La Botiga de l’Anson
21 x 29,7 cm, 80 p, ills b&w, paperback, Dutch / English / Catalan
edition of 300
The towering sign saying ‘Meubelgalerie Vynckier’ rises up in an ordinary street in the urbanised town of Waregem. The advertising message does not adorn the façade, but covers almost the entire blank side wall, which in Belgium is known as a ‘waiting wall’. In anticipation of a neighbour who will build his terraced house or business premises against it, this side wall, in brick and lacking any windows, contributes to the phenomenon of typically Flemish or Belgian ribbon development. The architecture, with its glazed brick and large glass display windows tells us that Meubelgalerie Vynckier must have been built at some time in the 1950s. The period of Expo 58, when Flanders, and with it the rural district of Waregem, enthusiastically embraced modernism.
The Vynckier furniture business now no longer exists. An artist has moved into the workshops and makes the showroom available as an exhibition space. However, Meubelgalerie Vynckier was part of another modernity, another vision of furnishings, than that in which the Catalan artist Martí Anson grew up. Joaquim, Martí’s father, designed and manufactured furniture with the approach of the modernist avant-garde, which did not conceive of utility objects as an artistic craft or as reduced to the role of consumer goods, but as ‘constructions’ that contributed to building a better – and more social – society .
La Botiga de l’Anson (Anson’s Shop), the project at Meubelgalerie Vynckier, does not simply show a number of pieces of furniture inspired by Anson’s father’s work. It is actually an ambiguous installation. It is in fact a revival of a project that he had already developed for the Species of Spaces exhibition at the MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona).
In collaboration with Be-PART, Waregem.