1 Augustus - 4 September 2015

Transgression / Transition

Research residency / walk by Paoletta Holst, ERforS HQ, BE

Paoletta Holst is an artist, researcher and architectural historian based in Brussels. She graduated in Fine Arts at the Academy AKV|st.Joost in Breda and Architectural History at the University of Amsterdam and Ghent. In her work she is interested in forms of spatial use. She wants to trace and outline the influence of formal spatial-political power structures on our living environment and visualise how people create informal solutions to deal with these power structures. Currently she is involved in the Prison Gear project, an ongoing research project on humane prison architecture, of action and research office BAVO (BE).

The walk will take place in August 2015, followed by a residency and presentation at Enough Room for Space HQ throughout 2015 and 2016.

Image by IBGE, Institut Bruxellois pour la Gestion de l’Environnement with proposal for the Senne

Transgression/Transition, an exploration of the Senne and its surroundings is a walk along the 103 km course of the Belgian Senne river that has its source is in Soignies (Wallonia) and flows at Heffen (Flanders) into the river of the Dijle from where it finally reaches the Schelde and the North Sea. The Senne flows through the three Belgian regions -Wallonia, Brussels Capital Region and Flanders- and passes the city of Brussels and some thirty villages. The river has no existing trail that follows its course. At certain points it flows underground or along private property.

For centuries the Senne has been an undervalued river, dismissed and humiliated serving as an open sewer through which waste water and heavy chemicals flew away. Because the river has been diverted, polluted and forgotten its surroundings became a site for all kinds of informal use. The decades-long absence of a comprehensive and inter-regional planning policy, fuelled by the ostrich politics of the three Belgian regions, has made the river into a ‘non-place’. The Senne manifests itself as an area of transgression, meandering through city and countryside. However, there appears to be a growing consciousness among planners and politicians for the revaluation of the Senne valley. Today the transgressive space of the Senne is in transition: in view of the potential economic and commercial interests parts of the river and its surroundings are being developed. In such a situation of valorization all the facets of the space come to the fore: the use and its users, the stakes and those who hold it.

By taking the river as its directory Transgression/Transition wants to explore the surroundings along the Senne in order to visualize and outline the traces of both formal and informal spatial use.

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