“Cities are like open-air museums. It sounds like an idealistic dream, but I am striving to realize this dream. Confronting a public surrounded by art every day. Art has a positive influence on people and their personal development: it broadens their horizons and renders them more tolerant towards differences in society.”
Arne Quinze, a Belgian artist known for his unconventional public installations who is speaking at the 2016 Chicago Forum on Global Cities
Contemporary artist Arne Quinze is known for constructing large public installations in cities all over the world since the late 1990s. He has taken on the mission to change cities into open-air museums and has been involved in large-scale public installations in the city centers of São Paulo, Shanghai, Brussels, New York, Beirut, Humen (Hong Kong), and Munich among others. He has a clear message to attract people to unusual spaces and confront them with the question of rethinking their everyday environment.
Contemporary cultures, which is taught in specific institutes such as museums, theatres, and universities are a necessity. Yet these places are only visited by a small group of people in our society. Arne Quinze’s daily quest consists of changing this habit and expanding the path toward culture, education, and liberty to make them more accessible to everyone.
One notable example of this experience can be seen in the small city of Mons in southern Belgium. Mons was named the 2015 European Capital of Culture (jointly with Pilsen in the Czech Republic) by the European Commission. Throughout the year, the city hosted over 300 events, ranging from a major Van Gogh exhibition to a maze of 8,000 sunflowers. “The most impressive new work of modern art,” according to the Guardian, was Arne Quinze’s sprawling wooden structure, called The Passenger.
Belgian artist Arne Quinze's public installation "The Passenger" on display at Rue de Nimy in the city of Mons, Belgium.
The Passenger was created out of 26 kilometers of FSC-inspected wood from ecologically regulated sources. It was constructed specifically for the city of Mons. It measures 43 meters long and 16 meters high, taking up Rue de Nimy in the old center of Mons. After three years of cultural, demographic and engineering studies, the construction was completed on October 15, 2015. In 2020, the art installation will be fully recycled.
The Passenger symbolizes the flux of people who have gone down Rue de Nimy since its beginnings in the 13th century as the main entrance to the Grand-Place in Mons, one of the more important centers of commerce in the province of Hainaut in medieval times. It aims to concentrate on the cultural, religious and moral evolution of our modern society by intervening into the daily lives of passers-by.
People view Arne Quinze's public installation "The Passenger" at night in Mons, Belgium.
“The curiosity about how we live, communicate with each other and our relationship with nature, has nurtured the research for my public installations and work. People are always central to all my work,” says Arne Quinze.
Arne Quinze is a Belgian artist known for his unconventional public installations. He will be speaking at the 2016 Chicago Forum on Global Cities. For more information visit www.arnequinze.com.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion in blog posts are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council.
Jamil Anderlini, the Financial Times’ Asia editor, and Kurt Tong, former US Consul General in Hong Kong, join Deep Dish to examine how Hong Kong might impact the US-China rivalry.
The University of Chicago's Robert Pape joins Deep Dish to help us understand the right—and wrong—ways to end the United States’ longest war.
Agriculture expert, Khalid Bomba, takes a minute to discuss the importance of agriculture to the economy of Ethiopia.
Georgetown University Political Scientist and Expert on Chinese Military and Security Policy, Oriana Skylar Mastro, takes a minute to discuss China's global influence and what this means for the US and its allies.
Global Cities and ACLS/Mellon Public Fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Samuel Kling, takes a minute to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on big cities and how cities can benefit from high density in a pandemic.
Over the last month, we talked to journalists around the world in a series of special edition Deep Dish episodes focused on how countries around the world are responding to COVID-19.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Bonnie Glaser and Lieutenant Commander Matthew Dalton, US Navy, join Deep Dish to examine China’s strategy and potential US policy options to ensure freedom of navigation remains intact.
Will President Maduro hold on to his power? The Inter-American Dialogue’s Michael Camilleri and the International Crisis Group’s Ivan Briscoe join Deep Dish to discuss.
As life returns to normal for many Germans this week, The Wall Street Journal’s Bojan Pancevski joins Deep Dish from Berlin to examine Germany’s reopening strategy.
Brookings’ Suzanne Maloney and the German Marshall Fund’s Ariane Tabatabai join Deep Dish to examine the future of the US-Iran standoff.
Council senior fellow Roger Thurow takes a minute to discuss how COVID-19 has affected food security and brought attention to hunger amid the abundance in the United States.
For an organization devoted to advancing the connections between Chicago and the world, the arrival of pandemic coronavirus has been as jarring as it is surreal. But the Chicago Council is adjusting to a new way of working.
As New Zealand prepares to emerge from a national lockdown on April 27, Axios’ Rebecca Falconer joins Deep Dish from Auckland.