Universes in Universe

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Daniël Dewaele
* 1950 Knokke, Belgium. Lives in Bruges, Belgium.

What would happen if the five million people that vislt Bruges every year also decided to settle here? This was one of the triennial's starting points. The Belgian artist Daniël Dewaele uses it as the basis for three works that are seamlessly connected.

The Passage Room
Location: Stationsplein
20 May - 18 October 2015
Tue - Sun 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
He does so explicitly in The Passage Room at the station: a sea container converted into an immigration office. Visitors must complete a series of forms and questionnaires about their profile and expectations of Bruges, their new place of residence. It is reminiscent of the passage that immigrants had to walk through in New York on Ellis Island. Nobody is simply granted New Citizenship. There are formalities, there are institutions and there is administration. And of course, there is the artwork of which the visitor becomes a part.

About Bruges and Other Places
Location: Stationshal
20 May - 18 October 2015
Open every day, 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Visitors that are given formal as well as absurd questions to process also pop up in his video About Bruges and Other Places. The artist interviewed foreign visitors and assembled their often surprising answers about identity, nationality and origin to create an entertaining piece. Customer and public surveys often recur in Dewaele's work, with a two-sided character, because for him there are also questions about the artist's place in our society.

Buttons, available at all Triennial info points.
The five million visitors are more explicitly visible in his third work: the Help Buttons. The buttons literally ask for help in every possible language: 'Help I am one of the five million inhabitants of Bruges'. It is both a knowing wink and a statement. It is about linguistic confusion, population explosion and political, multicultural Utopias. And it is about everyone who pushes the button.

Thus Dewaele returns to the triennial's starting point three times: the megacity is taking over Bruges.

(© Text: Walking Guide, Bruges Triennial 2015)


Projects by 14 participants, mainly in the public space at the city center of Bruges. Part of the Triennale Brugge 2015, 20 May - 18 October 2015.

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