Last summer, in the URB EGG-café, we organised fortnightly Sunday discussions between artists, architects, writers, performers, organisers and policy makers from a variety of sectors about four key concepts. Under the title ‘Encounter with…’, this event always adhered to a fixed formula: in the morning the input of three guest speakers sparked a discussion, and in the afternoon this was followed by a structured organised activity.
When we think about art in the public space, we usually mean statues or cityscapes: contemporary monuments and innovative architectural projects on squares or in the streets. They are works of art on private property, but visible from the public highway. They are the grand, impressive crowd-pullers that stand out like beacons in the urban fabric. They are accessible modern sculptures or buildings that have become part of that particular city heritage. In this Encounter with…we consider a variety of approaches and points of view and come up with plenty of inspiration for dialogue and discussion.
‘It’s up to You. It’s up to Me. It’s up to Us’ is the motto for this summer’s Theatre by the Sea. It is also the theme of this Encounter with… Involvement is the keynote in the activities of the various speakers. And that is the basis on which we go in search of individual and collective concepts of solidarity and dialogue. It makes us think about our place and our role in the world, about what we want and can and must do.
House of Time is a social-artistic project located on the edge of Bruges’s inner city: a secluded green area where youngsters can come together to think about change and, above all, live in the moment. After the Bruges Triennial 2018, co-organisers raumlabor have followed up on the pilot project and are continuing to operate and expand it locally. Various options are being examined and discussed: How can this place give meaning not only to local youngsters, but also to the neighbourhood? What impact does a communal space like House of Time have on a historic city like Bruges?
Inspired by the 150th anniversary of Bruges’ Koninklijke Stadsschouwburg, we look back at the fascinating history of this Royal City Theatre and examine the role it still has to play today. In 2001 the Stadsschouwburg (1869) was thoroughly restored. It is one of the best preserved municipal theatres in Europe. Crystal chandeliers, red carpets and velvet folding seats take us back to the glamour of the past. But times change. Is a municipal theatre more than just a venue? Could it also be a catalyst for urban renewal? And what do other organisations think about this?