The Bruges Triennial 2021 announces the dates and participating artists and architects
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The Bruges Triennial 2021 announces the dates and participating artists and architects
Curatorial team © Matthias Desmet.

BRUGES.- From 8 May to 26 September 2021, Bruges will once again become the host city for an exploration of contemporary art and architecture. During the third edition of the Bruges Triennial, 12 artists and architects will present new, temporary installations in the historic centre of the World Heritage city. The theme of this third edition is TraumA, which sees The Triennial shifting the focus from the public space to a number of hidden dimensions of the city and its inhabitants.

The Bruges Triennial is a thematic exhibition featuring creations by artists and architects in the public space. The 2021 edition also opts for a polyphonic discourse, with space for imagination, beauty, darkness, and participation.

The exhibition explores the sensed and subcutaneous space and the subjective experience of the city, nourished by past and present, dream and nightmare. This edition balances between the visible and the hidden. Between private and public. At the same time, it also responds to the image of Bruges based on the nineteenth-century perception of Bruges-la-Morte as a pre-symbolic city.

The curatorial team, consisting of Till-Holger Borchert, Santiago De Waele, Michel Dewilde, and Els Wuyts, has selected twelve artists and architects – with three Belgians among them – who each in their own way react to the theme of TraumA.

Invited artists and architects:

• Amanda Browder (US)
• Nadia Kaabi-Linke (TN/UKR/DE)
• Jon Lott (US)
• Joanna Malinowska (PL/US)
• Nadia Naveau (BE)
• Nnenna Okore (US/NIG/AUS)
• Henrique Oliveira (BR)
• Hans Op de Beeck (BE)
• Laura Splan (US)
• Gijs Van Vaerenbergh (BE)
• Adrián Villar Rojas (AR)
• Héctor Zamora (MX)

They devise sculptural, architectural, and organic creations that respond to the complexity, versatility and dynamics of the city of Bruges, searching the alleys and back gates to look at what is going on in the courtyards and on the construction sites of the seemingly perfect city of Bruges. Their temporary interventions and creations will enter into dialogue with the city, its inhabitants, and its visitors. The fact that some of the creations involve the residents of Bruges in the creative process makes the story even more fascinating. Next to the art route, the themes of TraumA will be present at the exhibition in the Poortersloge. The names of these artists will be communicated at a later stage.

TraumA adds an extra dimension to the public or private spaces that were the subject of the previous editions: the dimension of the sensed space, where past and present, where dream and nightmare claim the subjectification of the individual experience of the city and, building on the perception of Bruges-la-Morte as a symbolic city avant la lettre, also question the image of Bruges as a city.

The Bruges Triennial 2021: TraumA presents a multi-voiced discourse in which ambiguity, the imagination and the senses are stimulated, and the demarcation between public and private space is renegotiated. The route traces a course where Bruges in all its facets is discussed and there is room for experiment and discourse in a journey behind the scenes of the urban imagination. The starting point will once again be the Poortersloge (Porter’s Lodge), where an exhibition will also encourage reflection and imaginative responses on the theme.

The artists and architects are invited to question the hidden dimensions of society. Historical layers are uncovered, and forgotten or hidden storylines discussed. There is a response to the imagination, to the beauty and splendour, but also to the Unheimliche, the ‘uncanny’ that is present underground.

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