In the early stages of development, most of the concept behind the Nightingale SS18 Closed Days was already set in stone. As early as August 2017, we already had our eyes set on Brussels as one of the locations for our Supper Club event, but a specific location was yet to be decided on. Then we found the CAB centre, a contemporary art center in Brussels, with grand concrete walls towering to the ceiling and the distinguished works of Jean Prouvé everywhere you looked - it was love at first sight.
Although the Supper Club was a one-night-only event, it's still worth noting that most of the beautiful scenery at display during the open days is still there, and definitely worth the visit. Since September 2016, CAB has activated a pavilion of Jean Prouvé (a post-war, socially active French designer and architect) in the space through a series of exhibitions. The Demountable House 6 x 6 is an original 1944 copy, referring to the collection of Hubert Bonnet, the founder of CAB, who wanted to bring this iconic design into contemporary conceptual art. The house was designed by Prouvé as a shelter for the many families who lost their homes in World War II.
With a simple yet revolutionary interplay between a steel bearing structure and wooden panels, Prouvé wanted a large-scale temporary shelter, with the idea that the house could be assembled in one day (a kind of Ikea avant la lettre). This work is still very relevant as of today, as more and more companies in the field of architecture are looking at pre-fab as the future of construction.
The ongoing collection A Dialogue with the House of Jean Prouvé was launched back in November 2016 with Part I - Inhabited by Objects and continued last year with Part II - Notes on our Equilibrium launched in April and Part III - Perpetual Construction exhibited at the time of our Supper Club event. With Perpetual Construction, we experience how our environment is becoming increasingly urbanized: does something such as a public space still exist, or does the consumerist agenda ensure that everything is constantly privatized? What is the voltage field between co-habitation in the city? How do we create a safe domestic space?
Despite being on a small break - the last exhibition ran until December 9th - part IV of the exhibition will run starting from mid-March 2018. Dubbed A Brutal Play, A dialogue with the House of Jean Prouvé IV, this expo will be curated by an external curator, Matthieu Porier, and will unite art works with a constructivistic, brutalist insight where the boundaries between art and architecture are tested once again.