The artist Emilio López Menchero created a frieze of enamel plates in the Quartier Latin in Elsene (Ixelles) in synergy with the poems of the Belgian-Spanish poet Chantal Maillard.

Multilingualism plays a central role in MUR XL. The artist not only had Chantal Maillard's Spanish poems translated into the four most commonly spoken languages in the area, Dutch, French, English and Vietnamese, but also into the language icons used in La Forestière - the local day centre for the mentally handicapped. Translation and imagination merge together in the work; the images the poems evoke are translated into a surprising visual idiom that everyone can understand. López-Menchero's temporary sound installation reproduced the sound of Chantal Maillard's translated poetry in the 'Quartier Latin' in Elsene.


Ixelles 2 © Maurine Toussaint

The poet Chantal Maillard and artist Emilio López Menchero met in autumn 2005. Maillard wrote a series of poems on Elsene as it is today and as it was when she was a child. Menchero had these poems played over a sound system in the main shopping street for a month. Students from the Ecole de Recherche Graphique provided some visual poetic effects. They had the poems printed on flyers, postcards, beer mats and letterboxes. Since October 2009, Maillard's poetry can also be read in Menchero's MUR XL, a frieze of enamel sheets on the long wall of the cemetery.

the artist

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Emilio López-Menchero (Mol, 1960) likes working in public space, and questions architectural and urban conventions. His work is characterised by humour and the quest for identity. In the photographic series Trying to be..., for example, he portrays himself as Frida Kahlo, Honoré de Balzac, Che Guevara and other iconic figures. For Brussels he has previously made Pasionaria, a monumental speaking tube on Stalingradlaan. Other works of his have been included in Over the Edges, Art Amsterdam, Sur la route, Indonésie! and Ornamental Body.

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