All Programme

New Songs for Old Cities


With Aziz Hazara, Che-Yu Hsu, Dani Gherc?, Diego Lama, Dries Boutsen, Elisa Pinto, Gaëlle Leenhardt, Hadassa Ngamba, Helen Anna Flanagan, Katya Ev, Luca Vanello, Nikolay Karabinovych, Nokukhanya Langa, Olivia Hernaïz, Oussama Tabti and Paulius Šliaupa

Curated by Daniella Géo, Piet Mertens and Pieternel Vermoortel

New Songs for Old Cities

New Songs for Old Cities is an exhibition that brings together ideas of residence, public address and art in an urban context.

The infrastructure we inhabit is old and often build for different purposes. Our streets date from hundreds of years ago. Our buildings are not neutral but loaded with memories, dreams and ambitions of various era.

The HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts) residents reflect upon how their work can inhabit a cityscape and the potential resonance of their artistic voice. A song can populate a place, provide a narrative, create a background, ranging from delightful, critical to unbearable painful. The immaterial nature of a song allows it to come and go, stick a little longer or disappear to be rediscovered and gain new meaning along the way. With this exhibition, we look at Aalst as a historically grown city with contemporary challenges. As such we ask ourselves how can we fuse other timbres, tonalities, melodies and rhythms? How can we transform cacophony in a harmonic multitude of voices? What are the songs of our time and which are the songs we wish to teach our children?

New Songs for Old Cities marks the beginning of a structural collaboration between Netwerk Aalst, HISK and Stad Aalst. Every second year a HISK resident will be commissioned to develop a project (exhibition, work, event) in the city of Aalst. Hereby the partners want to align artistic rhythms to that of the city. The collaboration provides artists with an urban landscape and the institutional support after recently having finalized the HISK program.