From a panda bear collection to a taxidermied fox to the finish line of a bike race, the objects encompass the cutesy and the odd and are always idiosyncratic. One display in particular—the homage to Elvis Presley (shown below)—has been exemplary of Feixa’s intention.

I talked for a long time with the couple. They are absolute fans of the King, and they were very moving. They decided to share their passion from behind their window. They really represent what I tried to convey with my series, that windows can be a perfect showcase to communicate a passion, send a message, reveal a part of oneself.

Since Belgians have begun quarantine, the photographer says windows have been transformed into a more intentional form of communication. “Whether to sell masks, encouraging people to stay home, or congratulating the medical staff, I see a lot of objects appearing, and it’s great to be able to continue the project,” he says. Feixa is hoping to chronicle this unusual period in a second volume.

To see the full collection of photographs, grab a copy of the photographer’s book, and keep up with his work on Instagram. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Art

A 38-Foot-Tall Whale Made From 10,000 Pounds of Plastic Waste Surfaces in Bruges

June 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In response to the Bruges Triennial’s 2018 theme “Liquid City,” Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm STUDIOKCA designed a 38-foot-tall sculptural whale composed of over five tons of plastic pulled from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The studio, led by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang, wanted to address how cities from across the globe are contributing to the waste that has piled up in our oceans—the discarded plastic that is washing up on our shores and endangering and killing marine life.

Skyscraper contains nearly 4,000-square-feet of plastic waste, which is just a dent in the 150 million tons of plastic that currently circulates in our seas. STUDIOKCA worked with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to coordinate several beach clean-ups, which is how the team found most of the plastic for the 10,000-pound whale.

“Right now there is 150 million tons of plastic swimming in the ocean, our oceans, the oceans we share,” says Klimoski in a video created about the project. “Pound for pound that is more plastic waste swimming in the ocean than there is whales. So an opportunity like this to show the type of plastic and the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans is really important.”

You can learn more about the team’s process behind the large-scale whale on their website and in the video below. The Bruges Triennial continues through September 16, 2018. (via Colossal Submissions)

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

 

 



Art

Murals of Animals and Insects on the Streets of Antwerp by 'Dzia'

March 18, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Although he’s only been painting murals for less than three years, Belgian street artist Dzia has already established a distinctive style and an impressive body of work. The artist most frequently paints depictions of animals and insects in colorful patterns of lines that resemble something like a mosaic. Dzia recently collaborated with artist Gijs Vanee on a series of window pieces at Harmonie Park, and you can follow more his latest work on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

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Collaboration with Gijs Vanhee

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Collaboration with Gijs Vanhee

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History Photography

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen

October 23, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Located in a park near the center of Lede, Belgium, the Castle of Mesen dates back to the 17th century where it served as a home for various lords before a conversion to an industrial site. Throughout the 1800s the complex was used as a gin distillery, a tobacco factory, and a sugar refinery. In 1897 the castle was then sold to a religious order who constructed an impressive neo-gothic chapel and turned the entire facility into a boarding school.

Although it was still in use up until the 1960s, a tragic storm of abandonment, looting, and a failed attempt to designate the castle as a monument lead to a decision to demolish of the entire castle just a few years ago. Lucky for us, photographer Jan Stel of Past Glory managed to sneak inside and capture a few amazing shots before it disappears forever. The juxtaposition of the stained glass windows and decaying roof and sprawling foliage is especially striking. See more from this series here. (via Arch Atlas)

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Art

An Architectural Canvas of Shipping Containers Painted With Greek Gods by PichiAvo

July 22, 2014

Johnny Waldman

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Earlier this month the renown graffiti duo PichiAvo traveled to Werchter, Belgium to create a large, site-specific installation for the North West Walls Street Art Festival. The event was curated by Belgium artist Arne Quinze, who created a stacked structure of numerous shipping containers and gave the Spanish artists creative freedom over the large, architectural canvas. The result is a radiant explosion of unrestrained spray art featuring their trademark style of Greek gods and lucid splashes of Mediterranean colors, all against a backdrop of graffiti. “When they work together they create breathtaking figurative detail and quality,” said Quinze. “Their work is very striking and always commands the spectator’s full attention.” Although the festival is now over, the Greek gods with all their might and glory still stand. (via Junk Culture)

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PichiAvo NWW (1)

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Art

Geometric Public Space Sculptures by David Mesguich

January 22, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Artist David Mesguich has been creating large geometric sculptures that he installs in locations around Belgium and France, blurring the lines between street art and fine art. The pieces are displayed in public areas and aren’t made to be sold but are instead donated to the city. Of his most recent work, PRESSURE 1.0, he remarks:

The story of “pressure”—it’s the story of people who are on the fence, in between worlds, those who are both on the inside and on the outside. My inspiration came from two sources: a family history that steeped me in a violent, carceral universe during my youth and more than 10 years of trespassing with graffiti.

Mesguich has several other pieces you can see on Behance and on his website.