You’ll see Bornem, Puurs and Willebroek. And don’t forget Mechelen. Get your (art) kicks on… Belgium’s Route N16

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‘LOWLIFE!’ The guy yelled at me, from his car. It was probably what the scene looked like: a lonely guy in a barren field, taking a picture of a dilapidated shed about to collapse. What he didn’t know: the shed was a work of art – a collaboration between Richard Venlet and architect Philippe Vander Maren – and the field wasn’t barren at all, there were colourful wild flowers all over. The shed (a concrete replica) and the flowers (sown) are one of six works of art, each one created by an artist and an architect, installed this summer along a Belgian road (the N16). Route N16 (‘public places for private experience’; through September 29) works best when those works are almost unnoticeable and have that typical Belgian surreal twist. Just an ‘intervention’ only those in the know will see: the white square Sarah & Charles and De Vylder Vinck Taillieu put around two little houses, or that ”mirror” soccer tribune Wesley Meuris and uapS built next to an existing one. Route N16 wants to investigate what happens when autonomy (art) and functionality (architecture) meet in public spaces. (The sixth project is a tour in a van – ‘a horizontal lift’ – in Willebroek. You have to book your seat in advance.)

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