Sat 25.06.11
Sat 25.06.11

Postcard from the future - Porte de Namur


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The fresco ‘Porte de Namur ! – Porte de l’Amour ?’ by artist Chéri Samba represents an imaginary gathering of members of the local community on the Chaussée d’Ixelles in Brussels, near Porte de Namur. Since it was first exhibited in 2002, this image has been widely disseminated and has sparked a great deal of controversy. On 25 June 2011 this fictitious scene will become reality, as the 80 or so people who posed for the artist create a tableau vivant in the very place where the painting was originally conceived.

The postcard from Matongé shows the first print (15 m x 12 m) of Chéri Samba’s original painting Porte de Namur-Porte de l’Amour. The performance will consist of a live restaging of the scene depicted. The aim of this postcard is to work on the sense of community this renowned work evokes by making a lifelike reconstruction of it. The remake of the work will rely on the independent culture that prevails in the Matongé neighbourhood. The sense of community portrayed in the painting will be challenged and put to the test. Its content will be embodied interactively in collaboration with the people of what is geographically the smallest, but culturally and emotionally the most distinctive neighbourhood in Elsene. The performance in Matongé will be a live representation of Chéri Samba’s well-known painting Porte de Namur-Porte de l’Amour, with all the characters portrayed in the painting.