Exhibition A House for the Mind, 13 October 2017-14 January 2018
Flanders Architecture Institute, deSingel International Arts Campus & KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture and Luca School of Arts
deSingel International Arts Campus – Expo
The exhibition A House for the Mind goes in search of the tangible world around Dom Hans van der Laan’s philosophy.
In 1977, the architect and monk Dom Hans van der Laan published his treatise Architectonic Space, Fifteen Lessons on the Disposition of the Human Habitat. This is a theory that seeks to capture the essence of spatial experience as a foundation for the design process. The exhibition A House for the Mind goes in search of the tangible world around Van der Laan’s philosophy. Architectonic Space, which up to now has been a hermetic work, will on this one occasion be thrown open, exposing the past to the future.
Whilst he was writing his treatise, Van der Laan was building Roosenberg Abbey in Waasmunster. In this project, he intuitively worked with concepts such as ‘proximity’ and ‘superposition’ as spatial gestures for stillness and spirituality on the one hand, and intensity of encounter on the other. As well as original drawings and models, A House for the Mind will present fresh analyses by academics and artists on teaching material, furniture, tableware, clothing and typography by Van der Laan. These are the silent witnesses to a sojourn at the abbey.
In addition to his strict idea of proportion, Van der Laan also believed in creating a certain atmosphere. For this reason, the exhibition makes room for three artists whose art refers to the tactile nature of his work. The German photographer Friederike Von Rauch exhibits a series of photos that she made while staying in Roosenberg Abbey. Ingel Vaikla, a film-maker from Estonia, displays a moving portrait of the nuns during their final days in Roosenberg. And Esther Venrooy, a Dutch sound artist, developed a soundscape representing life in the abbey.