Koen Vanmechelens' LABIOMISTA opens a New Building

Monday, May 6, 2024
Koen Vanmechelens' LABIOMISTA opens a New Building

On the foundations of the mining past and the old zoo of Zwartberg (Genk), Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen has been building his life's work since 2019: LABIOMISTA, an evolving artwork about the mix of life. ​ ​

LABIOMISTA is a 60 acres park that not only houses an open-air exhibition with numerous (living) artworks and installations, but is also a place where universal social issues such as diversity, ecology and human rights become tangible and discussable.

In this unique collaboration between artist Koen Vanmechelen and the City of Genk, a shared vision on the potential of identity & diversity takes shape in different ways. As a permanent and evolving work of art, LABIOMISTA is an incubator for numerous new ideas, creations, projects and collaborations. And it constitutes a meeting place for all species in this world.

LABIOMISTA's sixth season bears the theme 'Future Garden', after the new complex of the same name, which is currently being built in the front part of the park. The building, which will be opened to the press on 22 August, acts as a lever for further developments in the neighbourhood as it is part of LaVieBreede, Vanmechelen's artistic and conceptual vision that aims to integrate, relaunch and strengthen the environment around LABIOMISTA.

Future Garden, designed by the artist with architectural firm BURO B and Thys Bouwprojecten, is an ecological statement. It consists of a tapir habitat, a research laboratory set up in collaboration with the university of Hasselt, among others, and a studio. A bridge leads to the roof of the building. Visitors are invited to explore and be inspired by a space where visions of the future become reality.
​The rest of the park also underwent a metamorphosis during the annual winter break with three newly installed monumental sculptures: Caduceus, See Me and Domesticated Giant. Together with new residents including Darwin Nandu, white ear pheasant, and mini zebu, they depict how 'cross-pollination' is LABIOMISTA's modus operandi; nature and culture, local and global, art - science and community.​

Main Image :De Ark, Copyright Koen Vanmechelen Photo :Enrico Canoa

Stephanie Cime

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Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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