A work by the Finnish artist, Kaarina Kaikkonen, was unveiled on Tuesday at the end of the day, on the lift in the Brussels Les Marolles district. The unveiling took place in the presence of the Alderwoman for Culture at Brussels City Council, Karine Lalieux, the Brussels Minister for Mobility, Pascal Smet, and the Finnish Ambassador, Timo Ranta. The installation entitled, “If I had wings” will now remain in place until September 3rd.
Kaarina Kaikkonen is a major Finnish artist. She is well-known for environmental art. In the past, she has produced two Brussels installations, in particular a participatory work made of shirts in 2013 at the Hotel NH Carrefour de l’Europe. The artist notes, “The work is made of the T-shirts of people living here.” She goes on, “This part of the city – Les Marolles – is genuinely very multi-cultural. It is a dream for freedom. Every T-shirt is like a message saying ‘Look, I am here.’”
Karine Lalieux stresses, “The work will become integrated within the journey being made by Brussels City Council’s Street Art.” She says, “Moreover, further up you can see that an artist is working on the columns of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The point of Street Art is to question society.”
Pascal Smet with the artist and Arts Lab Brussels
Pascal Smet believes that it is important now for “…this artwork to be prepared by, with and for the people. There is continuity in the artist’s work. It deals with the human condition, hope and inspiration…We are going through a period where people are fearful, and where people blame others for things that they have not done. There is a fear of foreign countries, an increased sense of nationalism here and abroad, and even the splendid European project has become complicated to explain to people.”
The concept was developed in collaboration with ifalaboratory, a company specializing in active mediation in cultural relations. Arts Lab Brussels has taken part in the project management for the work.