Re-claiming Creative Space in the City: A new model for Art-led Urban Regeneration

In conversation with Joep van Lieshout

Location: Art Talks

Guest Speakers:
Serge Ecker (DKollektiv member and one of the initiators of VEWA espace de création)
Sándor Finta (Architect and Urban Planner - SPACEFOR, former Chief Architect of Budapest, Chief Development Officer of Buda Castle)
Sanne ten Brink (Brutus, Directrice) 
François Thiry (Architect and Urban Designer, Co-founder of Polaris)
Joep van Lieshout (Artist, Atelier Van Lieshout, initiator of Brutus)


Luxembourg Art Week is pleased to present and offer this thought-provoking discussion delving deep into the heart of
urban renewal through the lens of art. The conversation will be guided by the insights of artist Joep van Lieshout, initiator of Brutus and protagonist of this year's Luxembourg Art Week Sculpture Trail The Rebellion by Atelier van Lieshout, whose artistic endeavors have catalyzed innovative transformations within the urban landscape.

The format of our conference promises a rich exchange of ideas. Joining Joep van Lieshout are a distinguished panel of experts, each bearing relevant insights into the intersection of art, architecture, and the urban ecosystem. Sanne ten Brink, will introduce the groundbreaking concept of this multidisciplinary artist-driven playground. Serge Ecker, member of DKollektiv, will share his perspectives on reimagining spaces that were once industrial steelworks (such as VEWA, Dudelange, Luxembourg). This brief introduction will transition into a roundtable discussion, exploring pivotal themes that resonate within our urban ecosystem: the artist as a place-maker; arts' place, role and significance in the urban (public) landscape; art and activism; the reclamation and preservation of authority over urban spaces through art.

The presence of François Thiry (architect and expert in city planning and development), will enrich the discussion by elucidating the significance of art in public spaces, shedding light on how it weaves into the very fabric of our cities. Sándor Finta, former Chief Architect of Budapest and the Managing Director of SPACEFOR, will provide invaluable insights and guide the conversation into the architectural dynamics of urban transformation. The projects of Brutus and DKollektiv are at the heart of this dialogue, embodying the ideals of artistic expression, urban regeneration, and communal collaboration. This Luxembourg Art Week Art Talk is a rendezvous to exchange ideas and a space for envisioning the future of our cities.

Serge Ecker
seamlessly blurs the boundaries between the tangible and the digital and tries to find symbolic relevance in the most insignificant details, often left unnoticed. The intention to document and capture the world around him, between formalism and the impenetrable aspect of facades and textures. Ecker navigates and translates between handicrafts and improvisation in the spectre of new technologies. Facing the de-valorisation of craftsmanship and work in general, through relocations of production and virtualisation, in an attempt to dethrone the myth of the digital, 3D printing and other contemporary technological vanities. At the VEWA espace de création, initiated by the DKollektiv, Ecker and like-minded individuals are fostering a cultural alternative, a "tiers-lieux culturels," where creative ideas flourish through shared experiences, experimentation, collaboration and the open exchange of knowledge.

Sándor Finta
Budapest-based architect and urban planner. Sándor Finta is the owner and lead designer of SPACEFOR. He is particularly noted for his role in designing the award-winning subway stations of metro line M4 in Budapest. His subsequent appointments as the chief architect of Budapest and later as the technical director of the Budapest 2024 Olympic bid, along with his current responsibilities in overseeing governmental investments in the historic Buda Castle area, speaks to his extensive experience in navigating complex architectural and urban planning endeavors. His founding and former chairmanship of KÉK - Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre has led to its recognition as an influential cultural organization in contemporary architecture. In addition to his involvement in nonprofit investments, Finta's role as a director of design included overseeing a substantial real estate development project along the Danube's shore. Notably, the project prioritized the integration of designated spaces for artworks right from the initial planning stages, fostering a symbiotic relationship between urban development and artistic expression.

Atelier Van Lieshout (AVL) is the studio practice of Rotterdam-based artist Joep van Lieshout. Since its founding in 1995 Van Lieshout has been working solely under the studio’s name as a methodology towards undermining the myth of the artistic genius. AVL gained international recognition for living sculptural installations that function to assert or question independence; inventing objects, structures, machines and thematic bodies of work that annihilate the boundaries between art, architecture and design. In Van Lieshout’s distinctive language, everything is an experiment in what “could be”. AVL’s transgressive practice dissects and invents systems to flirt with power, autarky, politics, fertility, life, sex and death.

Sanne ten Brink
After studying in Spain at the University of Modern Languages in Granada, Sanne ten Brink acquired a degree in Roman Languages and Culture and Art Policy at the University of Groningen. She worked in New York at the James Goodman Gallery and the PS1 Contemporary Art Center (affiliate of the MoMA). For 17 years in a row Sanne worked as (Head) curator at ING, where the last 10 years she was responsible for the development of ING Group’s global art collection and policy. Since 2022 she started working as Director at Brutus, where she is responsible for both business and artistic content of this artist driven playground in Rotterdam. With its rolling programme and 6000m2 of raw and unpolished exhibition spaces Brutus is one of the the largest contemporary art institutions in the Netherlands. The place to view confrontational, unsettling and stimulating art. 

François Thiry is a Luxembourgish-Belgian architect and urban designer. In 2000, he co-founded the architecture studio Polaris with his partner Carole Schmit, operated initially from Rotterdam and Brussels before moving to Luxembourg in 2005. Polaris’ architectural practice cover the design of residential and public buildings and plans as well as consultancy, communication and higher education projects. His commitment to the cultural dimensions of architectural space is reflected in numerous scenography projects for contemporary art exhibitions.

Joep van Lieshout sculptor, painter and visionary. After graduating at the Rotterdam Art Academy Van Lieshout quickly rose to fame with projects that travelled between the world of easy-clean design and the non-functional area of art: sculpture and installations, buildings and furniture, utopias and dystopias. In 1995, Van Lieshout founded his studio and has been working solely under the studio’s name ever since. The studio moniker exists in Van Lieshout’s practice as a methodology toward undermining the myth of the artistic genius. Over the past three decades, Van Lieshout has established a multidisciplinary practice that produces works on the borders between art, design, and architecture. By investigating the thin line between manufacturing art and mass-producing functional objects, he seeks to find the boundaries between fantasy and function, between fertility and destruction.

Programme 1