On 24 May 2019, the Boghossian Foundation and the City of Brussels inaugurated the sculpture Spaces in-between, by artist Nadim Karam, on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, opposite the Villa Empain.
This joint initiative reflects a shared desire to exhibit art in the city and to integrate culture into the urban landscape. The Boghossian Foundation wishes to make available its collection of monumental works as part of a major cooperation with the City of Brussels.
The desire of Lebanese artist Nadim Karam is to “make cities dream”, in response to the war he has known. “For me, to create an urban art project is to communicate with the essence of a city and come to a better understanding of its people, culture and dynamics. I try to project a dream for the city that only materializes when the city and its people get involved and begin working with me.”
The sculptural installation reflects on the relationship between East and West. “Hectic, chaotic and fragmented are words that define our trajectory. Absorbing all of these, we have to learn to negotiate and navigate our way patiently.”
When we refer to East and West today, these words frequently evoke a tension between two geographical areas, along with distinct identities and contradictory world views. Words that have been used over the centuries, with differing interpretations and ever-changing boundaries. For Nadim Karam, the underlying issue could be a cross-cultural miscommunication between East and West, but also within each of the two divides.
These two sculptures aim to visualize the blank spots on the maps of communication, by reflecting on this unclear boundary between East and West by having the same ambiguous circular line contour drawn on their surface, with memories growing on either side of the borders. If one were to combine the two together, there would be both memory overlaps and gaps.
Standing face to face, these two circular surfaces trigger a historical dialogue that intersects in many places and yet that contains breaches. The other side of the each of the sculptures is fully perforated by an array of 1cm circular wholes that follow attractor poles to allow the light to seep in, offering better visibility of the patterns. It offers spectators the chance to imagine and retrace the fluctuations of sociocultural and geographical borders. If one stands in the middle, the reflection of either would make a completely patterned surface that is fully perforated with memories.