abc. A line of to-scale replicas of mass products whose form and logo are familiar to most people. Each product stands for a letter from the Latin alphabet and is carefully and manually modelled, stuck, cut or coloured in. Activities which demand a certain craftsmanship and commitment in terms of time.

The ‘products alphabet’ was put together during a workshop for pupils from the Mozaïekschool (abc Gent).


abc was shown as part of the exposition FRAGIL, on view at the former supermarket GB58 in Brussels from 18 September to 18 October 2015 and bringing together the work of 17 artists around the theme of ‘fragility’.



Now that I’m sitting here writing something
about ‘fragility’, I remember the request
I received from rekto:verso (magazine for
culture and critique) to write something about
an example of resistance. What immediately
sprang to mind was ‘the standing man on
Taksim square (a young man who stood
there in front of the portrait of Ataturk
for eight hours in June 2013). Instead of
joining his mates in Gezi park to fight against
the regime, he chose not to choose,
thereby escaping the dance of yes or no, for or
against, oil or slavery, steak or porridge and
temporarily found himself in a different space.

Another famous example is the character of
Julian in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Porcile (Pigsty)
who renounces the inheritance gained by war

profiteering from his stinking rich father but
also refuses to piss against the Berlin Wall
at the request of his liberal fiancée. Julian
goes and lives with the pigs. This different
space is a precarious state of being (the young
man is no longer standing on the square and
in the end Julian was eaten up by the pigs).
A fragile state of being.

My teply to rekto:verso’s request got lost in
the mailing programme’s concept folder and
did not make the magazine’s deadline. What
did get printed was a contribution by theatre
maker Simon Allemeersch, who writes: “Many
times it has to do with small situations (…)
I often think that the trick is not to become
hardened (…) It has to remain a matter of
love and desire (…) I think it comes down to
staying flexible mentally.”


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