They Might be Giants showed the world how much fun there is in Belgium.
Now I’ve been to Brussels I can confirm it’s true!
Lunching in the Hotel Metropole, I was surprised by door codes being the same for Hommes ou Femmes! Mentioning this to a French speaking sharply dressed woman, I was told that this is the sort of thing the French are always saying is typically Belgian!
Was I seeing the springs of Surrealism at its roots?
Next day in the Magritte museum we heard that modern painters, including one or two James Ensors, would be found in the “Old Masters” rooms! I recounted the Metropole story to the British ex-pat on the desk and she agreed that there was something bizarre, rather Belgique, and similar to the door code oddness, in this curating arrangement.
The French can make as much comedy hay out of Belgian culture as they like! In the comic book museum, ‘Centre de Bande Dessine, each caption is written in the most exquisite version of four languages. My mobile phone was handed in within moments of losing it and we learned that, instead of backwards-looking educational methods, graphic texts are used to teach reading across the age ranges.
In recent times this small country has produced the two most spell-binding, innovative, Fashion designers since Mori, Yamamoto, Miyake and Kawakubo.
Martin Margiela, who is about to put out a uni-sex cologne, uses the Art and influences of his country to help us wear our intellectual hearts on our sleeves.
Raf Simons has moved the worlds of music and apparel so subtly together we are already in the night club when we view his collections.
So three cheers for They Might Be Giants for putting my delight to music.