I had the pleasure to be in verbeke foundation for a quick residence of 4 days. Actually, I was mounting the installation "Plantas Parlantes" that I made together with the mexican artist Gilberto Sparza and Recycle-x team.
The foundation is a quite impressive place. It reminded me a lot a place in Brazil called Inhotim. However, despite of the amazing work of its founder the place encounter some difficulties in maintaining its pieces and also providing infra structure for the residents artists.
I was there together with Javier Busturia, Jelle Decker, Jnigni Wang and Roel. We slept in a truck (!). The experience that could be interested was a bit challenging due to the arctic cold that was at night, not to mention the dust everywhere. Speaking with other artists I figured out that their living conditions at Verbeke foundation was not actually better.
Walking in the almost 6.000 m2 of the foundation you can find many sculptures, some of them in big size. Some really good, others not so much. I had the impression that the curatorial line is quite weak, not to say nonexistent. Also it is possible to perceive a fascination about dead animals on the place. Almost 60% o the installations has something to do with death or dead animals. Freak!
I would say that this time was good but not really totally enjoyable. I have to confess that I was in a really bad mood also. Despite of all of this I could see some nice artworks and had a good time with my friends. if you are in Antwerp a visit is high recommended, if you are an artist and look for a residence you might want to think twice. Unless you really like contact with nature at all cost ;-)
more info: www.verbekefoundation.com