13 June 2017

A N T W E R P 3

Wednesday began at Faber Makerspace, a sort of workshop for creatives who need machines like 3D-printers, laser cutters and such. We looked at a 3D printer creating sunglasses and I still don't understand how it actually works...
Next to Faber's was PinkEye, a design bureau that does all sorts of graphic design. They had decorated walls with raw, golden wood and in a corner was this slot machine with little white butt figures they had made for fun one time.
We had lunch at Mercado (Groenplaats 43), a food hall partly inspired by Torvehallerne in Copenhagen. The décor was a bit more urban and cool than its Danish counterpart - and located in an old post office building instead of a newly built Scandinavian simplicity.
I did send my greeting to the homeland as I fell for the temptation and ordered smørrebrød (open faced sandwiches). There were so many great stalls to choose from - Mexican, Malaysian, Chinese - but the smørrebrød just looked too good to pass up. And it was wonderful, albeit a little under-salted. But I'm a tough judge.
Speaking of Denmark, we came by this café on our way to our next destination. I think it's hilarious that everybody wants to incorporate our little concept og hygge, and I was asked whether it's a propaganda push from the Danish government. I don't think so but no matter what it seems to have worked!
After lunch, we visited Plus-One Gallery (Sint-Hubertusstraat 57). Located in the backhouse, I immediately wanted to move into the airy rooms with leafy views out the window. And just look at this office!
José looking at art. By the way, check out his beautiful work here!
Outside was this beautiful facade. I love the leaves crawling over the tiles and the window and the bike. A little girl peaked outside the door, just before I snapped the photo.
Later, we went out for dinner. All mornings and all afternoons looked like this: the gang meeting up outside the hotel before going somewhere. We would catch each other up on events that had happened in those few hours of not seeing each other, and now looking at this photo I really wish I could hang out with them all again. Such a cool bunch!
Dinner was at Fosbury and Sons, one of the coolest venues I've ever been to. It's an office collective who took over an old office building from 1958. It hasn't been open for more than a few months but has already become a sensation, and I can understand why. Who wouldn't want to work in those surroundings?
The venue was also where the exhibition would be. We were 13 who had been invited to Antwerp by ThisIsAntwerp, and six of us were artists. Before coming to Antwerp, they had collaborated with six local artists on art works that were to be exhibited while we were in the city. Wednesday night, we hung up the pieces - they were all so beautiful! - and admired the works. Some of us hung around a few bottles of wine and ended up having long discussions about men, feminism, being children of divorce, and other things. It was such a powerful conversation, and it was one of my favourite moments of the whole trip. I love the bond women can create instantly no matter where they're from.
I was invited to Antwerp by VisitAntwerp. They showed us around the city and took us to restaurants and to meet locals. I haven't received any money and everything I write or photograph is of my own opinion and responsibility.

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