In the Stationstraat in the town of Ninove, near Brussels, rows of stately mansions line both sides of the street. They typically feature an ornate front room, traditionally the “best room" of the house. Eleven of these rooms, renovated by the inhabitants to their own taste and still featuring many traditional details, were the venue for the exhibition STATIONSSTR.- NINOVE. Fifteen artists created installations that were related to the architectural and private atmosphere of the rooms and their access to the street.

Family Portraits

Nr 39: Veronique en Stef Van Den Brempt

A home is both a shelter and a place of free expression through the arrangement of treasured objects. It is, in a way, an extension of one’s own body, a shell of protection for the inner landscape. In this room I was surrounded by portrait paintings, but none were of the homeowners themselves.

Taking two portraits down from the wall, I replaced them with two “text portraits” of the owners. Working with the information they supplied to me through a questionnaire, and referring to the decorative elements on the walls and ceiling of the room, I created a portrait of each that I hope reflects to some extent their personality, likes, dislikes and secret dreams. I transformed the dining table into a “Battleship”-like game that reflected my perception of the power struggles in the relationship.

The displaced portraits became part of the group exhibition at a nearby location. They were displayed with an audio reciting texts taken from the homeowners’ questionnaires.