Walked by the Brussels Avenue Marnix lately? If so, only a slight chance you won’t have noticed the 2200 square metre billboard currently adorning the scaffolding of ING‘s head office, which has been going through a large-scale facelift for many years now.
Revealed on 12th March and christened ‘Multifunctional Polydirectional Hybrids’, this monumental tarpaulin may seem to the untrained eye like a relic from an old school Goa party, but in fact it’s nothing less than one of the biggest works of art ever created in Belgium.
Born from a collaboration between the marketing and the art departments of ING bank, the artistic interpretation of the project fell to Brussels-based artist Jean-Luc Moerman.
ING Marketing director Philippe Wallez sheds a light on the ins and outs of the project. “Jean-Luc Moerman’s vision as a contemporary artist and the aesthetic component of his already existing oeuvre integrates seamlessly with the strategic directives and the targeted image of ING. Within our company policy, we consider keywords like transparency, accessibility and focus on the future to be of paramount importance: Moerman embodies all of those values.”
For the skeptics among us who believe there’s something fishy about a bank fraternising with a contemporary artist, Jean-Luc Moerman says: “In it’s pure essence, money isn’t to be considered filth: it’s the culmination of a lot of people’s labor and energy. Above all other, it’s a tool for commutation. When I get mocked for my collaborations with brands like ING, Peugeot or Longchamp by the so-called highbrow art scene whilst its own incestuous money transactions are clear for all to see, I become even more convinced that these self-declared puritans are barking up the wrong tree.”
According to Moerman, there’s no use contemplating whether a massive billboard on the facade of a big time bank should or even could be considered ‘art’. “It shouldn’t even be of any importance whether or not I put my signature in the right hand corner. To me, the creative process represents a profound and radical digging within oneself and the hope that the enduring residue of this intensive personal journey will be able to serve others in their own lives. Art doesn’t need a mausoleum, it needs to be lived and experienced.”
As a nice little touch, after the completion of the building works, Multifunctional Polydirectional Hybrids will be recycled into 1400 bags that will be offered up for the grabs. By simply joining the ING online competition (until 30th June), you’ll be in with the chance to win, and invited to pick a part of the tarpaulin that takes your fancy… a little bit of Jean-Luc Moerman to travel with you everywhere you go.