Tilburg 2021, will we go for looser measures in a time-lapse or in stop-motion mode? Either way, society increasingly craves freedom. For now, the choice is a travel alarm clock and time slots? In any case, it's about pushing boundaries. In Urban Culture, this has been a way of life for decades. To be undisturbed in all freedom doing your thing in a unique way. Am I going to take you into the deep crevices of the underground scene? No, but I am going to highlight a number of diverse subcultures. That's what makes Urban so incredibly interesting, the diversity of subcultures. I think that's one of the reasons it keeps flowing and renewing non-stop. Eventually you see the results reflected in society in all sorts of ways. Also in Tilburg. Especially in recent years you see it becoming more mainstream. Whether this is a positive development, opinions are divided. What makes me happy, however, is that the art sector, among others, now takes this culture seriously. On the other hand, it is also extremely hip these days if you attach the label 'Urban' to something. But does that make it Urban? No, unfortunately it doesn't work that way. You have to immerse yourself in it, experience it, understand it, but above all feel it. It is all about the collective flow.
'Urban meets art'
In all subcultures the perception of the world is central. Situations that can be turned to your advantage. Seeing an obstacle as a tool. This is how free runners explore cities to develop their moves. Daan Seegers of Aquila Movement says that despite the fact that there was a generation stop, free running is now very popular again with the new generation. With free running, the emphasis is more on making all kinds of moves, such as spectacular backflips or wall flips. Courses are mainly about speed and making optimal use of obstacles. The starting point is always 'using your surroundings in a creative way'. When Daan told me what the most popular spot in Tilburg is, I was pleasantly surprised. You would expect it to be the Spoorzone. Nothing could be further from the truth. It turned out to be the Sky Mirror at De Pont Museum. Of course we are talking about the streamlined walls that are part of the artwork, with great thanks to Sophie Walker. Daan often visits other cities and Tilburg turns out not to be the most suitable city for free runners. Because of this, they sometimes have to divert to other regions. This is a pity, especially since Tilburg has been seriously committed to Urban Culture in recent years. Daan is therefore in discussion with the municipality to see where things can be improved. To be continued?
'May the force be with you'
When I mention 'Dutch Comic Con', I immediately have a clear overview that shows that this culture is interwoven with Urban. Why? Well, that's a few more A4's to read... I deliberately chose a not so obvious example: 'cosplay'. Abroad you see more and more (urban) cosplayers meeting each other in public places, for example in a city park. And that is a remarkable development. Usually you only find them at meetings, events or festivals. In Tilburg there are also quite a few cosplayers active, but I suspect more in private circles or outside the city. Instead of going into detail about this phenomenon, I thought it would be more fun to put it to the test and see how Tilburg reacts to this phenomenon in public.
Accompanied by Joost Dirkx, who since 2018 has permission to let his lightsaber shine in his role as official Darth Vader, Youngling Jess and 'the sisters of steel'. Also known in the Urban scene as the 'Old Dike Jedi's', of course with a wink. We went to the area around Theaters Tilburg. An afternoon filled with fun, spontaneous and hilarious reactions, including an elderly lady with a sense of humor who could appreciate the connection between Joost and the 'sisters of steel'. A quantity of selfies, phone calls back and forth, and 'ahhhhhh's...' for Youngling Jess. After this, we can conclude that Tilburg is ready for it.
The Tilburg Muurkes
Street art is so diverse and my favorite is work that is not immediately noticeable and which usually makes a statement, or responds to the environment with a good dose of humor. I love that, like for example a Clet Abraham pimping road signs in a humorous way. If you like the Kruikenzeikers traffic lights, you're probably going to like his work too. And last but not least, Banksy. What I said, street art is such a broad field. You can go on endlessly about that. Years ago, Erik Veldmeijer and Tom de Meer, among others, were already creating murals in Tilburg. And the ambition to expand this further was soon a fact. Now the time has finally come. Tilburg has an official street-art route with a diverse range of work by different urban artists. Here I highlight one of them: The Wijnschenker from 2011. It is an older work, but certainly not the least! For a long time this work was unknown to the mainstream audience. Through the street-art route the work finally gets the attention it deserves. This work makes sublime use of the environment and its history. In short, it connects seamlessly in terms of story, use of color and composition in a playful and humorous way. It triggers! An inspiration for new stories. It challenges people to use the environment in a creative way. The best way to show this is with the gentlemen of the Burgerij. And that completes the storyline. Enjoy.
Daan Seegers - Aquila Movement
Sky Mirror - kunstenaar Anish Kapoor
Joost Dirkx - Dutch Garrison 501st Legion
Jess (top secret)
Zusters in staal
Kunstenaar Judith Kuijpers
Kunstenaars Liesbeth Verhoeven en Thijs Persijn
Joris van Corven - brasserie de Burgerij
Foto’s en tekst - Angelique Cornelissen