TV works

Vertoog en Literatuur

Vertoog en Literatuur (Exposé & Literature) was the literary component of Antwerp 93: Cultural Capital of Europe. In a society accustomed to spectacle, where literature was in danger of going by the wayside, Vertoog en Literatuur resolutely chose the intimacy of the book, paying tribute to the culture of Western writing in all its diversity. Philosophers Bart Verschaffel and Marc Verminck, assisted by practitioners of various scientific disciplines, edited a series of austerely designed books, which had nothing to do with the slick commercial product that some apparently wanted most books to be. In addition to the Programmaboek, with drawings by Benoît, which had garnered praise at the Frankfurt Book Fair, they published six other booklets: 1. Lijn, grens, horizon (Line, Border, Horizon); 2. Woordenloosheid (Wordlessness); 3. Provincialismen: ontworteling (Provincialism: Uprooting); 4. Zoölogie, Over (post-)moderne dieren (Zoology: on (Post-)Modern Animals); 5. Orthodoxie (…) Applaus (Orthodoxy (…) Applause); 6. Restauraties. Vormen van herstel (Restorations: Forms of Recovery); and a supplement, Over het interessante (On the Interesting). All of these were abstract notions which the reader saw take shape in essays by a variety of Flemish and European literary people, artists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists and philosophers. In a city where the far-right had begun making advances, the continually recurring theme of ‘the foreign’ lent additional relevance to the book project. A translation of the texts in French, German and/or English was also presented. These poems, stories, essays and commentaries were further supplemented by a selection of ‘interesting’ contemporary Flemish art criticism, in Het vel van Cambyses (The Skin of Cambyses); a French translation of Paul Van Ostaijen’s Bezette Stad (Occupied City) by Willy Devos; a box designed by Panamarenko (Nouvelle synthèse d’Anvers, New Synthesis of Antwerp) containing a collage in three languages of new and existing texts on Antwerp; a CD with sounds of the city; and Jef Cornelis’ 52-minute dystopian video essay on the metropolis, Voyage à Paris. No space had been reserved, however, for such commercially successful contemporary Flemish writers as Herman Brusselmans, Kristien Hemmerechts or Tom Lanoye. Lanoye protested and drew up a petition that a great number of his fellow authors signed. [Eveline Vanfraussen]