Salon Walt Van Beek

3 Nov 2016
Potsdamer Straße 50, 10785 Berlin, Germany

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2pm at Neue National Galerie

Berlin Traces
in my mother’s footsteps/in my own footsteps

Walt Van Beek’s research project is about two intimate storylines that are in dialogue with each other, placing them in juxtaposition or even in contraposition.

The first storyline is personal and derives from long time ago. It explores his mother’s experiences when she was living in Berlin in the 1960’s. Going ‚in my mother’s footsteps’ Walt visited the places his mother has been to, capturing traces of her past in photo, video and sketches.

The second storyline is personal and of today. It reveals his passion for skateboarding since his teenage years in metropolises all over the world, especially in Paris and Berlin. ‘In my own footsteps’, Walt has been skateboarding through Berlin, with the purpose of making a photo database of skater spots and of him inventing concepts, prints and performances. In both stories the city of Berlin develops into a third protagonist besides Walt Esch Van Beek’s and his mother’s.

A publication is the result of his residency at AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz has been made. It consists of a series of ‚city shapes‘ in combination with written memories of his mother, Beatrice Esch. The graphic design of the publication has been realised in collaboration with Anton Stuckardt.

Recommended readings:

Raphael Zarka: „On A Day With No Waves. A Chronicle Of Skateboarding 1779-2009″!“
Guy Debord:’Theory of the Dérive‘ (1956)
Alain Robbe-Grillet: „Jealousy“ (1957)
Henri Lefèbre: „Critique of the everyday life“
Brandon Joyce: „Kinetic Essays“
Bobby Young: „Why Skateboarding Matters to Architecture“

Walt Esch Van Beek
*1981, works and lives in Brussels, BE
Walt Van Beek’s practice is located at the crossroads of design, performance, painting and installation. His work stems from his childhood as a skater. For 20 years he has skateboarded in a professional and almost obsessive manner. His literal ideas resulting in performances and designs fit in urban terrain and clearly work in constant contact with the public place.
Having initiated several collaborative projects and exhibition formats such as Wai Wai Space (Brussels) and w-o-l-k-e (Brussels), collaborations and the creation of experimental platforms also have become an essential part of his work.