Brussels cityscape reveals an amalgamate of languages, cultures and people. Its Art Nouveau buildings sit cheek by jowl with graceless office blocks while the country’s famous political disorganization has an analogue in the capital’s chaotic, fraying street plan.
When zoomed in upon, these streets reveal yet another reflection of Brussels’ disarray: bricolage of name tags and coordinates, doorbells of all sorts affixed to and dangling from the city’s walls.
The doorbells mark not only its corresponding inhabitants, but also lend the latter a status within the Belgian social system, an administrative locus – a domiciliation – from which they can partake in the country’s social scheme. Each one of them withholds an intimate story, a tale of how its owner reached the country and made it its own – from refugees and migrants to expats and those gone astray. These are the lives and voices that populate Parlophones, a poignant, solemn and utterly intimate sound installation. Parlophones’ s collection of doorbells invite its public to press their button and listen to the stories of those who arrived in Brussels and made it their home.
Parlophones was presented as part of the exhibition BXL UNIVERSEL II: Multipli.city. With Parlophones - parcours, Oussama Tabti brings the installation to the public space. On 7 locations throughout the city of Brussels different doorbell collections are installed inviting you to listen to a multitude of stories as you stroll around town.
is a visual artist who graduated from Algiers' School of Fine Arts and Aix-en-Provence's School of Art. Currently he is a student at the HISK post-graduate programme in Ghent. Tabti was born in Algiers in 1988, and lives and works between Brussels and Marseille. His work takes a critical look at hermetic geopolitics, consisting of impassable frontiers and cultures that curl up on themselves. In his own way, he denounces the difficulty of moving in a world that is indeed globalised but also suspicious, frightened by 'the stranger' and by difference. This season Moussem supports the project 'Parlophones' together with the Goethe-Institut. This installation will be presented from March 2021 onwards in the context of BXL Universel II: multipli.city and will have a sequel in the Brussels public space in September 2021. It is the start of a long-term residency at Moussem.
Production: Moussem Nomadic Arts Centre
Supported by Goethe-Institut Brussels, Perruche-programme
icw: Argos, Beit asbl, Gluon, GC Ten Noey, Lagrange Points
centre for audiovisual arts, Rue du Chantier / werfstraat 13, 1000 Bruxelles
Platform for art science and technology, Rue de l'Abattoir / Slachthuisstraat 4, 1000 Bruxelles
Nomadic Art Center, Rue des Mégissiers / Zeemtouwersstraat 6 1070 Bruxelles
Centre d'action sociale italien, Rue Saint Guidon / sint-guidostraat 94, 1070 Bruxelles
Lagrange Points Brussels
, Rue des Tanneurs / Huidevettersstraat 114, 1000 Bruxelles,
Gemeenschapscentrum Ten Noey
Rue de la Commune / Gemeentestraat 25, 1210 Bruxelles
Cultural center Avenue des Saisons / Jaargetijdenlaan 4, 1050 Bruxelles