Under the heading 'Paleisje Pimpen?' young people between 16 and 25 were given carte blanche to give their own interpretation to the collections of the renovated Gruuthusemuseum, resulting into an exhibition in the attic of the museum. In the meantime, the project was succeeded by a new one at the beginning of 2020: 'Brikl'Young'.
This initiative lays the foundation for making the museums in Bruges youth-proof.
In the autumn of 2018, Musea Brugge started a search for young and creative talent to take part in its 'Pimping the Palace' project. A group of young people between the ages of 16 and 25 years were given carte blanche to create their own artistic content for the attic of the Gruuthusemuseum, which at that time was still undergoing renovation.
The philosophy behind 'Pimping the Palace' was to show that a museum collection and the stories it tells are not only important for understanding the past, but can also be socially relevant for the world of today. The 'Pimping the Palace' crew looked for and found their own way to present their ideas to the public in an exhibition, here in Studio +. With their innovative and thought-provoking installation, the young people offered an interpretation of the museum's collection that was rooted in their own contemporary environment
Now that this first project has been completed, it is intended to start a second one. On the foundations of 'Pimping the Palace' will now be built 'Brikl'Young'. With this new initiative, the Musea Brugge young crew will finally be given a name of their own. And their experimental voyage of discovery through the Groeningemuseum will continue.
For a full five years Musea Brugge worked to develop a new concept and an improved visitors' trajectory for the Gruuthusemuseum. During this process, it was not simply the voice of the museum's staff that was important. The 'Pimping the Palace' project also allowed a group of young people to have their say. Supported by De Batterie art foundation, the young people accepted the challenge to set their own stamp on the museum through co-creative interaction.
Focusing on four different artistic disciplines - photography, video, installation and music - the young people worked together for five months under the supervision of four artists. They were immersed in the collection of the Gruuthusemuseum and learned a great deal about the objects and stories. Within this framework, they explored ways to respond in a contemporary manner to what they had seen. The result was a fascinating and idiosyncratic exhibition in the attic of the new museum
The plaster sculptures gave the historical context of each room a new and modern re-interpretation. The soundscapes strengthened this interpretation with experience-enhancing montages based on the spirit of the times in the different rooms. The photography transported us into the world of transformation, reflecting a museum enveloped in scaffolding. The video films confronted visitors with the young crew's personal interpretation of the image of people in the museum story.
The exhibition was opened in style on 24 May 2019. During a celebratory re-opening evening, thousands of young people from Bruges were able to explore the renovated museum and its historic forecourt, accompanied by the music of a special dj-set.
Following completion of 'Pimping the Palace', Musea Brugge and the young people who worked on the project were keen to develop a new initiative. The crew visited a number of inspirational locations to brainstorm about the future direction of this initiative.
This resulted in the birth of 'Brikl'Young': a youth programme that will continue to make its mark on Musea Brugge in the years ahead. This programme has laid the foundations for the elaboration of new challenges that will make museums in Bruges more 'youth-proof' in the future, by allowing the museal stories of young people to also be told.
The possibilities are endless and the 'Brikl’Youngers' are raring to go! The development of an app, QR code or Instagram tour and other ideas for the creation of new exhibitions are among the earliest options under discussion. One thing is certain: the story of these young people is still far from being told!
The name is derived from the West Flemish word brikkeljon, meaning 'crushed bricks' or 'brick waste'. In short, the kind of material that is recycled to make new creations.
Brikl’Young is therefore a combination of 'brikkeljon' and 'young': an ideal name for young people who want to give new shape and form of their own imagining to the stories told in our museum. And the first story they want to add is the story of their own genesis. By reducing their creations from 'Pimping the Palace' to 'brikkeljon', they will create the 'waste' that will form the basis for their future work.
After 'Paleisje Pimpen?' the youth crew of Musea Brugge went in search of a new challenge.
This resulted in the birth of 'Brikl'Young': a youth programme that will continue to make its mark on Musea Brugge in the years ahead. It was the young people themselves who chose this new name, created their own logo and devised the scenario for a symbolic video that will serve as a finishing touch to their own collective work of art.
Paleisje Pimpen? and Brikl'Young are in collaboration with the non-profit organisation De Batterie.
Concept & performance: Brikl'Young
Recording & editing: Didier Volckaert
Recording, production & mix sound: Dijf Sanders
Coordination and contact: Lieven De Visch