[ISEA2011] Paper: Elly Van Eeghem, Carlos Dekeyrel, Riet Steel & Griet Verschelden – Urban Cracks: Interstitial Spaces in the City


The growing number of neglected residual spaces are challenging the functioning of our cities. These interstitial spaces fall between the familiar boundaries of urban planning and are often labeled as wastelands, charactized by an apparent void. Urban cracks are conceptualised as in-between time spaces, where different logics meet and conflict.

Within the context of an ongoing interdisciplinary research project, studying the work of artists and social workers acting in urban cracks, this paper focuses on the research trajectory of visual artist Elly Van Eeghem. This research project takes place in Muide-Meulestede-Afrikalaan, a neighbourhood situated in the northern dockland area of Ghent in Belgium. The area is surrounded by water and characterized by harbour activities, residential quarters, heavy traffic, open space, industry and companies. A part of the neighbourhood is currently subject of a large-scale urban renewal project.

Through her practice of video and intervention in public space, Van Eeghem reflects on the role of artists in re-shaping urban cracks and the influence of these spaces in re-thinking artistic practice. Digital maps and audiovisual chronicles create a layered analysis and dynamic narration of our changing urban condition. Inspired by the concept of palimpsest, a layered reading of artistic practice in urban cracks is presented through video, photography and multimedia mapping.

  • Elly Van Eeghem is a visual artist who often works around consumption and movement in urban space. Her work takes shape through video, installation, intervention and photography. In 2010 she received the KBC Prize for Young Visual Artist during the national exhibition De Canvascollectie/La Collection RTBF at BOZAR in Brussels, Belgium. She currently collaborates on an interdisciplinary research project around urban cracks at KASK School of Arts in Ghent (BE). During ISEA2011 she will give a presentation on this research at Sabanci University on 21 September. ellyvaneeghem.be
  • Carlos DekeyrelRiet Steel  Griet Verschelden