Living in FranDisco (new ed.) – Thierry Van Hasselt, Marcel Schmitz


192 p. – two colours + five colours  – 24 x 32 cm – otabind – softcover with dust jacket
Frémok, 2018 – ISBN 978239220084

Zonder tekst / No text



Rooted in the activities of the art centre La “S” Grand Atelier in Vielsalm, FranDisco is the product of the imagination of “urbatect” and “urbanist” Marcel Schmitz, an almost fifty-year-old with Down syndrome. “Marcel was one of the people who took part in the workshops at La ‘S’,” says Thierry Van Hasselt, comic book artist extraordinaire and co-founder of the equally incomparable Brussels publishing platform Frémok. “First via engravings and paintings. Very flat, very naïve. When he realised that you can also present these constructions in 3D, he applied his indomitable energy and stubbornness to creating the city with cardboard, embroideries, and tape. At a certain point, I suggested to artistic director Anne-Françoise Rouche that we should document his work to save the memory of the city and all the reasons why he builds from being forgotten.”

The freshly printed result, Living in FranDisco, is an impressive, at times particularly touching “road documentary”, that takes Marcel back and forth between the Grand Atelier and his self-constructed city. It is a fine metaphor for all the things that the project brought about. “The city has fundamentally changed his being. It has brought him recognition as an artist, and interrupted the routine of his daily life. FranDisco has taken us to places like Paris, Aix-en-Provence, and Geneva for residences and exhibitions. All these experiences have nourished the city. It has expanded, moved, become dirty, and crumbled. It is alive, like a real city. And that is a good thing. It is not about the object in itself, but about the process that allows us to travel. It is about the shared experience and cross-pollination.” (Kurt Snoekx, Bruzz)