Antwerpen, stad verbeeld
Ronny Van de Velde & Ludo Bekkers
(‘Antwerp, A City Depicted’) forms a diptych with Antwerpen, verloren stad
(‘Antwerp, Lost City’). Where the first part takes us on a journey through Antwerp at the end of the nineteenth century, just before the city walls were demolished, this book focuses on how today’s city relates to its past. The photographer Karin Borghouts walks us through the present city centre, from the Central Station to the Zuid and Eilandje districts. She looks primarily at the historic buildings and their interiors, which have been substantially restored or even reconstructed. Are the restored buildings from the illustrious past still authentic? Or are they merely a kind of stage set? This ambiguity – a city in which history seems mostly to be about appearances – is expressed in the photographs and encourages thoughtful viewing. This beautiful photo book, with over 200 full-page images, makes the reader look at familiar Antwerp buildings, squares and streets in a different way, while also introducing some new and surprising places.
Karin Borghouts has been photographing Antwerp since 2001, first with an analogue technical camera and now digitally. She was the City Photographer from 2012 to 2014, and since 2011 she has been the official photographer of the refurbishment of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.