richard venlet / sophie nys

The artist Richard Venlet worked together with Sophie Nys on the Italian poet Fabio Scotto's cycle of poems on the Dansaert district. The poetry was recorded by Italian residents of the area and by Tine Ruysschaert, a Flemish actress whose voice was used for poetry recordings for many years.

The long-playing record Poems by Fabio Scotto, spoken by was launched in April 2010. In this same period the ‘Lu par: poëzie op elpees' show was being held in the hallway of the Passa Porta International House of Literature. A slide projector showed the sleeves of old poetry LPs from the archives of the Ghent Poetry Centre. The sleeve of the new LP shows a slide projector.

Free copies of a limited edition of 1,000 LPs were distributed in the Dansaert area and to other interested parties.


To further explore the idea of both making his poems accessible and preserving them for future generations, Richard Venlet & Sophie Nys have created a time capsule that will be buried under Begijnhofplein. The capsule contains an LP and a record player. A time capsule is a suitcase in which objects or information media are hermetically sealed, in order to communicate with people in the distant future.
Archaeologists, anthropologists or historians will then be able to use this material to create an accurate picture of the times in which the capsule's creators lived. A record and record player were also given to the Brussels City Archives in Huidevetterstraat, so that it will always be possible to listen to the recordings.


Bruxelles 2 © Maurine Toussaint

In autumn 2008 the Italian poet Fabio Scotto met the Brussels artist Richard Venlet. The Dansaert neighbourhood inspired Scotto to write a series of poems. With his fellow-artist Sophie Nys, Venlet exhibited the sleeves of poetry LPs in the Passa Porta house of literature and himself also made a vinyl record on which Scotto's poems are read by Italians who live in the neighbourhood. In the course of several workshops, other residents also made a contribution to the ‘poetry injection' in the Dansaert neighbourhood. Scotto's poems were recited by actors at numerous events.
Since January 2012, Scotto's poems have been buried with an LP and a record player in a time capsule on Begijnhofplein. They have also been given a final resting place in the Brussels City Archives, where it is possible to listen to them.

the artists

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Richard Venlet is an artist-architect and creates ‘environments' out of spaces. The viewer plays a vital part in all of this. By intervening in a space, the artist gives the viewer an experience of alienation, making him see his surroundings in a new way. The wall is a recurring element in Venlet's minimalist formal idiom. One of his recent works for public space is Open Room for Monnikenheide (2006), a living room without walls but with an intriguing mirrored door in the grounds of the Monnikenheide centre for the disabled in Zoersel. Venlet was born in Australia in 1964 but now lives in Brussels. His work has been shown at the Centre for Fine Art in Brussels, the Museo Español de Arte Contemporaneo in Madrid, Galerie Bruges La Morte in Bruges, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dunkerque, the SMAK in Ghent and the FRAC in Paris.

After studying at Sint-Lukas Institute, Sophie Nys (1974) took a postgraduate course at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. In the simple forms of her work she questions contemporary art practice with a shrewd and refreshing irony, makes reference to historical facts and takes a poetic approach to everyday things. In 2010 she held an exhibition on the subject of disgrace at the Objectif art centre in Antwerp, starting with dozens of pillories that she had photographed in Belgium. Together with Richard Venlet, she built a reconstruction of Herman Teirlinck's writing terrace, and designed the accompanying book, The Writing Terrace, which was awarded the Fernand Baudin Prize. Sophie Nys' work has been exhibited in Paris, Madrid, Tblisi, Istanbul, Lausanne, Brussels and Antwerp.

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