PRESS RELEASE – 20.12.2020
ARTIST DUO DE JENZ ADDS ‘JINGLE’ TO THE BRUGES’ CONCERTGEBOUW CIRCUIT
From December 20, 2020 onwards, a new sculptural intervention is added to the Bruges ‘Concertgebouw Circuit’. Bell-View & Bellen Spel, designed by DE JENZ, adds playful tunes to the contemporary arts trail and invites visitors to venture onto the roof, interact and spread the sound.
Bell-View & Bellen Spel is a two part site-specific sculptural intervention by DE JENZ, the artist duo Vibeke Jensen and Santiago De Waele. The artwork invites the public's curious and playful engagement on the roof terrace of the Bruges Concert Hall.
Bellen Spel departs from 21 bronze bells with a curious history. When a major fire in the Belfry destroyed the 39 bells of its carillon in 1741, new bells were cast by renowned bell-founder Georgius Dumery the same year. The 21 bells were replacements made in the 1900s for the smallest bells in the Dumery carillon. In 2010 these 21 bells were themselves replaced by exact replicas of the Dumery bells, and donated to the Bruges Concertgebouw where they were temporarily installed on the roof terrace in 2016. The artist duo was engaged to create a more inviting and sculptural display.
Bellen Spel reframes 20 of the 21 discarded bells on the terrace, which has a panoramic view of the historic city center from top of the eight stories tall Lantern Tower. Close to their former residence, the redundant bells can now dialogue with their companion carillons above the city roofs. The terrace becomes a stage where the muted voices of the bells can be re-activated by the public. Two overlapping half circular perforated slanting walls in fraké wood enclose the base of the artwork. The bells, ranging from 20 – 42 cm diameter and 7-42 kilos, are mounted in round openings in the curved walls. Each of the bells is unique with its own distinctive pitch ranging from soh to doh, and together spanning almost 2 chromatic scales. Bellen Spel functions as a communal bell-ringing instrument, or carillon, activated by one or more individuals using the supplied rubber tipped sticks. The visitors can invoke sounds from the rejected bells while moving around into and through the open space in the middle of the sculpture.
On the north side of the terrace, a wooden sculpture is attached to one of the concrete columns supporting the roof. Bell-View introduces the visitors to a surprising view. By peering into a narrow vertical opening, visitors will see a brass bell with the Zeebrugge port and the sky as a backdrop. As the sculpture bends around the column, a periscope mirror technique turns it into a viewing device. From the larger opening at the other end, a visitor might trigger the framed bell to chime, and perhaps spot someone peeking into the device. The visitors become part of a performative act played out around a former fire boat bell. This bell will be placed in dialogue with the largest of the 21 discarded bells from the Belfry carillon, which will be displayed in the port of Zeebrugge. When Concertgebouw’s partner, Port of Zeebrugge, finishes this part of the installation, a common launch will take place.
Bell-View & Bellen Spel is part of Concertgebouw Circuit, and one of a series of new works that will be finalized by summer 2021, supported by Concertgebouw’s partners Nationale Loterij, Stad Brugge and Port of Zeebrugge.
About the artists:
DE JENZ was founded in the fall of 2020 as a full-scale collaboration between the two artists Vibeke Jensen and Santiago De Waele. The duo met in 2014 when Jensen was invited to make a public art project at Triennale Brugge, for which De Waele is the technical director. Their shared ability to think ‘outside the box’ and the high skills of his team resulted in DiamondScope, a 7 meters tall multifaceted mirror sculpture facing the Belfry on the Market Square for the 2015 edition of the triennale. Later on they collaborated on building the sculptures for Jensen’s solo exhibition Earth Sharing at Kunsthall 3.14 in Bergen, Norway (2018).
Vibeke Jensen is a Norwegian borne international artist based in New York for two decades before relocating to Europe where she has studios in Berlin and on a remote island on the west coast of Norway. She has a particular interest in different points of view and positions of looking and for years investigated the practice of surveillance and control of public space, recognizing this as a central structural element of advanced urban cultures. Spyglass, mirrors, lenses, secretly recorded video and ‘whatever it takes’ are the ingredients she applies in constructing situations and sculptural interventions that provoke a rupture in daily life perception and facilitate the meeting of strangers.
Santiago De Waele is a Belgian artist who in his early carrier designed and realized the subtropical swimming pool at Preston Palace, Almelo, NL; and converted a never used nuclear power plant into a theme park in Kalkar in Germany. Later, De Waele for decades sourced his creativity into realizing well known artists’ work: first for the Beaufort triennial sculpture project along the Belgian coast, and for the last seven years as technical director and co-curator of Triennale Brugge. He is now stepping into his full potential as a practicing artist with Vibeke Jensen in DE JENZ.
& BELLEN SPEL
by DE JENZ
Concertgebouw Brugge, ’t Zand 34, BE-8000 Bruges
Wednesday – Sunday, 10.00 – 18.00