Jean-Bernard Métais, Vortex opening at Laeken

Jean-Bernard Métais began by meeting local residents and inviting them to write down words relating to their personal or collective history of the site. The artist then took these “words of testimony” – words of mood, of utopia, or of simple questioning, sometimes tender, sometimes funny, sometimes polemical – and recorded them in a long, random verbatim.

The work forms a line of writing in a stainless steel box. The hollowed-out metal words are backlit at night. The line runs from the upper part of the park to a round platform below, made of black and white stone slabs depicting a vortex pattern. This is a connecting space that redistributes and opens up the view of the site. This platform, a sort of trompe l’oeil, wraps around the writings, like a centrifugal force, to carry them even further down the park.

Born of a complete immersion in the site and created with the contribution of local residents, this new in situ work by Jean-Bernard Métais is part of the “êtres mots”, an artistic creation process initiated by the artist in the 1990s.

Hervé-Armand Béchy – April 2019

Find out more information about the Vortex opening on the press release !