‘De Eerste Parade’ (‘The First Parade’) is a subjective journey through Belgian sculpture from Constant Permeke to Thomas Lerooy that transforms Canada Square into a very special open-air experience. Modest, understated and even cuddly sculptures by Belgian artists including George Grard, Nadia Naveau, Mark Manders and Valérie Mannaerts present a contrast with the bustling public space. Each work of art demonstrates the power of human ability as well as the beautiful fragility of existence. De Eerste Parade forces us to slow down, just as we would stop to watch a carnival procession, parade or marching band pass by. The intimate bond that arises between the viewer and the sculpture is in stark contrast to the idea of the exuberant ephemerality of a parade.
Artists: Johan Creten, Eugène Dodeigne, George Grard, Thomas Lerooy, Mark Manders, Valérie Mannaerts, Nadia Naveau, Constant Permeke, Philip Van Isacker, Ossip Zadkine.
This unique collaboration between the Knokke-Heist City Council, curator Joost Declercq and Middelheim Antwerpen has resulted in an exceptional art square. It is no coincidence that 'The First Parade' passes in the 90th year of the Grand Casino Knokke, which has thus returned to the tradition of welcoming the biggest names from the art world.