30-06-06

Madonna in Antwerp

You meet her everywhere at facades and street corners  in the old part of Antwerp city, always different and often an example of real craftsmanship : the posture so natural. 

 

 

Bijna overal in het oude stadsgedeelte van Antwerpen kom je aan gevels en straathoeken Mariabeeldjes tegen.  Ze zijn bijna allemaal verschillend en prachtig van houding en uitdrukking : echt vakmanschap van weleer.

 

 

Kijk maar eens hoe speels en intens het kindje Jezus met zijn heilige staf in de slang van het kwade prikt.

De verbeelding is een organisatie die 650 straatbeelden van heiligen (overwegend van de Heilige Maria, de patrones van Antwerpen) tracht te beschermen.  Als je eens wat wil opzoeken, is hier hun inventaris.

 

 

Look how playful and intense the holy kid is sticking his holy crosier in the snake of evil.

There is an organization who patronizes 650 street statues, mostly of the Holy Mary (the patron saint of Antwerp) but some of other saints too.  Here is the inventory.

 

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29-06-06

Markt, Brugge

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28-06-06

Palace of justice, Brussels

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27-06-06

English and Dutch - Vanaf nu Nederlands erbij

So from now on, it’s going to be English and Dutch.  Today’s question : where and who ?

Bedankt voor de Nederlands-Engels-reacties, waaruit ik besluit om vanaf nu ook een woordje Nederlands te plaatsen bij mijn foto’s en voor vandaag is dat : waar en wie ?

 

 

Ja, het is in Antwerpen (Groenplaats) en zijn goedgemutst, maar van welk land of club ze zijn ?

Yes, it is in Antwerp, but what country or club the visitors belong to ?

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25-06-06

English and Dutch ? Engels én Nederlands ?

Waarom is deze blog in het Engels, zo vroeg Wieneke.  Tja, daar twijfel ik nog wekelijks over !  Allereerst : Engels omdat dit de nummer 1 is in de wereldtalen en daarmee heb je op het wereldwijde web dus het meeste kans dat men je verstaat.  Twee : ik vind Engels aangenaam en wil het oefenen.  Drie : ’t is een beetje promotie voor het eigene van Vlaanderen.

MAAR wat vind jij als Nederlandstalige bezoeker daar nu van ??? 

Neen, ik weersta de verleiding om er een meerkeuzevraag van te maken en je alvast wat mogelijkheden voor te schotelen.  Ik hou het helemaal open en ben zeer benieuwd naar jouw mening.

En zou je het beter vinden als de tekst er ook in het Nederlands zou bijstaan ?

Kijk, in de log hieronder over het begijnhof proberen we het meteen even uit.  Wat vind je ?

-----------------------

This blog is in English because of the world wide reach of it.  But what do the dutch speaking visitors think of this ? That’s what I am asking here.  And in the log beneath, I give it a try in English and Dutch.

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Catherina Begijnhof, Rodestraat, Antwerpen

Terwijl ik al wandelend de zachtaardige stilte van het Begijnhof inademde, stond ik opeens  voor de huisdeur van … de Heilige Geest !!  Ik nam een foto.  En wat zou jij gedaan hebben ?

 

 

When I was breathing in the gentle silence of the Catherina Beguinage in Antwerp, I suddenly came before the house door of …. the Holy Spirit (= H. Geest) !!  I took a photo.  What would you have done ?

 

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24-06-06

Beaufort II : Harbinger, Jane Alexander, Oostduinkerke

 

This is the Harbinger (cfr. June 11 on this blog), walking outside the barge.  At night they put him inside. That’s where Pieterbie met him, standing in a corner without his cap.  You can check it here.

 

Note : the 8000 is coming closer on the counter, if you are the one : let it know !

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23-06-06

The joust (5/5) (Steekspel Brugge 2006)

 

 

The Liebaarts and the Leliaarts  (1302)

The Liebaarts : “The supporters of the count of Flanders were called the Liebaarts. The word has a heraldic origin and means as much as lion or leopard. The coat of arms of the count of Flanders depicts a black lion on golden field. In the beginning only the Flemish nobility supported the count. As feudal lord, he tried to limit the power of the cities as much as possible. The commoners became Liebaarts at the French occupation of Flanders. At that time their strive was the same as that of the count: to keep Flanders free of French occupation.”

