Floralien, Biennale Of Belgium, Floraliënhal, (SMAK), 2019, photo: Michiel De Cleene
Ilke Gers – Open & Faster
With chalk line drawings on the floors of TENT, Ilke Gers responds to the architecture, history of use and rhythms of the spaces. She plays a game with movement and lines, how we read spaces and how we physically relate to the built environment.
The designed environment in which we live allows us to move through the city, but also acts as a formalized script. But as everyday users, we don't necessarily stick to that. We take a shorter route or a detour, straight through a hedge or looking for some shade, and in this way we draw tracks for alternative options. It is the intuitive logic of the elephant path, also known as 'Trampfelpad', 'desire lines' or 'free-will ways', with which many feet spontaneously appropriate public space.
The title of the exhibition is a quote from Rotterdam's public space, and it connects Gers's interplay of lines with the storm of demolition and construction activity going on there. When the regular route to the cyclist tunnel under Maas was closed long for renovation, all kinds of informal paths were created. Every time cyclists cleared a new path, a new fence threw up a blockage. This tug-of-war ended when a handwritten sign appeared, with the message 'open & faster' pointing to an opening ahead. Fervent daily use made this the new fastest route to the other side.
Gers' line drawings are reminiscent of road markings, but also of a sports field, and invite you to re-explore your physical relationship to the space you are in while improvising.
On Saturday 4 June there will be a festive opening in the installation from 15.00 p.m. You are most welcome, reservation is not necessary. You can also come earlier. Gers will put the first lime lines from Friday 27 May.