Les Villes

        3 octobre 2015, 19h - 3h
       Maison des Enfants Saint-André, 2 Rue Saint-André


       video by Jerome Noel

         ( pour la page en français  cliquez ici)

full text (pdf)
en    fr
Nuit Blanche 2015
(official page)

photos of the installation

   Yes, the empire is sick, and, what is worse, it is trying to become accustomed to its sores. This is the aim of my explorations: examining the traces of happiness still to be glimpsed, I gauge its short supply. If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes, peering at the faint lights in the distance

                                                                      - Italo Calvino

   Entering the Maison des Enfants Saint-André, look at the cobblestones. There, you will the entire courtyard filled with words written in white chalk. The text is from the book Invisible Cities by the Italien writer Italo Calvino. For twelve hours, before the opening of Nuit Blanche, the artist Mike Schertzer will be copying the text on the ground. The entire performance will be filmed by Jerome Noel and projected during the night of the event, in real-time, as an accompaniment to the installation. In the courtyard the visitor can read and wander freely. The words speak of things perishable and of things that last… and this is because they are themselves ephemeral
   The Maison des Enfants Saint-André is at this moment a community centre for youths ; among other things, it is mandated to ‘develop the socialization and autonomy of the child, and make hom sensible to the socail, cultural, environmental, and scientific environment of which he is apart’. However, this same building used to be a morgue. Here, history has made birth and death neighbours. Here, the commencement of a voyage replete with possibilities finds itself in the same architectural space where such voyages culminated. In Invisible Cities Italo Calvino wrote, “At times I feel your voice is reaching me from far away, while I am prisoner of a gaudy and unlivable present, where all forms of human society have reached an extreme of their cycle and there is no , imagining what new forms they may assume. And I hear, from your voice, the invisible reasons which make cities live; through which perhaps, once dead, they will come to life again”.

   We create because we are being undone. When we create we liberate what is possible; when we destroy we become slaves of the possible. Invisible Cities, its transient traces in white chalk, speaks playfully and simply of the history of this site, and of its future… as it does, evidently, of our past, and of our future. Architecture conditions our humanity. We are where we live and we are how we live. The places we visit, or avoid, are intimately linked with who we are and who we will become. We are always a resident, an inhabitant of something, of some human construction, whether it be utopian or pragmatic, sublime or abominable, real or imaginary.
                         - M.S.

    The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space

                                              - Italo Calvino

thanks to Dominique B, Stéphanie H, Brufête, Jerome Noel, Toby S, Robin T, Maison St André, the city of Brussels (and their brewers)... and the Clinique Saint-Jean !




Poetry is Disaster 

© Mike Schertzer 1997 - 2016