miércoles, 9 de diciembre de 2009


What do you know about Belgium? Strangely I was there for the first time in my life this last march, at the EU buildings because of some stuff related to culture but is not the point of this post.
Belgium. What else do you know about Belgium? Apart from the fact that they all speak at least 3 lenguages, is where Jan Fabre comes from, this theater director quite famous all over Europe, is where Martin Margiela comes from, this fashion designer quite known for his love for the incongnito and the coolness of his brand, is where Dries Van Noten comes from, also one great fashion designer famous for his prints of flowers, embrodery -and my admiration for him comes from designing the most elegant wedding dress ive seen in my life-; is also famous for the painter Margritte, is also famous for the chocolate, is also famous for Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her contemporary dance company, is also famous for art noveau buildings that Brussels has...It is certainly quite a tiny place, but how seriously they take culture is something the rest of the countries should learn from. This letter of jamie lee byars belongs to the personal collection of a man from Brussels who worked his whole life as a doctor and in his free time was completely involved in developing art residencies to support new contemporary artists from all over the world. That means that the fact of having a "normal life" as a doctor, didnt take him apart from working with people like Gilbert und George, Robert Rauschenberg, Marcel Brothaers or Jamie Lee Byars among many others. Other thing about the few belgians I know is that they love to keep everything that is related to their intellectual mission devoted to art or culture. This could be exhibitions invitations, correspondence with the artists, personal photos, all that fascination involved in working with culture. Where i want to get is that for an artist is really important to feel valued by society, even if is just on a psychological way, this "what i do is good because people loves it and makes them feel better and they treat me nicely throughout my work, therefore i should work harder to make more people feel the same way" sort of thing. I specially admire this empathy that some people has towards culture even more when it comes from the civil society, from initiatives out of the public system, the superstructure. Is just great when normal people decide to invest in the well being of the culture, protect it, admire it, cuddle it. Is when something called democracy is really happening: is the own base the one that is acting in a common way. Somehow this lands -Belgium, and its neighbour Holland-, what we could called the flemish lands/nederland/ have really developed a great system concerning cultural policies and industries.
We should all learn from the small.

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