Ecole supérieure des Arts

école supérieure des arts
bacheliers et masters
arts visuels
arts de l’espace




ESA St-Luc Bruxelles organizes an international workshop on boundaries from 18 to 22 February 2019.

If borders determine the boundaries of a particular territory or space, they do not necessarily limit the movement of people and goods, they also nurture exchanges. While they separate, they can also be crossed or even transgressed. At a time in history where the geopolitical stakes associated with borders are particularly preoccupying, ESA Saint-Luc Brussels has chosen to seize this issue by addressing it in the artistic field.

While borders can support the classification of human knowledge or skills, and determine the will of peoples, they also gain from being disputed or put into question. This is what this weeklong workshop proposes to address, by exploring the notion of the boundaries between artistic practices and by encouraging cross-border exchanges.

Obstacle or ideally-traced arbitrary line, the border is exposed...

  • Programme

    9 am - beginning of the workshop at the Maison des cultures de Saint-Gilles and ESA Saint-Luc
    4 pm - visit of ESA St-Luc
    5 pm - lecture by Lapo Bettarini, director of La Concertation / Action culturelle bruxelloise : "De creatieve weg : a cultural walkabout à travers les arts, l’espace et le temps"
    6.30 pm - welcome drink

    8.30 am-10 pm - workshop

    8.30 am-4 pm - workshop

    8.30 am-10 pm - workshop

    installation and inauguration of the exhibition of the works produced, followed by a drink at the Maison des Cultures de Saint-Gilles

    The exhibition will remain visible at the Maison des Cultures de Saint-Gilles for two weeks to allow schools to visit it and organize workshops around this theme during the carnival holidays and weekends. ESA students who have participated will be invited to present the exhibition to the visiting public.

  • Location

    Ecole supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc
    30, Place Louis Morichar - 1060 - Bruxelles

    Plan sur google map

    Maison des Cultures de Saint-Gilles
    120, Rue de Belgrade - 1060 - Bruxelles

  • Contact

    Cécile Thuillier
    Mail :
    Tel. : +32 (0)2 207 96 10

  • Sub-themes

     Interior boundaries

    The work would be undertaken around the idea of boundary between “mental health” and “insanity”. Around some of the concepts addressed by the notion of insanity :


    The “madman” threatens the establishment in our mental categories. Thanks to his unique and irreducible presence, he asserts through only his difference the impossible homogeneity of the social body. “Only the true Freak challenges the conventional boundaries between male and female, sexed and sexless, animal and human, large and small, self and other, and consequently between reality and illusion, experience and fantasy, fact and myth” (FIEDLER L.- Freaks : Myths and Images of the Secret Self, New-York : Simon and Schuster, 1978).
    The simple presence of the “madman” disturbs, shrinks or annihilates the boundaries that determine our differences in identity. He is an example that brings us to doubt of our own identity. The “madman” designates our fragility and indetermination, he becomes the mirror of ones’ self, of what cannot be brought to light in a normalizing society like ours. “Madness” makes us doubt of norms and conventions. It challenges what, deep inside us, in our “secret self”, is abnormal (what deviates from the norm, what is an average between all individuals).

    “Madness” challenges all codes of representation (of ones’ self and of the world). And therefore the world of images…

     Words without boundaries

    All languages are blended. Historically speaking, there are no more pure languages than there are pure races. Languages are among the most tangible testimonies of the coexistence and cohabitation of communities and cultures over time. Like humans who exchange and share, words are borrowed between languages, witnessing the fact that borders are sealed only by convention.
    The workshop allows us to question the dotted lines that separate us arbitrarily. Beyond the cartographic borders, we have the opportunity to explore our linguistic melting pot and to question it through image, typography or spatial installations.

     Gender perspective

    Fluctuating, uncertain, the gender perspective is difficult to delimit. The workshop invites participants to question this concept by reconsidering the position of the artist, understood as holder of sociocultural representations, whose different practices undoubtedly forge social relations.

     Of walls and sounds

    “In a given space, a partition is a structure which allows us to identify zones and to differentiate one place from another. For instance : a living room from a kitchen, one bedroom from another, or an office from a dining room. A partition is a panel separating two interior spaces within an interior.
    But beside these interior bubbles, separations and limits also exist outside the interiors, which we call walls. We are surrounded by many of them : walls of shame, the Green Line, the border barrier of Hungary, the wall of apartheid, the Atlantic wall, the Annexation Wall, the safety barrier, the Wall of Peace, the Great Wall, the Western Sahara Wall. Today, over twenty-one thousand kilometers of walls, equivalent to over half of the globe’s circumference, separate human beings. According to those who justify them, they serve to avoid conflicts, prevent terrorist acts, counter illicit contraband and stop the flow of migrants.

    Those walls, the political walls, designate limits, delimit, draw frontiers, exclude, extend exiles, and separate from enemies. But they separate also the same quantity in numbers of people who love each other”
    (SEYS, Pascale. - Et vous qu’en pensez-vous ?, Racine, 2018).

     Games without frontiers (song of Peter Gabriel)

    Frontiers are a game, which we impose on ourselves (for pleasure or by necessity), or from which we can suffer. The words of this song, structured in riddles so dear to Peter Gabriel, denounce and illustrate different realities. The ones we suffer rather than choose. We understand the political and philosophical contexts, worlds of egocentric, narcissistic and manipulative adults, while at the same time confronting them to the bright universes of children.
    Play, play games, they know that so well. And this playful young audience, without knowing all the rules, know how to free themselves from the frontiers imposed by civilizations and cultures. We invite you to join them in this vessel, this nave, with destination the open mind, across all horizons.

    The song denounces these different aspects, the ridiculous concept of competition, worthless if we are just ourselves relative to the other, without empathy. The nuclear terror it evokes also reminds us of this : stay at home, or I will attack ! While the history of mankind proves until today that it never stopped penetrating the most sought-after territories. So, together, let us enjoy ourselves by unravelling the imaginary threads of these frontiers, and using them to weave new stories.

     Barbed wires / multiple boundaries
    Engraving workshop : soft varnish etching technique

    By changing perspective, positioning ourselves differently with respect to a boundary marked with barbed wire, tensions can become greater, atmospheres more dramatic.
    Nature’s invasiveness, its way of hiding the barbed wire, the boundary, digesting it, integrating it into the scenery, reinforces more discrete, slower, deeper battles.
    In the night, boundaries move between certain French farmers, because nature hides their position and some farmers make them reappear a little further away, to win a bit of territory.
    The traces of boundaries are inconspicuous, easy to manipulate, aggressive.
    Barbed wire is commonplace in our countryside, but elsewhere ?