Mariela Limerutti Visual Artist, Argentina.


PRESENCES
10 photographs
human scale

Leuven, Belgium
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PRESENCES

This intervention on the facade of the city Hall commemorated the foreigners who came to study at the Catholic University of Leuven, but decided for different reasons to stay and make their lives there. The relationship of this work with the university, the oldest and largest in Belgium, was because of the role that the university has had in welcoming students from all over the world. The foreigners represented in the photos were once students, but then they stayed there to live, work and create the reality of what Leuven was at that time. The intention was to commemorate the everyday life through a group of people that represent "the other" in society.

The photographs interrelate with the statues on the facade which commemorate illustrious personages of Leuven's history. Now the statues function as ornamental icons, becoming "absences" for the gaze. Thus, the work introduces "presences" in this city file in public space.

It is also interesting to consider the condition of the City Hall as survivor, owing to a bomb that fell next to it on May 12, 1944, but didn't explode. This group of foreigners was survivors, as the building, which has survived both World Wars. Both survivors gave this work of art the possibility of existing on the fašade of this particular building.