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☰ Edwin Stolk

View of:
the Langerbrugge
Power Station
November 10 to November 14, 2021

The imaginary plan 'Mission Dhuicque' was developed during a working period at Konnektor in the summer of 2020. It consists, among other things, of three interrelated propositions that serve a conversation about the social issues surrounding the Langerbrugge power station.

'Position 2-View of the Langerbrugge Power Station' is the middle part of this triptych. I am currently working with Konnektor and other partners to realize this during the Ghent light festival.

In the evening of 23 October we are organizing a debate in Den Hannekesnest in Langerbrugge. More information will follow.

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[Idea sketch titled: View of the Langerbrugge Power Station at Sunset/View of the Langerbrugge Power Station at Sunrise, 2021]

'Position 2 - View of the Langerbrugge Power Station' is inspired by the painting by the 'Meetjesland' painter Karel De Bondt (1888–1974) with the title: Vue de la Lys à Laethem-Saint-Martin au coucher de soleil / View of the Leie in Sint-Martens-Latem at sunset, 1921. A hundred years later I thought I recognized the Langerbrugge power station in the black shadows on this canvas.

[Painting by Karel De Bondt (1888–1974) titled: Vue de la Lys à Laethem-Saint-Martin au coucher de soleil / View of the Lys in Sint-Martens-Latem at sunset, 1921]

'Position 2 – View of the Langerbrugge Power Station' forms the central panel of the intended triptych and tries to respond with the natural light of the sun in a poetic way to the complex situation surrounding the heritage of the Langerbrugge power station.

'Position 2' questions our decision-making process and the weighting of natural and economic interests in this process. It wants to focus on the (silent) witnesses of this situation and create space for a dialogue in which different perspectives can be faced.

'Position 2' will consist of a stand for five hundred people in the Langerbrugge South park, which will be placed close to the power station for the duration of the light festival. This number refers to the societal risk that applies in this park due to Seveso company Kronos Europe NV. In Belgium, a Seveso company is a company that develops activities in the field of the treatment, production, use or storage of hazardous substances.

The Langerbrugge power station once made city lighting possible and thus broke through the dark for good. In our time we are faced with new challenges, especially in the era of climate change. Bystanders of the power station in Langerbrugge have been witnessing the decline of this heritage for years. Their perception seems to have little or no influence on decision making at this point. 'Position 2' therefore wants to invite everyone to witness this situation by taking a seat in the stand while watching the Langerbrugge power station during sunrise and/or sunset. Together we investigate what our presence here actually means.

This moment of collective reflection, during which we silently contemplate this heritage, will leave an unforgettable impression. This work of art aims to make the friction palpable between recreation (the park) and living (in the village) on the one hand, and the close presence of heavy industry (in the Ghent Canal Zone) on the other. A visit to this place will raise important questions and will confirm our attention to this heritage.

The architect of the power station Eugène Dhuicque was a great admirer of the art critic John Ruskin and his view of the ruin as a carrier of meaning. Ruskin's statement is apt in the context of this sunlit architectural work of art:

Let every dawn of morning be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close.' [from The Two Paths]

The Langerbrugge power station demands our attention. Will you help to celebrate this heritage and bring its importance and preservation to the attention of a wide audience? We can really use your help. Please feel free to contact us.

Kind regards, Edwin Stolk

Position 1 - View of Kronos Europe NV

[This position offers a view of the present, which has a major influence on the choices that are made today.]

Position 2 - View of the Langerbrugge Power Station by sunrise and sunset

[This position offers a view of the visible past, which seems to slowly wither away.]

Position 3 - View of the former fly ash dumb from the Langerbrugge Power Station

[This position offers a view of the consequences of a past that seems to have been disappeared forever in the green of trees.]

During my research in 2020 I have been in contact with representatives of the municipality of Evergem, Het agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed, de Vlaamse Vereniging voor Industriële Archeologie, de provincie Oost Vlaanderen, Comeet and the Projectgroep Gentse Kanaalzone. I was reading a thesis about the architect Eugène Dhuicque written by Roos Pauwels at the University of Ghent and studied many (governmental) reports about this area and the companies active in this area. I spoke with the founder and conservator of the former Museum Energeia, with former workers of the power plant and people who are born and raised with the view of this power station. It was special to meet with supporters and opponents of this heritage.

I want to thank everyone for their confidence.

Slide 1 An overview of the three positions of 'Mission Dhuicque
Slide 2 The Langerbrugge power station in the summer of 2020
Slide 3 View on the Langerbrugge power station seen from the proposed grandstand

Gouvernement made this proposal 'Mission Dhuicque' possible during Konnektor and 'Position 2-View of the Langerbrugge Power Station' will be further elaborated with the following partners: Konnektor, Industrie Museum Ghent, Gemeente Evergem (your company, organization, name here?)

'Mission Dhuicque' in the press: BK Informatie

'Mission Dhuicque' follows the concept of #theorganisation

Would you also like to collaborate on this issue? Please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Position 1 | Position 2 | Position 3

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