A Tale of A Tub

Mall of Europe
February 9 – April 15, 2018

C.o.C.A Commission 2017
Curated by Noor Merten

Mall of Europe presents a new series of videos in which Emma van der Put observed the area of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. As the first World’s Fair held after World War II, it was designed on the basis of ideas and wishes of those times. Western Europe was recovering from the war with help from the United States through its Marshall Plan. High hopes were set on technological progress to be the way forward to a prosperous and peaceful future. As a part of 1958 World’s Fair, a model neighbourhood named De Modelwijk (Cité Modèle), was built on site to give visitors to the fair a concrete example of the ideals of modern living. The model neighbourhood is still inhabited, but only a few of the pavilions of the bygone World Fairs still exist today. With an observing gaze, Van der Put has filmed this area of the World’s Fair, The plans to fully ‘modernise’ this part of the city in the coming years will add a new chapter to the wishful thinking about an ideal society.

The exhibition Mall of Europe makes use of the different rooms of A Tale of A Tub; both the ground floor, mezzanine and basement are incorporated into the presentation. With its focus on optimistic thinking about an ideal society, it addresses the architecture of the Justus van Effen complex where A Tale of A Tub is based. The complex itself was built in a time which had its own ideals about modern living and public housing. Music that is specially composed for this project adds a more abstract and at the same time architectural element. The various parts of the presentation slowly create an image of historical and contemporary future-thinking.