Souriez on se détruit

Franco-Belgian artistic proposal With the participation of Nicolas Buissart, Belgian artist working in Charleroi.
  • In the continuity of her work on memory and identity, Simone Simon is interested in abandoned places. It was following a documentary, in which a young artist named Nicolas Buissart proposed an urban safari in the ugliest city in Belgium, Charleroi, that the artist decided to go there. A French-speaking city located in the Walloon region, Charleroi is at the center of a vast, totally abandoned coal basin. She will realize a series of visuals which questions the memory of the place through strongly connoted sites which took part and especially made the wealth of the region. In opposition to Charleroi is Nieuwpoort, a coastal town and holiday resort located in the Flemish region. The real estate frenzy has not spared the coastline, which is now lined with huge gray buildings. The ruins of a vacation camp, then reserved for RTT personnel, now Belgacom, have been captured by the industrial wasteland. Built in the fifties by Henri Lacoste (1885/1968), Belgian militant architect and original figure of Belgian modern art, the site was partly destroyed. Abandonment of a holiday resort, abandonment of industrial sites, these remains mark the end of a twentieth century where economic logic leads to radical social responses. Simone Simon's gaze crosses these places and questions the nature of the events that took place with a hindsight that is free of nostalgia to make room for raw images where man, in the background, is omnipresent. Hélène Fincker Director of the Villa Cameline Exhibition in 2011 at the abandoned house Villa Cameline, Nice