Tour Leopold II (2018)
Envelopes with washer and string: 180 gm2 cardboard, 114 x 162 mm, handmade silk screen printing.
Brochure off-set print on paper color ivory, 29.7 x 42 cm (open), English.
Post-cards 5 units, couché paper 300 gm2, Matte finish on one side.
Published by the artist: Brussels, 2018.
First edition: 100 copies, 2017.
Second edition: 250 copies, 2018.
Limited Edition Kit: 50 copies, 2018.
The Tour Leopold II was the starting point of a two year research on Belgian colonialism and the historic remnants still found in the city of Brussels, but broadening its reflection to a colonial amnesia that pervades both Europe and its symbolic capital. In the public space, this heritage is reflected on monuments, buildings, parks and avenues that work as articulators of a glorious narrative of colonialism diffused in the media, educational curricula and to the world through tourism.
The research started with the mapping of the monuments that glorify the achievements of the former colonizers and culminated in the publication of a 3 parts pseudo-touristic guide of the city: 1) an envelope that mimes confidential dossiers (creating an experience of unveiling a well-kept secret); 2) A pamphlet that maps and contextualizes sightseeing spots with the corresponding absent information 3) a group of post-cards that document different situations where this heritage is celebrated and confronted: these being born already as historic documents.
With an ambivalent title, it can be perceived as a continuation of the narrative of glorification of the infamous figure of Leopold II, but working as coy to its subversive content. The history of print is one of the diffusion of ideas and vehicle of rebellion, therefore the relevance of the medium of print for the articulation and diffusion of alternative ways of thinking. This publication is on the frontier between artist book and political pamphlet; it defies both definitions and also unites them. As an artist, rather than ambitioning to impose a world view, the publication articulates another narrative while forging links the city, its history, residents and personal histories.