The Art of Valuing

The Flemish-Dutch House deBuren (“the neighbors”) presents beauty and wisdom of the Low Countries, and offers a platform for debate about culture, science, politics and the society, not only in Flanders and The Netherlands but also in Europe and the world. It is a place where artists, journalists, academics and politicians get the opportunity to voice their thoughts through panel talks and debates, lectures, book launches, film screenings, concerts, and more.

deBuren, Leopoldstraat

Gate-crashing a Brussels event aimed at Arts Councils and Culture Ministries is to physically visit what is normally a virtual world. This is the land of European Cultural Policy: a place with its own language (policy-speak), its own currency (creativity), and – like much of Europe – a struggling economy. Its religion, naturally, is Culture, whose earthly embodiment is an uneasy trinity of Art, Audience and Sector. There is a great deal of debate as to whether Culture itself, the object of veneration, can be directly approached by the masses or only by initiates. Much time is spent unravelling a mystery called ‘engagement’, which seems to be much like transubstantiation but without the red wine. Finally, there is the sacred quest of ‘evaluation’, which is either a holy grail brimming with eternal funding, or an attempt to look on the face of God and doomed to end in madness (depending on your individual belief and/or job title).

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