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About Bruges Triennial

Every three years Bruges Triennial brings contemporary art and architecture to the historic core of the city of Bruges in a unique setting as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since 2015, Bruges Triennial has continued to build on a series of triennials that were put together in 1968, 1971 and 1974 around visual arts and have now once again become part of the public domain. International and regional artists and architects are invited by the artistic team to present new temporary installations. A dozen works of art and meeting places are always in active dialogue with the environment, along waterways, through cobbled streets, in peaceful places of worship or on wasteland. For visitors, it will always be a summery voyage of discovery along a unique hospitable route with a social issue.

Triennale Brugge 2024

Last year’s edition of Bruges Triennial – ‘TraumA’ – was a resounding success. Despite the pandemic, over 350,000 art and architecture lovers explored the city through contemporary installations that also revealed Bruges’ lesser-known paths and forgotten narratives. This three-yearly event, which has surprised Bruges residents and visitors since 2015, is now a highly-regarded player in the cultural landscape. Extensive research conducted after Triennial Bruges 2021 not only confirmed this story but also resulted in a framework for the future with fixed values and a new curatorial team.

Commissioned by the City of Bruges, the research reaffirmed the core values of Bruges Triennial while expressing the ambition to make the event even more sustainable and international. It will still be held every three years, for example, with a free walkable route within the city walls; additional attention will be given to accessibility and the public domain is still the creative arena. Furthermore, this new edition will focus on maximum, round-the-clock visibility. A series of monumental architectural works will once again enter into dialogue with the city – a UNESCO World Heritage site – and, on the basis of an overarching theme, encourage reflection and exploration.

The ambition to expand the artistic event both nationally and internationally is also expressed in the appointment of a brand-new curatorial duo: Shendy Gardin (b. 1987, Bruges | BE) and Sevie Tsampalla (b. 1977, Kos | GR).

Shendy Gardin trained as an interior architect and journalist at the KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture and Literature. She swopped the drawing board for the editorial office of A+ Architecture in Belgium, which inspired her research into the image of architecture and its relation to the contemporary historical city. Gardin coordinated the public programme at Bruges Triennial from 2018 to 2021. She works as a freelance exhibition maker and guest author for publications, including the recently published Beeld van de Stad [Image of the City], and also contributes to the operation of BILDNIS_forum voor kunst.

Sevie Tsampalla is an art historian and curator. Her practice focuses on the interfaces between contemporary art and urban space. She recently completed her PhD at Liverpool John Moores University, investigating the interplay between biennials and ‘urban commoning’, or collective practices that can (re)shape the city. She has worked for S.M.A.K., Tate Liverpool and the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, to name but a few appointments, and now lives and works in Brussels.

Together with the Bruges Triennial team, they will start work on the creation of a fascinating follow-up story, one that is written both for and through the eyes of the city. Further details will be announced in September 2023.

Previous editions



With TraumA, Triennial Bruges dived into the ‘uncanny’ history and reality of Bruges. Historical layers were exposed, forgotten or hidden storylines discussed. This edition explored the thin line between dream and trauma, between paradise and hell. It appealed to the imagination, to the pomp and circumstance, but also to the ‘uncanny’ that is present underground. For although Bruges seems to be a dream destination for many, poverty, loneliness, pollution or fear also lurk in this picture-perfect world.

Triennial Bruges 2021: TraumA used thirteen artistic and architectural interventions to bring the less attractive aspects to the surface and make them part of the city’s image. It created a polyphonic discourse, where there was room for imagination, beauty, darkness and complexity. A space where artists and architects could explore both the stage and the dusty wings. Triennial Bruges 2021: TraumA balanced between the present and the hidden. With a course of sculptural, architectural and organic creations, it was a celebration of the versatility and mobility of this city. Between private and public. Between dream and nightmare.

Curatorial team: Till-Holger Borchert, Santiago De Waele, Michel Dewilde, Els Wuyts


Liquid City

'Triënnale Brugge 2018: Liquid City' reaches back to the theme of 2015, which was a reflection on the city as a megapolis. This time, however, we go a step further: how flexible, liquid and resilient can a historic city like Bruges be in an age when nothing seems to be certain any longer? The world is changing rapidly. Established ways of thinking and forms of life are under pressure. What does the future hold?

The Bruges Triennial invited international artists and architects to think about these questions. Many of them sought inspiration for their work in the role of liquidity in the city that is literally criss-crossed and surrounded by water. The waterways that once earned Bruges its international renown, become a metaphor for Liquid City. A series works of art, installations and meeting places have been put up in the city centre. They form a hospitable route that brings people together in unexpected spots. That is indeed one of the objectives of the Bruges Triennial 2018: generating encounters, challenging people not only to view the artworks but also to experience them and to become part of the creative process.

Curatorial team: Till-Holger Borchert, Michel Dewilde


Bruges as a Megapolis

Every year, five million tourists visit Bruges. What if they all decided to stay? What if a small, preserved, historic city should suddenly become a megapolis? This is the premise for the Bruges Contemporary Art and Architecture Triennial 2015.

This scenario opens up a plethora of possibilities and challenges. Would a small city be capable of coping with the dynamics of a metropolis? And conversely: could a city on a human scale contribute to a new, better form of urbanism? Eighteen international artists went to work on this idea. They created new works that can be viewed on an art trail through the centre of Bruges. The artists pose questions and reflect on the future and potential of the city, of urbanisation, citizenship, lifestyle, community, economics, energy, space, sound and the values that guide us.

Three indoor exhibitions illustrate the concept of ‘city’ – in visions, dreams and real-life images – as a living, growing and evolving organism. Explore the streets and canals of the city, unleash your imagination and discover a side of Bruges that you never knew existed.

Curatorial team: Till-Holger Borchert, Michel Dewilde