Holding Rehearsals - holding across a landscape - installation

On the second floor, the installation holding across a landscape aims to index how the region between the Calais area and Brussels can be seen as a vast interrelated necropolitical landscape. It builds on the research of activist Maël Gallison, who recognizes the importance of counting and accounting for the deaths at the English Channel. There is no official data on these deaths (not from the United Kingdom, France, or Belgium), so collecting this information is an important part of documenting the history of migration in the region. His research aims to give these "nameless bodies" and "names without a story" an identity and a history. It is a way of preventing them from being diluted in what is commonly referred to as the "tragedies of migration.” It is also a way of challenging the political agenda that justifies and reinforces existing security, border control, and immigration restriction policies, which in the long run will only lead to more deaths.

In the installation, we can witness how pre-existing public memorial readings, originally written by family members or “compagnons de route,” and once held in public spaces around Calais, are re-read by several Brussels-based activists in front of the camera at La Loge. These readings are in dialogue with film sequences of the original sites of these deadly accidents. As part of the scenography, the uncovered window in the exhibition space opens the view to the street, linking these gestures of remembrance to the immediate environment.

Image: Lola Pertsowsky