The City has always fascinated me; its influence on the citizen’s life, and vice versa that brings certain chicken and egg question.
The public space’s definition is shifting from a meeting place created by the human gathering to a pure physical space regulated by consumption. I see today’s squares and streets as terrains vagues, a metaphor coined by Dutch- American sociologist Saskia Sassen, defined as abandoned spaces where people’s memories are still present. On the one hand, in many cities and cultures, monuments still have an active cultural role in public space. In various intentional or uninten- tional cultural rituals and narratives, monuments and sculptures are touched in certain ways or certain actions take place around them.
On the other hand, visiting a city is not centered around monuments and museums anymore. Street Arts have become a defining feature of public space and a way of appropriating it. Yet, although the artists’ politically engaged trigger conversations and arouse debates all around the world, it is often an intervention to be seen and not to be part of.
Since it is becoming increasingly rare to interact or speak with strangers in an urban context, as a facilitator of fellowship I want to create situations to trigger positive interactions between citizens. When using the term strangers, it is to denounce the way we see our fellow-citizens today. Through my work I strive to view the city as a big community for its residents.
I’m investigating and bringing sculptures and statues back to the centre of action in the public space.
Through participatory installations, I’m writing new/fictional narratives with citizens; promoting a democratic use of public space as a place for creative expression while questioning the routines and accepted behavior within it. Transforming the viewers as spectators to participants, contributors and worthy actor and activator of the situation.
◊ generate interactions between citizens
> leave a trace together
◊ open conversations
> produce myth-like stories around those statues and sculptures
◊ (re)appropriate the space
> activating terrain vagues to develop a new common history and rituals