The Leliaarts : “This was the name of the supporters of the French king and French affairs in Flanders. The name is derived from the golden lilies on blue field in the French king's coat of arms. The Leliaarts used the lily as ornament in their houses and this primarily caused them this name. Most of them were rich patricians who had trade monopolies and therefore didn't wish the count's interference in their business. Therefore they turned directly towards the French king.”

 

Source : de Liebaart vereniging

 

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22-06-06

The Magdalena church (Magdalenakerk, Brugge)

When walking through a park after the joust, there was a door standing open where I saw this :

 

 

And through a second door I came in a church.  In the middle of the church there was a pool and pillows were spread around it, serene music floated in the glass window coloured sun rays.

 

 

When I came out I read : an experiment with space and religion (an initiative of Brugge cultuurstad 2002) and the name : the Magdalena church.  It is not used as a church anymore, so the Bruggeblog says, but as a place of contemplation.  That's exactly what I experienced.

I thought ( The da Vinci code of Dan Brown in my mind ) : oh, Magdalena has a church, the female side of catholic religion got a place.  But now I am not sure anymore : it is not Maria Magdalena , but the Saint Magdalena church.  Is Maria Magdalena ever called a saint ?  Is she pictured with a golden aureole on paintings ? 

 

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21-06-06

The joust (4/5) (Steekspel Brugge 2006)

 

… 704 years ago, take a step back when these knights are passing and watch them from a safe place.

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20-06-06

Museum night, Bruges

 

De nacht van het museum te Brugge gaat dit jaar door op 24 juni.

Cones with changing colors of light show you the way during the Night of the Museums in Bruges.

If you are interested to know detailed info about Bruges in the form of  a photo blog :

Interesse in Brugge in detail in de vorm van een fotoblog ?

Bruggeblog  (in het Nederlands and in English)

 

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19-06-06

Beaufort II : Knokke, Zhan Wang, Floating Mountain of Immortals

 

A complete sunset at my disposal : pure luxury, a spectacle with continuously changing colors (and all for free), a work of art and a wonderful beach walk from Knokke till the nature reserve ‘het Zwin’.  We are here at the most east side of the Belgian coast and touching the border with the Netherlands.

With the shining rocks (a “jiashanshi” :  a natural rock but it also means a fake mountain rock)   that you see on these photos ZHAN WANG (°1962, China) questions tradition and authenticity, so the guide book of Beaufort II tells.  There are also human figures on the floating rock : hermits that are fishing, but they also would have a laptop and a cell phone.  I couldn’t see them : it was high tide and the rock was quite far. 

If you visit this place, I am looking forward to see your photo view on this piece of art.

 

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18-06-06

Evening walk at the seaside

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17-06-06

The joust (3/5) (steekspel Brugge 2006)

 

For the amusement of the public, but 704 years ago …

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16-06-06

The joust (2/5) (steekspel Brugge 2006)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In case you got curious :

Info about Flanders anno 1302, from clothes, weapons and food till the complete history of the Battle of the Golden spurs  :  the Liebaart organization.

Info over Vlaanderen anno 1302; van kleding, wapens en voeding over wapenschilden tot de volledige geschiedenis van de Guldensporenslag : de Liebaart vereniging

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15-06-06

The jousting tournament in Brugge : two stories

 

Well, there are two stories I can tell you about the jousting tournament in Bruges.  You may skip the first one.

 

1. It was a 30 € - disappointment for me because it was not what they had announced it would be.  The market wasn’t turned into a big swamp with natural obstacles, but into a small sand arena.  When the horses started riding, they already had to stop again.  There were no medieval Ladies. That the actors were world class and did spectacular stunts in movies as ‘The gladiator’,  yes I believe that, but their acts were very short and not fluently successive.  It was like you saw very short fragments of a movie and then what the actors did in between as well, and this narrated together by a circus presenter instead of by a storyteller.

History was done wrong and a battle and his fighters - late 13th century, period of a French capture of Flanders,  Guldensporenslag in 1302 : Flemings fight for their independence (and win !), two heroes from Bruges : Pieter De Coninck (a weaver) and Jan Breydel (a butcher) - were a bit ridiculised , at least in my eyes.  The huge white and the black screen in the background were very disturbing for getting good photos.

 

2. BUT let me zoom in on the show...
 
 

... and tell you a photo story of excitement, fights and heroes !!

“So please, ladies and gentlemen, enjoy the fight.  And we need your support ! So, when the Flemings fight, what can I hear ?”  YEAH, VLAANDEREN DE LEEUW (Flanders the lion), HOERA (huray), VOORUIT (go for it), (YOU CAN DO IT) ! (very loud)  “And what do I hear when a Frenchman is on the winning hand ?”  BOOH, BOOH (very loud too)   “Yes, you are a great audience !”

