May I take your picture?
Manneken Pis presents his vision of it all

To change Manneken Pis into a photographer for a day starts with a reflection about today’s tourist and the frantic, sometimes excessive, relationship with the digital camera. With the web 2.0, when one can find photos of everything on Internet (and certainly those of Manneken Pis), why then during our travels do we still seek to take our ‘own’ photograph of the most famous sites and monuments?

What importance do we give to the moment, the experience of a specific place, when we are not looking at it through the eye of the camera?

In the case of famous tourist sites, when everyone next to us is taking the same photo, it is unlikely that ours will be original or exclusive. Although we are aware of our vanity in thinking so, we still take our own shot. A sort of ‘I was there’ expressing our need for approval, proof and as a trophy. More than being critical, it is an open question we ask here of ourselves with self-mockery and humour.

A will to change places for an instant and, in the role of a tourist, see the relationship we hold with a place and the moment in time. The camera that Manneken Pis is holding takes real photos. A selection of the snapshots taken will be shown at the exhibition dedicated to this work from November 5th – 22nd, 2009 at the ‘Maison du Folklore’.


status: realized
program: art installation + exhibition
location: Brussels, Belgium
year: 2009