January 30, 2014

A scoop

I am treating all of you, readers and viewers of TiB, to what I consider a real scoop. Above  is a detail of one of the many many works by Albert Saverys (1886-1964), which will be displayed soon in the museum of Deinze, his birthplace. Indeed, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Saverys' death, a comprehensive retrospective at the museum will be dedicated to him from March 1 to June 15. You see the painter himself in the back of the plane.
If you are in Belgium in that period, you should really consider a visit to the Museum of Deinze and the Leie region.  I am sure you will not be disappointed. 

January 29, 2014

Driving into the capital

Especially in winter, light is important, it makes a real difference not only to the photographer as some of you indicated in your comments on my previous posting's picture of Ghent. 
The beautiful Friday pre-rush-hour light accompanied me on the way back to Brussels.
Wherever I drive in from a highway or outskirts to a "new" city I feel curious and excited. This is the reason why I am showing you, in chronological order, what it looks like when you travel by car from our gorgeous cities Ghent, Ostend, Bruges etc to the capital. Needless to say that I had fun  but when I noticed the car you see in the last picture driving up next to me,  I decided it might be wiser to call it quits. 

January 27, 2014


"What a view!" was the first thing that crossed my mind the moment I walked into this room in Ghent last Friday. If only I had known,  I  had only my iphone with me...

January 25, 2014

The university library in Leuven/Louvain

 A visit to Leuven always feels like coming home since I spent a lot of time there as a student. I always like an excuse to go back.
 Above, the University Library at  Mgr. Ladeuzeplein. In picture 2 you also see the bug on the needle. I have talked about Jan Fabre's bug before: 

Wikipedia says the following on the subject of the Library:
"It was designed by the American architect Whitney Warren in a neo-Flemish-Renaissance style, and built between 1921 and 1928. Its monumental size is a reflection of the Allied victory against Germany, and it is one of the largest university buildings in the city. The library's collections were rebuilt with donations from all around the world, outraged by the barbaric act which it had suffered. In 1940, during the second German invasion of Leuven, the building largely burnt down, including its 900,000 manuscripts and books. The blaze is thought to have started in an exchange of fire between the two armies, rather than a deliberate act. The building was rebuilt after the war in accordance with Warren's design.The library's collections were again restored after the war, and by the fission in 1968 had approximately four million books. The split of the university into separate French-language and Dutch-language institutions in 1968 entailed a division of the central library holdings. This was done on the basis of alternate shelfmarks (except in cases where a work clearly belonged to one section or the other, e.g. was written by a member of faculty or bequeathed by an alumnus whose linguistic allegiance was clear). This gave rise to the factoid that encyclopedias and runs of periodicals were divided by volume between the two universities, but actually such series bear single shelfmarks".http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_University_of_Leuven_(1834–1968)

January 21, 2014

More castles

                                                 Pictures by Natacha George
Natacha continued her castle trip and ended up in Crupet (photo 1) and Spontin (photo 2).
If you look at this list of castles in Belgium, Natacha's or my job is not quite finished yet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_castles_in_Belgium

January 18, 2014

Fairy tale castles do exist


 Pictures by Natacha George
I have not visited this castle myself but found Natacha's pictures stunning.  Natacha told me that an application for the demolition of the castle has been filed while at the same time a petition to save it is going around. According to Wikipedia,  the Noisy Castle, also known as the Miranda Castle, located in Celles near Namur, South of Brussels,  "was built in 1866 by the English architect Milner under commission from the Liedekerke-Beaufort family, who had left their previous home, Vêves Castle, during the French Revolution.

Their descendants remained in occupation until World War II, when it was taken over by the National Railway Company of Belgium as an orphanage. It remained a facility for the use of children until 1980.
It has stood empty since 1991. Although the municipality of Celles has offered to take it over, the family has refused, and the enormous building is now (as of 2011) in a derelict state. It has become a favourite venue of urban explorers". 

January 12, 2014

Jan Fabre in Rome's Maxxi

Rome is one of my very favorite places, and I had the great pleasure of spending a few days there at the end of December. A visit to the relatively new Maxxi museum was on my list of things to see this time. I had not checked to see what exhibitions were on display, since I wanted to see the building itself: I had planned an architectural trip to see the work of  Zaha Hadid. 
To my surprise, I stumbled upon a very famous compatriot, as Maxxi has a large Jan Fabre exhibition showing documents, installations, statues and films on the artist's performances. If you are interested in knowing more or discovering his work, read the information in the link below from which I am borrowing the following quote:   
"Constantly at its core is the artist himself, from body to mind and both examined, scoured and indeed tormented inch by inch. Although already clear from the videos of his performances – initially body-art experiments but then complex theatre performances – the full realisation comes from observation of the expanse of drawings, notes, objects and thinking models that fill the exhibition space". 

January 09, 2014

Bois de la Cambre - Terkamerenbos Brussels

I guess it must happen to you to..? I live so close to this absolutely gorgeous park that I rarely think of taking pictures or blogging about it.
Even so, today I decided I want all of you to know about this wonderful park in Brussels which has something for every age and taste: ... ducks to watch or feed, boats to row, ice skating, a ferry to cross over to restaurant "Chalet Robinson" on the island. Even the Police take out the horses for a stroll in the park. As I do not know the latest rule about photographing the public forces, I took a quick and blurry photo.
True, as is said in the observations in the link below, our park is not Central Park or Hyde Park but it is the preferred spot of many a Brussels inhabitant.

January 07, 2014

An Iceberg in Brussels

Iceberg, which could be seen until a few days ago at Brussels' Place de la Monnaie-Muntplein, "is a playful sound and light immersive work, a series of illuminated metal arches that produce distinctive sounds. The arches from a tunnel inviting visitors to enter, listen, ans play this giant organ, where notes and light travel up and down musical passageways.As visitors explore the arches, motion sensors inside detect their movements, triggering changes to the lighting and sounds and bringing the iceberg to life. Wheter alone or in a groupe, walking underneath an arch or standing in front of one, each visitor "warms up" the iceberg, transforming its northern essence into a symphony for both the ears and the eyes. The size and shape of the structures call to mind a floating glacier, as it moves through the water and melts. Similarly, the different soundscapes provide their own accompagniment to the iceberg's gradual drift southward. In the north, visitor's movements trigger sounds from nature, but as they move through the installation, the sounds become richer and more harmonious. As the iceberg glides south, nearer to inhabited coastlines, music emerges brought on by human activity"

January 02, 2014

Tijl and Nele

The ponds of Ixelles-Elsene at the Flagey square are always attractive to me, rain or shine. 
I have not shown this monument, dated 1894, before. It is dedicated to the memory of author Charles De Coster whose novel "The Legend of Tijl Uilenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak" is based on the figure Tijl Uilenspiegel (meaning Owl Mirror),  shown here with his lover  Nele. 
Tijl is a fictional character in Flemish-German folklore, a rascal, wandering through 16th century Flanders and Germany, making jokes right and left. He is considered a  hero, a fighter against the influence of the church and the Spanish occupation of the Netherlands. 
The character however is not a creation of de Coster. Stories are known to go as far back as the beginning of the 16th century. 
The first sentence of de Coster's story tells how Tijl was born in Damme (near Bruges)  in May of 1527 on the same day as Philip II.
A movie based on the novel was filmed in what was the USSR "The Legend of Till Ullenspiegel"