 

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14-06-06

Beaufort II : Portable temple of Ai Wei-Wei , Nieuwpoort

 

When I walked along the estuary of the river IJzer in Nieuwpoort (June 5) and I saw the mudflats of the nature reserve, the birds, the sail boats, the lighthouse and all this with the wind blowing real hard, I forgot everything else.  I had figured out that it should be possible to see the temple (Portable temple of AI WEI-WEI) at the other side of the river in the dunes with the binoculars but I was already at the beach before I remembered that.

More than 30 works of art of Beaufort II along the Belgian coastline can be visited till Oct.1

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13-06-06

Beaufort I : Nieuwpoort, Jan Fabre

 

The famous “SEARCHING FOR UTOPIA” of JAN FABRE (Beaufort I, 2003) : a giant sea turtle takes the artist with him/her to the sea, into the sea, across the sea, …

 

 

Until I saw this shining turtle, I couldn’t spend one good word about Jan Fabre with his hung up men, his use of shields of shining real beagles (more than thousands), 

 

 

his swan between the cover of a coffin,

 

 

his dining table with heads of men with a predators beak and covered with feathers (exhibition in the Royal Museum of Arts in Antwerp). 

 

 

It is not that I did not understand the meaning nor that I did not see beauty, but it was all very lugubrious and he takes the beauty of animals (killed and maybe some death by natural cause), he uses their beauty to make creations that look beautiful, it is not like painting or sculpting an animal, it is the animal itself that is used.  Anyway, when I saw the giant metal turtle on the dike, I saw his affinity with animals and I saw the artist and his enormous artistic power because this time it wasn’t overshadowed by lugubrious elements.

 

 

The Royal Museum of Arts in Antwerp (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen)  is a royal and magnificent environment for temporary exhibitions by the way; the old masterworks watching the newcomers.

 

 

Here you can try another one of Jan Fabre : a man stuck with his face in a painting (je neus overal insteken - stick one’s nose into everything) - it could be Jan Fabre himself (or maybe it is Jan Hoet, the retired museum conservationist ? I didn’t look in detail) - highly interesting for the public, but why does he have to stand in a pool of blood ?

 

 
Nota : in het museum is het toegestaan van foto’s te maken, als er evenwel toch onbedoeld rechten zouden zijn geschonden door het plaatsen van deze foto’s op een blog, kan de betrokkene mij dit vriendelijk laten weten en dan zal de foto verwijderd worden.

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12-06-06

Beaufort II : Nieuwpoort, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov (Oekraïne)

 

“The fallen sky” : it speaks for itself.  A very original idea, humoristic too.

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11-06-06

Beaufort II : Oostduinkerke, Jane Alexander

 

The composition of JANE ALEXANDER, a South-African artist (°1959) is overwhelming, it touched me, it impressed me deeply.

At the tram stop “Schipgat” you walk towards the beach and there is a canal boat in the sand (38 meters long).  Out of the hold a creature walks : it is the herald (voorbode) = the harbinger.

“HARBINGER WITH BARGE AND IMPERIAL LANDSCAPE (NORTH SEA)” is the title of this art installation.  Imperial landscape as description for the North Sea : that’s a match !  The harbinger : wonderful !! 

And then you walk into the hold of the barge : very pleasant wooden joists as a floor, orange metal sides with ribs, the sun light that falls in through the covering plates is yellow and blue, you are inside, it feels comfortable.  In this belly of the boat you meet hybrid figures, on the floor there are 500 pair of red plastic gloves and there are machetes : they point to the violent South-African history and the apartheid.  I understood by feeling.  It’s difficult but I am not going to show you the full Harbinger and only a small photo of the hold, so that there is room for you to go and experience it yourself.

 

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10-06-06

Jousting tournament in Brugge today, report starts on thursday

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09-06-06

Beaufort II : at Malibu beach (California, US) (read : de Panne, Belgium)

 
 
 

Yes, Malibu it says on the beach cabins ! But we are in de Panne, the most western place of the Belgian coastline, touching the border with France, however ... when you see :

 

 
 
 
 

A herd of ELEPHANTS walks towards the sea : I really wanted to see this and I am not disappointed, on the contrary ! I am very enthusiastic about it.

It is a work of the South-African ANDRIES BOTHA and a team of 10  black artists.

