In 2018, the Triennial will return to Bruges for the second time. Held once every three years, this artistic route, with surprising installations by celebrated artists and architects, is spread right across the city centre. The Triennial explores the future of a city like Bruges, and hopes to serve as safe point of reference. Bruges as a fluid city, open and committed, a motor of social, cultural and political change. Bruges as a breeding ground for innovation and renewal. Just like the city’s medieval citizens, who first gave Bruges its shape and form, today’s residents also share common dreams for the further development of life in Bruges.
“Bruges Triennial 2018: Liquid City”
5 May – 16 September, 2018
Various locations Brugge Plus
Lange Vesting 112, 8000 Brugge,
Bruges Triennial 2018 seeks to stimulate interaction and lay new and solid foundations for the future of the city. A liquid city, quite literally surrounded by water, but also liquid in a metaphorical sense, as a city in constant and flowing artistic movement, sometimes storm-tossed, sometimes peaceful and calm.
Bruges Triennial and the preliminary Pre-Triennials are of utmost importance to this city. The perception of Bruges as a bubble of heritage has changed; our medieval Bruges has become a vibrant, bustling city with a lot of opportunities. During the previous edition of Triennial 2015 we were able to live up to this expectation. Just think of Song Dong’s monumental composition of coloured Chinese windows in the shadow of St. Salvator ’s Cathedral, or Tadashi Kawamata’s treehouses in the old beguinage. Let’s not forget the Canal Swimmer ’s Club of Atelier Bow- Wow and the local agency Dertien12 at the Carmersbrug. Projects like these in public places surprised visitors, but even locals of Bruges.
Two years later, we are working towards the edition of Bruges Triennial 2018. The new installations that will shape our urban image will leave many amazed. Bruges is a city of opportunities, including permanent contemporary changes. Meanwhile, two (co)creative processes have been launched in the heart of the city. The Belgian architectural collective of Ruimteveldwerk is again cooperating with the inhabitants of the almshouses of Sint- Trudo at the Garenmarkt. Together with the archaeologists of Raakvlak they even did some research in one of the courtyards! At the DuPont site the German collective of raumlabor creates opportunities for new encounters in their House of Time, a place for living and a place of work that will be continued in the future. Both (co)creative projects work closely with the social partners of the city of Bruges.
In spring 2018 the Argentinian artist and architect Tomás Saraceno will live up to the role of favourite by launching his performance as soon as the weather permits. This contemporary visionary considers the airspace to be the ultimately unused yet widely available public space. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s flying city he builds cities in the air, using ultralight roll-up solar panels as sails. For now only a model, but who knows what the future might bring? This is also how Tomás Saraceno announces the new edition of Bruges Triennial 2018. A video of his performance will be exhibited along with his Bruges Aeroscene Tower.
The arts trail draws on the concept of a Liquid City, introduced by Zygmunt Bauman, a Polish-British sociologist and philosopher who studied social changes and liquid society. Temporary monumental artistic and architectural installations might offer an answer to those issues of liquid society. At the same time, Bruges is a city where people live by and with the water of the canals and the sea. Our city, literally surrounded by water – making it world famous, is turned into a metaphorical Liquid City. By means of public, accessible and inviting installations Bruges Triennial 2018 creates opportunities for new encounters between a diverse range of city users.
Casual synergies, sudden insights and sustainable solutions stimulate the image of the city. These processes lead to a new understanding of liquid urbanity and society. Innovation, creativity and quality are combined in the urban DNA of Bruges Triennial 2018. Artists and architects keep this central principle in mind, resulting in sustainable, human and eco-friendly art installations throughout our lovely city.
Our well-known URB EGG-café is again part of the Triennial trail. It is the perfect spot for new encounters, dialogue and a relaxing break during your visit to Bruges. The city of Bruges also participates in Beaufort with the collective Rotor from Brussels, which will both be present in a new pavilion at the beach of Zeebrugge and in the exhibition in the Poortersloge in Bruges.
Curators Till-Holger Borchert and Michel Dewilde, who made an international selection of artists and architects for Bruges Triennial 2018, will subsequently provide further information. These artists and architects stated that they consider Bruges, recognized as UNESCO world heritage, to be an unique, well-preserved city and a perfect spot to install their temporary artworks. Let us all count down until the 5th of May 2018.