Public Space

Tabula Rasa


‘Brusselization’ is a term that describes the destruction of a city in times of peace. Our installation reclaims one of the many Brussels symbols of urban destruction with a monumental projection displaying a first man and a first woman, rising confused over the void of an erased city.

Brussels is known for the progressive construction of icons in an effort to self-represent its power over a population and its territory. The 19th century’s wide demolitions were replicated in the 20th century’s “tabula rasa”, erasing local neighborhoods and preparing the stage for new monumental interventions, always with great indifference to the needs of the displaced communities. La Cité Administratif de l’État (CAE), an urban complex built over a neighborhood known as “Bas Fonds”, was conceived as a new powerful symbol of Belgium’s unity by concentrating both French and Dutch speaking state’s institutions as a sort of post-war modern Babel. Just before the construction was completed, the project lost its governmental character and became a disused urban barrier.

The installation consists of two synchronized big size projections in a loop over the blind facades of the CAE facing each other. After a new “tabula rasa”, the CAE becomes a blank canvas for a new beginning: a naked Adam yells in French while a naked Eva yells in Dutch, the symbols of the Genesis engage in a dialogue proper to multilingual Brussels, where nothing is known by just one name. Tabula Rasa was a proposal for the Nuit Blanche 2017 “Power games”


Daniel Osorio, Sedaile Mejias, Diego Luna Quintanilla, Jos Horbach, Toon Mertens (Jack in a Box)