One to ten model
This 1/10 scale model has been made in 2014 for the international Wood & Canvas conference, to demonstrate the many unexpected possibilities and new uses of heritage technology that can be introduced in contemporary productions.
The history of the origin of this scale model:
Up to 1980, the year when the Bourla theatre closed until the reopening in 1993, Jerome Maeckelbergh designed the scenography for several productions for the Royal Youth Theatre (KJT) that performed in the Bourla theatre on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. But the same building was also the base of the Royal Dutch Theatre Company (KNS) which was performing each evening for the adult public. It was formally forbidden to the KJT to use any pipe that was in use by the running KNS production. As the historic Bourla theatre (opened in 1834) then offered only 24 pipes, that including the pipes for regular lighting and masking, you can imagine the problems for a scenographer who had to design some 20plus scene changes for a family musical with one or two free pipes left. But then Jerome discovered the historic under-stage equipment and its obvious possibilities. As this “old junk” hasn’t been used in living memory and regarded as inferior to modern technology, the “adult” KNS had no problem this would be used by the youth theatre. Man, they will have a good laugh with Jerome! But all heritage machinery worked perfect and the many scene changes went smooth.
So you can imagine his anger when by his contacts in OISTAT (thank you Louis Janssen!) during an EC meeting in Cairo in 2012, he learned that the Municipality of Antwerp was on its way to destroy in silence the heritage theatre machinery in the Bourla Theatre for sake of modernisation. Together with Peter McKinnon, supported by the York University, Jerome and many members of theatrEurope were involved in organising the international conference “Wood and Canvas (and rabbit glue) in the Modern World” in 2014 to try to stop this heritage catastrophe. One of the 18 presentations of the conference was Jerome’s demonstration with this 1/10 scale model to prove what kind of many unexpected things you are able to do with this heritage technology serving contemporary scenography.
As result of this conference PERSPECTIV nominated the Bourla heritage theatre machinery to be included in “The 7 most endangered heritage sites in Europe”, a project of Europa Nostra, that “awarded” this nomination to lead its final list of the 7 most endangered sites of 2014. This fact finally brought the Bourla machinery in the Belgian newspapers and on Television, which stopped the plans and forced a new international request for restoration/renovation proposals with as main request to keep the heritage machinery - in good workable condition - in its location.
visits and transport
Presentation at Wood and Canvas
- 2017-06 Germany: the 1/10 scale model is given in long-term loan to the Beuth Hochschule in Berlin
- 2017-06 Germany: consecutive scale model presentations during Stage|Set|Scenery 2015 in Berlin
- 2014-11 Belgium: scale model presentation in Antwerp for Andreï Michailenko, conservator and responsible for the restoration of Teatr Gonzaga in the Arkhangelskoye Palace, Moscow.
- 2014-10 Belgium: scale model presentation in Antwerp for “Vereniging Cornelis Floris"
- 2014-06 Belgium: scale model presentation in Antwerp for international conference “Wood and Canvas (and rabbit glue) in the Modern World”