REMIX ART – The Massenoire as an exhibition space

© Fonds Belval

From February 2022 to February 2023, visitors of the Massenoire will be taken on a journey through time. Three documentary exhibitions will reflect on the industrial past, present and future of our region. Esch2022 will further build on this history and delve into the South’s rich industrial heritage.

From cast iron to a modern showroom

The Massenoire operated from its inception in 1965 until the late 1970s. Its name, which derives from the French name for the heaps of black matter (masse noire) that were produced here, denotes the compound that was used to close the tap hole of the blast furnace. In the outside area surrounding the Massenoire, the molten iron was poured into the casting ladles. In order to prevent explosions during this critical process, dryers were used to remove the moisture from the space. The historical building was redeveloped by Fonds Belval into a venue for exhibitions (including ‘Belval & More’) and events that document the history of the Belval factory in particular, and the steel industry in general.

Travel to the past, present and future

The exhibition ‘ Remixing Industrial Pasts: Constructing the Identity of the Minett ’, organised by Tokonoma and 2F Architettura in collaboration with University of Luxembourg (C²DH), lets visitors travel into the past. Retracing the history of Luxembourg’s industrialisation and subsequent de-industrialisation, it allows them to gain a better understanding of the correlation between industry, people and landscape that is characteristic of this region.

The extensive documentary project ‘Frontaliers. Des vies en stéreo’ by Samuel Bollendorf and Mehdi Ahoudig takes viewers on a journey through the present time by examining the social divide between France and Luxembourg and providing insights into the everyday life of cross-border commuters, the so-called frontaliers. The immersive exhibition adopts a critical perspective on this phenomenon, among others by addressing the imbalance between the number of commuters and the lack of infrastructures and social services in the French border municipalities.

The ‘RESPIRE’ project, in turn, is situated at the intersection of presence and future. Based on extensive research conducted by the École nationale supérieure d’art et de design in Nancy (ENSAD), this exhibition in the Massenoire will examine problems related to breathing and air. All organisms on earth need clean air to live. In light of recent extreme weather events, it will not only provide valuable information on air quality and breathing, but also reflect on the implementation of ‘breathable’ policies that connect our everyday actions to a global political dimension, acknowledging that this is the only way to prevent the earth from running out of air.

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