On Pieterbie’s blog you can find already 19 works of Beaufort II.  It is wise to take a preview so you can select what you really don’t want to miss. 

The guidebook of Beaufort 2006 (pocket, hard cover, 5 €) is interesting, but on the Beaufort-site there is not so much to find.

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Beaufort II : de Panne, boat by Andries De Zutter

In the west where the dunes are beginning and between sunbathing tourists, there lies a very light colored boat, not so easy to find.  DE ZUTTER carved it out of the stump of a lime tree.  His work is comparable to that of Botha, they say, because of the labour-intensivity and the use of natural materials. It did not move me.

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08-06-06

The finals

I restrict myself to these last photos of the Procession of the Holy Blood (Heilige Bloedprocessie, Brugge).  Don’t think you have seen it all now : there were 1750 participants so you can imagine how much there was to admire and to enjoy. 

If you would like to go : next year again on Ascension day (O.L.H.-Hemelvaartsdag). 

Next year there is also the Golden Tree Parade ( Gouden Boomstoet, Brugge) on Aug. 25 & 26 and that’s only every 5 years, so if you want to find out what it is that’s your chance.  I plan to go.  It is a commemoration of the royal marriage of Karel de Stoute (1433-1477) and Margareta van York.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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07-06-06

An evocation of the medieval market and street life

 
 
 

and then the girl with the pink glasses standing beside me pops into the medieval scene and this time I couldn’t avoid having her in the picture, but unexpectedly …. I like the result

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Oh, look …

 

Now she is pointing at a Roman.  Maybe it is a relative, …   Two Romans are distracted and noticeable push less hard than the others. 

And no, Flemings are not brown (nor orange), it’s just that the cosmetic shop did good business.

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06-06-06

6 / 6 / 6 : Devil’s day ?

Never heard of it before, but just to play safe : today some photos of devotion (Procession of the Holy Blood, Brugge)

 

 

 

 

The Procession consists of several parts :

  • scenes from the old testament,
  • the new testament with the evocation of the life of Christ,
  • the crusade and Diederik Van den Elzas who brings the holy blood of Christ to Bruges (1150), an evocation of the medieval everyday life (around 1150) with citizens of Bruges, members of the guilds, crusaders, market vendors, …
  • the clergymen with the shrine that keeps the ampule with the drops of the holy blood, figures of the Holy Mary,...

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Beaufort II

Yesterday I visited 4 works of art of Beaufort II (an outside exposition of works of art along the Belgian coastline).  To make the title real the wind was blowing hard, but the sun was present too.  With the coast tram you can travel very easy to the locations that you select, you can walk along the beach as far as you can and want, and then take the tram again.  It is a very pleasant manner to travel along the coastline and let you surprise by the art works.  I have some photos, but they have to wait a little while until I've finished my selection of photos of … the Procession of the Holy Blood as you might have guessed. Until June 11 there is an exposition in Antwerp of photos of  KAREL RIMANQUE ( Galerie Het vijfde huis ) , photos that present an unique look on the world of allotment gardens ( volkstuintjes ).  I always thought of allotment gardens as ‘quite a mess’ until more recently I started to see that it was a typical phenomenon of our time and place.  Garden houses and green houses in allotment gardens are often build of all sorts of reused and garbage like material and there seems to be a tendency that used materials stay there and never are cleaned up.  Anyway, K. Rimanque knows how to catch enchanting beauty by making use of reflections and looks through steamed up and moss-grown windows and plastic.  And the benefits of the sale are for Vredeseilanden (an support organization for poor farmers in the south).  The movie ‘THE PROMISE’ (Wu ji) of CHEN KAIGE is a Chinese fairytale and wuxia ( a Chinese sword epic ).  If you are a fairytale fanatic AND fascinated by the old Chinese culture (cloths, paintings, buildings,  …) like I am,  this is more than you could ever dream of.  Visual beauty, enchantment and  romance, it is a breathtaking movie. 

So was House of the flying daggers, made by Zhang Yimou.

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05-06-06

Two Holy Maries at the Cathedral of Antwerp

 
 

 

Motionless she sits before the Cathedral.  And that pays its way.

Every time that some money is dropped in her basket, she greets in silence and with holiness.  And when she does most donators (and not only the Japanese) bow for her !

 

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04-06-06

The statue of Brabo on the market of Antwerp

I am so used to it that I never looked in detail untill yesterday, shame on me because it is beautiful !

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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