Black Coal, White Trash

For the ongoing European Biennial of Contemporary Art, a former mining building has been transformed into a vibrant analysis of industrialism.

The existing space has been filled with ‘harvest volumes,’ say the concept designers at 2012Architecten. These volumes map an analysis of waste streams made available as mining is replaced by new industries.

The 6000-sq-m space is in the building’s basement, and visitors can enter through one of two open facades. Filling the area are reused objects like industrial bulk containers (illuminated from within), bags filled with waste and excess car parts (sculpted into an information desk).

‘Working with darkness is an important feature of the design,’ says designer Césare Peeren, adding that lights were purposefully positioned to create a very light and very dark corner. ‘One of the spatial qualities of the basement is that it actually has no direction, but if you stand at the right points, suddenly the monumental and strong perspectives formed by the structures strike you.’

The biennale, also called Manifesta 9, can be visited until 30 September in Genk, Belgium

Text by Lydia Parafianowicz

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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