Photographic wall composition of 600 m2 (1982)
The artist and his co-workers (members of the STIB photo club) have displayed on one of the walls of the station, in a language of images, an extremely realistic documentary showing how the area looked when the metro line was being constructed. Workers, bulldozers, rows of houses, excavation and demolition works are all depicted. On the opposite wall, there is a lively, multifaceted photographic representation of what life used to be like in the neighbourhood of Aumale. Fairground horses, house renovations and cars in the street alternate with typical pub and shop fronts, cattle farmers and horse markets. Elements which have disappeared and elements which still remain today, meet in this work of art, where there is a sharp contrast between space and time. Above the tracks which go in the direction of central Brussels, Place de Brouckère is depicted with the fountain “fleeing” to Place St Catherine. In the Anderlecht direction, the oval-shaped station of Saint-Guidon is depicted. “Metrorama 78” refers to the former Place du Repos, where the station is now, and to the former Aumale castle, from which the station takes its name.
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JEAN-PAUL LAENEN (1931 – 2012)
He started out as a sculptor and then turned to a form of complete integration in which he adapted his purely aesthetic concerns in order to participate completely in the project, on the same level as the architect and the urban designer to whom he brings an additional touch. Together with two other architects (Bob Van Reeth and Marcel Smets) he founded the work group “Krokus”, which is involved in upgrading and restoring old neighbourhoods in the centre of Mechelen and other cities in Belgium. Jean-Paul Laenen was also a lecturer at the Institut Supérieur d’Architecture de Saint Luc in Brussels and at the Academie van Bouwkunst (Architecture and Construction Academy) in Tilburg. From the beginning, experiments and investigations have been the main focus of Laenen’s work. The artist always attached a lot of importance to the relationship between form and material and between volume and space.