top of page

Ceremony - Kunstberg

Moments of collective celebration are generative of cohesive and inclusive social groups. They are the backbone of collective identity and can play a strong role in dealing with the most important moments of life. They are the acts which bind us and create a group out of a sum of individuals. However, ceremonies need not imply blind adherence to outdated acts of age-old institutions such as state, religion, patriarchy. In these shifting times, it is up to us to investigate, scenography and practice the rituals and celebrations which make are more in line with a bright and desirable future.

Water is at the roots of many past and present fundamental acts of human ceremonies. During these times of pandemic, handwashing for instance has become one of the mandatory rituals giving us access to public space. Water in the city is also an element that enables new social behaviors. Bodies get undressed, embarrassment is forgotten, differences are reconfigured. Some cities decided to make their rivers and lakes true public spaces. Brussels now has the Mont des Arts and its fountains.

With their installation overlooking the Mont des Arts from above, Donna van Milligen Bielke and Ard de Vries finish the ceremonial apparatus of the square’s garden. Based on the existing architecture of the fountains, they offer to the city a ceremonial space or altar where the element of water is given a central role. They also invite us to look more closely at Mont des Arts as a rosary of unnoticed and unused water. Closed during the winter, the fountains barely transform into urban furniture. During the summer, the monumental fountains are not to be touched. Could a different behavior, a different relationship be created between the fountains and us? Shouldn’t we rather adore this water, swim in it, dance around it, drink it and celebrate it as one of our most precious treasures? 

Project: Ceremony
Client: Archiweek
Programm: temporary exhibition
Location: Kunstberg, Brussel
Status: realized 2021
Team: Studio Donna van Milligen Bielke & Ard de Vries Architecten

Curators: Traumnovelle, humbble en Katía Truijen

Pictures : Jonathan Ortegat & Severin Malaud

bottom of page