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Laurent Liefooghe Architectuur - RE-AXIS

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Installation at Kunsfort near Haarlem / 2005
The ‘Kunstfort’ is a center for contemporary art housed in a 19th century fortress near Haarlem in the Netherlands. The building was part of Amsterdam’s defense infrastructure and was used during both world wars. It is now recognized by Unesco as a protected monument. The structure consists of a symmetrical bunker that is buried on one side and that has a long, rhythmical façade on the other. It is situated in a typical arcadian and artificial Dutch landscape. On the inside is a series of vaulted rooms, the concrete walls and ceilings of which are overwhelmingly massive.  In this building, whose material mass seems greater than the actual space it offers, I set myself the following tasks: (A) Give an expression to my stay at the Fort by confronting the residency with the monument in which I was residing. (B) Unmask the classical monument’s inability to cope with life. (C) Investigate the possibilities of a contemporary monumental language that would be the expression of (my) life rather than the representation of an existing order. In this sense to search for a monumentality that could be fragile rather than aggressive and that would dialogue with the existing context rather than imposing itself on that context. A monumentality that would propose an abstraction deduced from what is there and not one based on a transcendental idea.

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