festival by: arts centre Monty, artistic workspace wpZimmer, C-TAKT trandisciplinary platform, Platform0090
In theatre, a ghost light is a light placed on the stage when it is dark: during the day when the stage is deserted, and at night. It bears witness to a constant presence and can be seen as a reminder of what the stage is for: to show performances that are experienced collectively by an audience.
At the Seefhoek neighborhood in Antwerp (BE), the ghost light takes the form of a nightlight that imitates sunlight. The light stays on when the battery is mechanically activated by a local resident or passer-by. The more the chord is being pulled, the longer the light shines. What is being charged during the day continues to work at night.
The Seefhoek originated as a working-class neighborhood in the 19th century. Today, more than 100 nationalities live together in a densely populated area. The place is intensively inhabited, but the infrastructure is lagging behind and is only very little focussed on human exchange. The presence of the numerous women and children who live here disappears from the streets at night and the atmosphere becomes more one-sided and grim. The installation positions itself in the middle of the street, and being a 'public good', anyone can use it and contribute to it. Can a soft action disarm a tougher neighborhood?
During daytime and during nighttime, Ghost Light reminds passers-by of life under the sun: a community life within which children grow up to playfully occupy space. Ghost Light recalls the intimacy of the sleeping child who must be allowed to grow up with community care to be at the cradle of a liveable future.
Ghost Light is a vigil light, also at child-size, placed in public space. It bears witness to a constant presence and can be seen as a reminder of what that public space is for: a communal living together.