Crédits photographiques : Leslie Artamonow


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Suspended spaces, une expérience collective

Made up of artists and researchers with diverse skills (architects, anthropologists, philosophers, sociologists, art historians, etc.), founded in 2007, Suspended spaces is a mobile collective with a variable geometry which is interested in movement, be it symbolic or geographic. Convinced of the importance and legitimacy of artistic and philosophical perspectives and views of the contemporary world, the collective works from historical sites that have been neglected by modernity and whose future has been stalled by political, economic or historical conflicts.

These territories are, first and foremost the closed city of Famagusta in Cyprus, marked by the division of the island in 1974. Emptied of its Greek inhabitants, the Cypriot ghost town is still inaccessible and controlled by the Turkish military and soldiers from the UN. Then there is the site of the Tripoli International Fair, in Lebanon. Begun in 1962, the vast modernist programme of construction developed between 1962 and 1975 by the architect Oscar Niemeyer, was never completed due to the civil war which wreaked havoc on the country right up until 1990. In Brazil, you can see Niemeyer’s incredible architecture in the form of the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (opposite Rio de Janeiro). It is perched on the hill and opens onto the neighbouring favela where its double can be found, the MACquinho, cultural and social centre of Morro do Palacio: two structures symbolising a violent and divided Brazilian society. Finally, there’s Fordlândia (Brazil), a workers’ housing development constructed in the 1920s by the American industrialist Henri Ford in order to exploit natural rubber. Built on the edge of the Amazon River and today virtually a ghost town (800 inhabitants remain), it is only accessible by sea.

Each of these  explorations through developed  in the age  of Modernity, and today abandoned, was the opportunity to question the history of the site and its relevance today, exploring ecological and colonial questions in order to come up with critical and artistic approaches in a variety of formats, including exchanges and discussions with local actors, exhibitions, colloquiums and publications.

At the moment, the BPS22 is the only museum to have acquired a work by the Suspended spaces collective. The exhibition brings more than twenty artists together around this shared collective experience with a same desire: reflecting upon incompleteness and continuing to act with these disused spaces in order in order to "get away from modernity".

The works on show draw all their inspiration from these suspended spaces. So, in the Grande Halle, the visitor goes  around the perimeter  of the inaccessible  district of Famagusta (Cyprus) photographed by Lia Lapithi and filmed underwater by Marcel Dinahet behind the demarcation fences erected by the army. He follows Jan Kopp’s journey around the site of the Tripoli International Fair designed by Oscar Niemeyer. He understands the farce and diversion that represents the division of the island of Cyprus with Ziad Antar in a video demonstrating the absurdity of the situation when reason takes a back seat. He fantasises about the demolition of the abandoned city of Famagusta with François Bellenger. He finds hope and benevolence with Valérie Jouve’s portraits. In a film by Daniel Lê, he questions the enigmatic gestures of a child who plays kite wars on top of the favela in Rio. He spins a tale between the story behind Orson Welles’ film on Rio, the myth of the fisherman and the crocodiles in Maïder Fortuné’s collages. In all the works, the visitor is confronted with these abandoned, emptied structures, symbols of modernist projects that time has rendered obsolete. The exhibition is an opportunity to revisit the modernity and diversity of these projects in order to understand and influence (or not) a socio-historical and geopolitical future that might not be that far away.


Suspended spaces, a collective experience, presents the work of the Suspended spaces collective and gives some perspective to the latest projects carried out in Cyprus, Lebanon and Brazil, three stages of a collective experience in search of suspended spaces.


Musée d’art de la Province de Hainaut

Bd Solvay, 22

B-6000 Charleroi

T: +32(0)71 27 29 71 - E: info@bps22.be

W: www.bps22.be

EXHIBITION: 16.06 > 02.09.2018

A collective experience – SUSPENDED SPACES

ARTISTES: Ziad ANTAR, Kader ATTIA, François BELLENGER, Filip BERTE, Marcel DINAHET, Yasmine EID-SABBAGH, Maïder FORTUNE, Lamia JOREIGE, Valérie JOUVE, Jan KOPP, Bertrand LAMARCHE, Lia LAPITHI, Daniel LÊ, Armin LINKE, André PARENTE, Françoise PARFAIT, Sophie RISTELHUEBER, Mira SANDERS, Stéphane THIDET, Eric VALETTE, Christophe VIART, Mehmet YASHIN.