Dromen Ninove was my project for the international art biennial, Krasj 4, housed in a soon-to-be-demolished telecommunications building in the center of Ninove, Belgium.
Dromen Ninove began with an open call to the city’s residents to send me their dreams anonymously. For the duration of the exhibition, fragments of these dreams appeared throughout the city—on posters in public squares, at bus stops and in shop windows, on coasters in bars and restaurants, and tucked into bakery bags and books purchased at the bookstore. Residents were confronted with fragments of their own subconscious, now in a public setting, exposing the fantastical and illogical foundation that underlies our material reality.
My room-sized installation in the main exhibition building featured the dream texts, along with a large painting of the medieval city map, with a text that refers to a well-known historical event, one that has its origins in a place somewhere between reality and the world of dreams:
The inhabitants of Ninove were nicknamed Wortelkrabbers because, when the army from Aalst was on its way to invade Ninove, the residents couldn’t find the key to lock the city gate, and in their haste used a carrot to bolt the door. However, a donkey escaped its pen and scratched the carrot from the bolt and ate it, leaving the gate wide open to the approaching army. Since then, the carrot is the symbol of the city and can be found in the Ninove carnival logo, among other places.