There is nothing funny about these observations of European construction… Buildings, and who made them, and what they do to people… architecture as a social force… these ideas fill the artist’s studio.
Euronews: “Francois Schuiten, you draw comic books, Brussels is your home, you work in Brussels… What’s your feeling about Europe, the European Union, its inhabitants… and how does the Treaty of Lisbon strike you?” François Schuiten: “Well, Belgium’s way of looking at this is particular, because it is host to the European institutions. First of all it sees the importance this grouping has taken on within the city, a bit overbearing, sometimes a bit dark… this bureaucracy which smothers the heart. But at the same time one can feel that this treaty has positive effects. It’s going to move the European machine forward, but deep down it doesn’t make us dream, and I don’t get the impression, on top of that, that culture is one of the elements at the heart of this treaty, that it’s going to give us a better understanding of the values that are going to make young people feel more European, make them want to visit Europe more, relate with European cultures.” Cities of the Fantastic and the Gates of the Possible count among our guide’s well-known titles. He has also designed metro stations, a world’s fair pavillion, and stamps. The EU institutions’ headquarters provide the setting for a kind of modern vision. Euronews: “Europe is often criticised as not being clear, especially the legal texts such as the treaties… as being awfully heavy going for ordinary people. Could you put the Lisbon Treaty in comic book form?” Schuiten: “That’s a bit of an insult to the comic book, I find, which is worth more than that — more than just to adapt things that are that laboured. But, all the same, Europe has built a system which eventually is going to have to make contact, manage to communicate, and there’s something to be done there. New systems are to be imagined, new relationships, new common threads, new roots!”