From April 20 until June 25, an urban and contemporary art exhibition has opened in Ixelles, Brussels. Talk C.E.C, a cultural incubator that actively engages with environmental issues by organising exhibitions to raise public awareness of ecological issues, has given the former porcelain factory Demeuldre a second life by transforming this almost two centuries-old space into an inspiring, as well as a confronting, immersive art experience. They did so with the contributions from Belgian and international scientists and artists, who joined forces to give a voice to the facts of life for the seas and oceans of the world under climate change. Among the BIRA-IASB scientists were Noel Baker and Ermioni Dimitropoulou.
This work is the product of a collaboration between Ermioni Dimitropoulou and the artist Rub.qbe (Gabriele Rossi).
Cruise ships can emit trace gases such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, fine particles and other volatile organic compounds. These emissions have been linked to negative effects on human health, and can also affect the environment, including aquatic ecosystems and effects on climate change. Nevertheless, many modern ships are equipped with emission reduction technologies, such as particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems, which significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants.
A vertically constructed work in which the different boats are each crushed by the weight of the other. An obvious denunciation of the current state of the seas and its main pollutants. This work is based on the same visual concept as Rub.qbe's previous creation "Crushed Police Cars".
Noel Baker contributed several paintings, inspired by the knowledge gathered through her research, which confronts her daily with the hard facts we must all, somehow, face:
This piece is inspired by the fact that I’m a climate scientist, and part of my research is to understand the changes that are happening to the seas and oceans of the world under climate change. What we’re discovering is that, as oceans become warmer, and as they become more acidic, actually a new type of life is flourishing: bio luminescent life, which is both beautiful and magical to see. But also scary because it’s drowning out and killing other forms of life.
So, in this piece, I imagine a world where humans have killed off most of the species, including ourselves, and a new form of life has emerged under the sea. Every species you see here is completely new, it doesn’t exist right now. It’s all fiction. And every single one glows.
Programme for Scientific Lectures
The Demeuldre factory doesn't only host a wild array of beautiful art pieces, but also a series of (free) lectures and workshops by scientists in the field. The lectures and workshops given by BIRA-IASB scientists are listed below. For the full programme, please consult the Talk C.E.C website.
- Friday May 5 from 12h-15h : Philippe Demoulin
Workshop : "Construis ton propre spectroscope" (Build your own spectroscope)
- Saturday May 6 at 17h : Noel Baker
Lecture : "Ethical implications of human impact on the environment"
- Sunday May 7 at 16h : Noel Baker
Lecture : "Communicating science through art"