Brussels is made of multitudes, defined by a variety of languages, people and cultures. Art Nouveau mansions and graceless office buildings stand side by side while the country’s political disorganisation is reflected in its chaotic and flailing city planning efforts. Dangling from various house fronts and apartment blocks, the numerous doorbells and their tinkered name tags reveal the city's disarray on another level.
The doorbells mark the presence of the corresponding inhabitants, but they also lend them a status within the Belgian social system. The bells become an administrative locus – a residence – from which they can partake in the country’s social security scheme. Each one of them tells an intimate story. As a collection, they form a patchwork of chronicles about departures and arrivals.
Their lives and their voices make Parlophones a poignant, dignified and utterly intimate sound installation. The collection of doorbells invites visitors to press a button and listen to the stories of people who made Brussels their home, from refugees and migrants to expats and those gone astray.
Parlophones was first presented as part of the exhibition BXL UNIVERSEL II : Multipli.city. With Parlophones - parcours, Oussama Tabti brings the installation into public space. Different doorbell collections are installed on seven locations throughout the city of Brussels, inviting you to listen to a multitude of stories as you stroll around town.
Production: Moussem Nomadic Arts Centre
Supported by Goethe-Institut Brussels
In connection with: ARGOS, Beit asbl, Gluon, GC Ten Noey, Lagrange Points