European Cliché

SPRING op de Stadhuisbrug
The Spring Performing Arts Festival is taking place this week, with events of all sorts happening throughout the city. Some are big productions, while others are relatively simple installations that can be seen in passing.

On the Stadhuisbrug, there is a large silver box that is opened in the afternoons around 3 p.m. This particular piece is titled, “Ceci n’est pas …“, a reference to the Magritte painting, The Treachery of Images. This “Pandora’s Box” has a different theme each day. As the metal shutters are rolled up each day, they reveal a new person or people in various positions and settings. Each is making a statement — or at least trying to make people think — about some topic, be it gender, race, history, etc.

Thanks to Twitter, I saw that today the silver box contains a naked woman. (Nothing much really shows in the photo, for what it’s worth.) I have no idea what the theme is today, although the possibilities are numerous, I suppose. Still, from an American perspective, it’s such a “European” thing to have a naked woman as part of an art installation seated outside the City Hall building in the heart of the city. It’s become a bit of a cliché. Although these days, I suppose you might see a few in New York City, where it turns out it’s not illegal to go topless, whether you’re a man or a woman.