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Exhibition ‘Under Construction’ brings out the kid in each of us at Le Pavillon in Namur
Discover an interactive exhibition that plays with art and technology at Le Pavillon, itself an intriguing architectural work at the top of Namur’s medieval citadel.
The venue dedicated to digital culture is managed by KIKK, organiser of the city’s annual international festival showcasing new technologies.
Under Construction presents the work of a group of artists led by two Berliners, Niklas Roy and Kati Hyyppä, whose installations display a mix of art, science and technology. It’s a concept that’s perfectly in line with the DNA of KIKK.
“This kind of exhibition doesn’t happen very often. I have never seen anything like this myself,” says Niklas Roy of the one-off show that is running from 1 July to 6 August.
It offers a new perspective on the modern world by diverting technology from its original purpose. The artists exclusively use recycled materials, which they shape, bend and combine to create new pieces of art which will evolve over the summer.
“We want to make inclusive art; we want to make art for everyone and with everyone,” adds Roy, who highlights the family aspect of the exhibition, designed to appeal to children and adults, English- and French-speakers.
It’s a dynamic that KIKK is keen to develop by offering free summer courses for 10 to 14 year-olds so that they can dive into this unique world via mathematics, sciences, art and creativity under the tutelage of the participating artists.
For all visitors, the exhibition is highly interactive, an invitation to take an active part in the artistic process, with cranks to turn, inventions to draw, plastic balls to suck up, photos to print... playful art that will bring out the child in everyone.
The fun experience begins at the entrance. As the DIY barrier opens for each visitor, it triggers the sound of a strumming guitar. An intricate contraption surrounds the instrument and doubles as one of the exhibits (pictured above). New blank canvases hang on the walls and are suspended in the opening space; their function only later becoming evident in this dense collection of colourful installations that fills every corner of the multiple spaces.
It’s equally an immersive show with the artists’ studios open to view as they continue to build, repair and tinker with their works in front of the public’s eyes. This ever-changing exhibition encourages regular visits with a subscription scheme in place for multiple trips.
Le Pavillon opened in the Walloon capital in 2021 and is now conveniently served by the cable car that links the Esplanade with the city-centre. It was formerly Belgium’s pavilion for the 2015 World Fair in Milan, a space-like structure in wood, steel and glass adorned with solar panels.
While architecturally distinct, it proved a challenge for Roy and his artist cohorts. Its dominant features and lack of straight walls continue to perplex the inventor. But as a habitué of the KIKK festival, he’s more than happy to continue to share his zany passion for pushing the boundaries of art and technology.
1 July to 6 August
Esplanade de la Citadelle
Photos: © Be Culture; © Roman Miletitch; Niklas Roy with exhibition ©Sarah Crew