Why Can’t an Entire City Be a Museum?
The clock tower at Sint-Pieters railway station in Ghent, Belgium, has been covered in some deceptive scaffolding since mid-May.
On a platform atop what amounts to a faux-construction site stands “Hotel Ghent,” a temporary, one-room structure created by Japanese artist Tazu Rous. At its center is the station’s massive, four-faced clock, wedged into the room from floor to ceiling. This “hotel” is actually part of a city-wide exhibition called TRACK: A Contemporary City Conversation.
Organized by Ghent’s contemporary art museum, S.M.A.K., the exhibition features work by 41 international artists in a variety of mediums including film, sculpture and performance art.
“We wanted artists committed to creating new works, for whom the city and its context would be new,” explains Philippe Van Cauteren, artistic director of S.M.A.K. and co-curator of the exhibition along with Mirjam Varadinis.
Rather than hanging on gallery walls, the 44 works that make up TRACK are scattered throughout the city, arranged in clusters that roughly correspond to city districts. Each piece is meant to be an individual artist’s examination of the experience of living in a city.
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