|WALKING THE HINTERLAND
Argos Centre for Art & Media, Bruxelles
Antoine Boutet, Jordi Colomer, Peter Downsbrough, Redmond Entwistle, Jan Kopp, Vincent Meessen, Till Roeskens, Florin Tudor & Mona Vatamanu. Curated by Brent Klinkum.
Walking the Hinterland considers the ways in which contemporary art responds to geographical non-spaces, those ’suspended spaces’ within or bordering on delimited urban zones, through the work of eight artists for whom walking is also a creative act. Over the course of the late 20th century, ’hinterland’ (originating from the Middle High German ’hinter’, meaning ’beyond’) has gradually taken on a modified interpretation, no longer used in the strict geographical sense of land directly adjacent to and inland from a coast, or a region remote from urban areas. The word now embodies the idea of a place, an era or an aspect of life considered as lacking in spiritual, aesthetic or other humanising qualities; a vacuum; a cultural wasteland. Wastelands, ’zone blanches’ as described by Philippe Vasset in Un Livre blanc, (Editions Fayard, 2007) are areas that have been left white or uncoloured on maps. They are free zones, no man’s land both politically and socially streets of “sub-primed” houses, or quite simply suburbs of warehouses or mega shopping complexes surrounded by far larger asphalted spaces given over to parking. In the vein of contemporary literary flaneurs like Iain Sinclair or W.G. Sebald, the works presented are the audiovisual results of artists striding the underbelly of urban spaces around the world. Mapping, photographing, sketching, recording sound and images, performing, retracing their steps again and again in order to permeate themselves in these environments which, even if they often exude an air of desolation or hostility, are the essence of urban regeneration.