Riding Modern Art: a skateable exhibition in Belgium

When modern art is introduced on the streets, most people don’t grasp its meaning or its use. But skaters, they know: just like empty pools or remote ditches, modern art often means new gnarly spots.

Raphaël Zarka is a skateboarder and artist who imagines his sculptures being purposely skatable. He has combined then welded rusty metal shapes together into banks, ledges or wallrides. His touring exhibition has stopped in BPS22 (modern art museum of Charleroi) during fall/winter season. A little crew from Liège including myself have had the opportunity to come try it, as the organizers have invited skaters to bring life to the exhibition.

Furthermore, not only skaters have skated art, but young artists have made art from skateboards! Workshops by PointCulture took place before the sessions, on how to customize your board with stencils, chainsaws, paint or even sandpaper, to obtain DIY gripjobs, furniture or jewelry.

Here’s a little glimpse!

If you care to know, here’s what we have learned about the making-of: “The concept comes from the idea that skaters include modern art into their explorations. Their practice reveals and unveils what artists try to express with inanimate shapes: movement, direction, friction, or sound. Zarka draws further inspiration from abstract shapes developed by mathematician Arthur Moritz Schoenflies in the 19th century.

Words by Joran Mislà

6K and friends @ BPS22 “Riding Modern Art” de Raphaël Zarka

Video by Chan Ly

Your narrator tailslides and loves to talk 3rd person about himself. Photo: Nicolas Michel

Antoine Olivier transfers the backside way. Photo: Robin Lanoisette

Bastien Remy pushes through with a 5-0. Photo: Robin Lanoisette

Gonzo slides the frontside way. Photo: Nicolas Michel

Antoine Olivier stands up his grinds. Photo: Robin Lanoisette

Bastien Remy bluntslide with Szymon Antoine Nathan lurking. Photo: Robin Lanoisette

Chan Ly deciding the angles for his video above. Photo: Robin Lanoisette

Custom board graphics. Photo: RoxanaCernicky

Get your insipration going. Photo: Roxana Cernicky

Laura Junkers teacher/painter of the day. Photo: Roxana Cernicky

Mahell Bouteille teacher maker of skate jewelry. Photo: Roxana Cernicky

Making skate spoons is serious business. Photo: Roxana Cernicky

More photos on Robin Lanoisette’s Insta: instagram.com/lanoizette/

To customize your boards:
Laura Junkers, Chalk Custom Board Projects: facebook.com/chalkcustomboard/
Mahell Bouteille, homemade skate furniture/jewelry/keyholders/whateveryouwant : instagram.com/monsieurcandydynamite/
PointCulture: www.pointculture.be/agenda/evenement/customisation-de-planches-de-skateboard/
Museum of Modern Art of Charleroi : facebook.com/bps22.charleroi/
More photos on Nicolas Michel’s Flickr : flickr.com/photos/nicolasmichel/

Bonus videos:

Paving Space: Raphaël Zarka

Filmed edited by Bataaard. Featuring Nozbone team and friends: Nozbone team and friends: Alexis Jamet, Hugo Corbin, Jimmy Cholley, Joseph Biais, Pierre Subra, Roman Gonzale, and Yann Garin.

Paving Space

Filmed, Edited and Directed by Dan Magee in collaboration with Carhartt WIP
An unconventional encounter between maths, art and skateboarding.
Featuring Sylvain Tognelli, Nick Jensen, Casper Brooker, Jan Kliewer, Joseph Biais, Rémy Taveira, Josh Pall, Chris Jones, and Armand Vaucher.