Young people bring 15th-century art to life with the ErfgoedApp

This fall, Leuven's city festival is dedicated to Dieric Bouts: all over the city, this 15th-century painter will be highlighted. All initiatives are being bundled under the title New Horizons. Leuven gave young artists and organizations the opportunity to explore Bouts from ever-changing perspectives, inspiring new creators. 

Those also exploring new horizons are the young curators of Curating the Young. As part of New Horizons ' Fringe trail, they developed an outdoor exhibition with young artists around Leuven's Vaartkom and used ErfgoedApp to bring their artworks to life. Out & aBouts was born.

Who is Curating the Young?

Curating the Young (CTY) is a collective of young curators (ages 16 to 30), who work on different projects each year in different cities. Under the guidance of AmuseeVous, they claim space for young artists and art lovers, because that young people would not be fascinated by art and culture is a big myth. Mastiek supports them in terms of public outreach. In Leuven, OPEK is the operating base, so the choice of the Vaartkom was obvious. Participation and local collaboration are central to CTY; so Casco, a Leuven residency for artists, was also a stop on the itinerary. 

The team of volunteer curators who got to work with the ErfgoedApp © Noé Lagaert

But how does one create such a contemporary exhibition, paying homage to an old Flemish master like Dieric Bouts?

Felien Vandermotten (24), CTY curator: "We started this project by looking at what aspects or themes of Bouts' work might be of interest in a contemporary context. Among other things, we cited his innovative use of perspective, depiction of objects from everyday life and subdued emotional facial expressions as important starting points. 

Then we sent out an open call and selected young artists with these themes in mind. Giving opportunities to young artists and making them grow is in CTY's DNA. It was very important to us that we saw the link to Bouts in the works selected for this expo. We selected five very diverse works for this expo, and I am very happy that it shows that five centuries after his death, Bouts can still offer such a diverse inspiration to his contemporary 'successors.'" 

What are your experiences with the ErfgoedApp?

Felien: "We had the opportunity to work with the ErfgoedApp to broaden the public outreach of this outdoor expo. Some of us took a training at FARO on how to use the app. We passed on that knowledge in an in-house training where we brainstormed with the artists on how we wanted to use the app to open up their work. 

The day before the opening of an expo is always a bit stressful. The last loose ends are tied up, the construction gets a finishing touch. This is why we were very happy that FARO approved our ErfgoedApp very quickly, so that visitors could use them immediately by scanning the QR codes at the works. 

Because everything was designed together with the young curators and artists, the app offers a different experience with each artwork. In the case of Pina Geyskens' work, for example, the app shows you, among other things, the making process of her screen prints and a poem by Pina with the same theme as the work shown. 

For other works of art, the scratch feature allows you to see the artist's inspiration or reveals a second work of art. Nel Maertens' Billboard, thanks to the app, reveals a 15th-century work by Bouts; the Last Supper table thus reveals a Last Supper from 2023, developed by Beppe Geerts. At Ynne De Wever's flags, ErfgoedApp was used as an audio guide. You hear interviews in which residents of the adjacent service apartments tell what makes this object 'Godly' to them."

Felien: "Using the app makes the expo more dynamic, but for those who like even more interaction or don't like to do the walk alone, we also offer guided tours. I am very happy with the way the expo has taken shape and how it has been received. It pays to test out new things like the ErfgoedApp !" 

Out & aBouts has been extended and will run around the Leuven Vaartkom until Jan. 9.  

Want to know more about CTY? Take a look at our site:

Find the route until Jan. 9, 2024 at: