The Phenomenal Park

How do we perceive the space around us every day? How do streets, squares, parks, and the city influence our own nature? Since 2014, Mira Sanders and Cédric Noël have been behind the artistic collective The Mental Masonry Lab (TMM Lab), a research laboratory that places the imagination at the very core of experiments and reflections articulated around public space and urban constructions.

The Mental Masonry Lab operates according to a specific method structured around three stages. Firstly, there is observation: the exploration of urban space as a wanderer – meandering as a form of marvelling. Secondly, they approach the archiving of elements and impressions as a constantly evolving dynamic process. Finally, The Mental Masonry Lab considers the laboratory as a training field where the imagination can be combined with concrete things, with facts.

Using a sober scenography reminiscent of a city or park plan, The Phenomenal Park compiles more than 100 objects and ideas. In addition to a selection of works produced by the duo in Berlin, the exhibition features work from projects developed in Brussels and Leuven. To this end, Mira Sanders & Cédric Noël have worked hand-in-hand with some forty international master's students from the Faculty of Architecture Campus Sint-Lucas, KU Leuven.

Without providing any actual instructions, The Phenomenal Park offers visitors a range of playing rules. The dozens of sound and audio-visual found objects, graphic pieces, etc., all play on the phenomenology and our psychology of perception that we have to mentally activate. Sometimes almost surrealistically or absurdly, The Phenomenal Park brims over with playful, often humorous proposals. While The Phenomenal Park translates everyday objects into new imaginary opportunities, the exhibition encourages us to reflect on the very different codes that shape public space throughout the world.

Written and directed by
TMM Lab (Mira Sanders & Cédric Noël)

with Sally Alawady, Dana Alsayegh, Leen Claessens, Rosa Cooke, Gustave Curtil, Monika Dauksaite, Margot De Caster, Jolien De Nijs, Charlotte De Pauw, Arthur Dekeyser, Wannes Deyaert, Ragesh Gopal, Evi Hellebaut, Julien Jacob, Alexander Kyuchukov, Camille Lambreth, Marylise Violeta Maroye, Alejandro Andrés Maturana, Elisabeth Milde, Yvonne Catalina Neira Rivera, Ugne Neveckaite, Ruben Otter, William David Pauwels Hurtado, Roope Topias Piipponen, Alba Maria Tierz Puyuelo, Amber Savonet, Zita Van Den Bosch, Jonathan Van Hove, Ine Vancutsem, Hena Wang, Charlotte Winnen, Marta Ewa Wisniewska, Lin Xiang, Theresa Gertrud Zschabitz.

Exhibition director Grégory Thirion
Co-curatorship TMM Lab & Ive Stevenheydens
Exhibition coordinator Mathilde Manche
Production assistant Jolien De Nijs
Trainee assistant Fengdan Qin

Photos Luk Vander Plaetse

Co-production Botanique Exhibitions
Support Faculty of Architecture campus Sint-Lucas KU Leuven, BAC Art Lab, Flanders State of the Art

9.12.21 - 6.02.22
GALERIE // Botanique Exhibitions
rue Royale 236 Koningsstraat, Brussels, BE