Lieven De Boeck

The Dictionary of Space / Public Space

Lieven DE BOECK’s practice explores the relationship between different disciplines and spaces, while investigating how context changes the meaning of a certain manifestation. In this context, his main strategy is typologization.

Creating typologies means creating more or less systematic classifications of types of things according to their common characteristics. It means erasing the particular characteristics in order to keep only the most general ones. In the case of Lieven De Boeck, this search leads on the one hand to typologies of architecture, museums, or housing. On the other hand, he creates a typology of himself by means of self-portrait. Although this portrait can be a performance, a drawing, a neon text, or an object, it is always a personal invitation to the viewer to write or imagine his identity.

Lieven De Boeck has been developing Dictionary of Space since 2003. The project deals with general themes including identity, borders (private and public), territory and appropriation; but with typologization, it deals with these themes in an expressly individual way. The dictionary tries to reformulate concepts from which the original meanings have been lost due to an overload of images and associations piled on to them over time.

Having realized the first part of The Dictionary of Space focused on Housing, Lieven De Boeck worked on the second part, Public Space, at Büchsenhausen.

The work culminated in the edition Public Space, l.e.t.t.e.r.s. (Edition: 50), consisting of four books with a total 366 original drawings and prints individual to each book. The edition was developed in cooperation with Extra City, Antwerp and Onomatopee, Eindhoven.

During his stay as a fellow, Lieven De Boeck was invited to serve as lecturer at the Department for Architectural Theory at the University of Innsbruck for the 2008/09 winter semester.

Lieven DE BOECK is an artist based in Brussels and New York. He was a researcher in Fine Arts at the Jan van Eyck Academy (2003/04) and artist-in-residence at the ISCP New York (2006). Selected exhibitions: Making Things Public at Witte de With, Rotterdam (solo exhibition, 2004), Making Traces (together with Elena Herzog) at LMAKprojects, New York (2007) and Mimétisme at Extra City, Antwerp (group show, 2008). Major publications include Housing (2004), the first book from the series Dictionary of Space, Texts#1, (2007) a compilation of texts about Lieven De Boeck’s work and Public Space, l.e.t.t.e.r.s. (2009), the second publication in the series Dictionary of Space.