Dias & Riedweg and The Stone Road at Argos Centre for Art & Media
Funk Staden, Dias & Riedweg, 2007. Courtesy the Artists.
Dias & Riedweg. Moving truck and recent works / The Stone Road. (On Track. Off Track. Memorising the Mid-World. Walking the Fifth-Space.)
Dias & Riedweg. Moving Truck and recent works
Mauricio Dias and Walter Riedweg have been working together since 1993. Two of the themes running through their work are 'being different' and 'exclusion'. They look for social groups who soon end up on the fringes of society and involve them in the creation of their work by means of workshops and interactive experiments.
In Brussels they are also looking for interaction with the inhabitants. In their latest project a removal truck serves as a cinema and traverses several Brussels districts. Dias & Riedweg film the reactions of passers-by and residents and gauge the social divisions in the city. The result can be seen at Argos along with five other recent installations.
At the heart of the exhibition is Funk Staden. The installation shows a group of funk dancers from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and prints from a 16th-century report of a journey to the New World. The dancers imitate the prints with sardonic pleasure: instead of cannibalism, a barbecue; rather than ritual dances, they offer raw, stirring rhythms from funk carioca. In this counter-cultural musical genre, so typical of Brazil, the tension between the official written history and the local reality is expressed unlike anything.
The same physical appeal radiates from The Universe of the Ball. This installation shows how 'the other' and the 'culture of the other' are always subject to perceptions. The Brazilian flag and constitution, read out loud by a homeless drag queen, are treated with contempt. Visitors are invited to weigh themselves on a floor full of bathroom scales. The interactive weight of the visitors suggests the weight of their participation (or lack of it) in the light of the complexity of global politics and nationalism.
The exhibition is co-produced with Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
The Stone Road. (On Track. Off Track. Memorising the Mid-World. Walking the Fifth-Space.)
The Stone Road offers a unique look at the N6. This busy road connects Brussels with Mons: the city with the periphery. This linear artery cuts unpredictably through the landscape: giving a rapidly alternating view of outlandish architecture, traces of industrial decline, desolate pieces of no-man's-land, discotheques and cheap megastores. Sometimes tired and lonely then suddenly full of energy, it winds through Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia and cuts through the language barrier.
This trunk road is a kind of symbol of failed urbanism, a forgotten space. The immediate surroundings comprise of places that belong to everyone and no one at the same moment, a reflection of the divisions and scars of our urbanised society. Firefly Projects brought Els Dietvorst, Orla Barry, Wim Cuyvers, Johanna Kirsch and Nikolaus Gansterer together to form a temporary artists' collective for this in progress experiment.
For some months the artists made their way along the N6. On foot and by bike. Over day and at night. Each at his or her own pace. Each with their own box of tools: video camera, photo camera, notebook, eyes, feet. One made an inventory the bus stops; another tried to integrate her body into the urbanized landscape. Still another sought-out the hinterland and attempted to avoid the road by all possible means. The Stone Road is the catalyst for their experiences; an assemblage of photos, video images, fictions and models. The underlying stories that the artists processed in their creations override the banality of this urbanistic phenomenon. They are universal, evoking the loneliness, lack of communication, and increasing aggressivity in our society.
The exhibition is co-produced with Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Firefly and Jan van Eyck Academie.