Laurent Reypens at Inspired By ... Bruges Triennial 2021

This year, the Bruges Triennial focuses on the theme 'TraumA'. During this edition, there will be a search for the hidden and a balance between dream and reality. TraumA shows the less visible side of 'picture perfect' Bruges and dives into the mysterious and frightening history and reality of the city. It explores the thin line between dream and trauma, between paradise and hell. It appeals to the imagination, to the splendour and the beauty, but also to the creepiness that is present underground. 

Laurent Reypens is exhibiting his installation 'Acqua Alta' in Bruges under the title 'Inspired by ... Triennial Bruges 2021'. 

Acqua Alta' refers to Laurent's personal connection with Bruges and Venice. With this exhibition, he wants to demonstrate the biased power of water. Bruges and Venice had a glorious past thanks to the water that flowed through their city centres, but that same water also meant their downfall: the access waters to Bruges silted up, causing the city to suffer an economic decline. The flourishing Venice has also suffered from flooding since time immemorial, and these floods are becoming more and more intense thanks to global warming. 

We all face major problems or traumas like Bruges and Venice. Water is necessary. We all need water. We live from water. We are water. In our region, water is still easily available, but will it stay that way? Other continents have long fought against water, but also for water. Water is indispensable, not only for human survival, but also for our continued existence - for example, the growth of crops. Climate change is threatening a shortage of (drinking) water. Investing in water has become quite normal ... and so water is gradually becoming the new gold.

But the hope for a better perspective is possible ...  And nocturnal walks in Bruges and Venice made Laurent dream. Dreams of a better, more prosperous future. This hope is expressed in dark, exotic lilies that symbolise wealth and prosperity. 

They shimmer softly in the obscure ‘Minnewater’ and ‘Canal Grande’. But although the memories of the glorious past retain their glory, in the end they will be no more than memories. Of something that was. Thus water shows its two faces through 'Acqua Alta': it is not only a source of life, but also a mirror of death.


Acqua Alta
From 8 May to 27 June 2021
Open every day from 11 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays
Free entrance
Address: Het Atelier, 's Gravenstraat 2, Bruges
Free shuttle bus from the station and the centre. Bus stop: Calvariebergstraat