Sjoeke is a Brussels'Flemish word for darling, so you can read this as "darlings from Brussels"; connected with the French word "choux" you can also read this as Brussels'sprouts; mon chou is also used in French to say "my darling"; this blog on life in Brussels started originally in support of the BOZAR project POZE to document life in St Josse and other Brussels' towns. A Sjoeke is also a delicious pastry (chocolate or mocca with a cream filling, éclair in French)

Friday, March 10, 2006


March 9, 2006 I receive this stamp on an envelope sent to me by José Vandenbroucke.
This stamp (based on a photo) was made by Buzz Blurr (USA) when he visited Belgium to attend the alternative arts and music festival that happens every year in St Niklaas and that unites many mail artists. Immediately I think of using this image to illustrate myself in the BLOG profile.

March 9 was also the day the Belgian mail artist BAUDHUIN SIMON decided to end his life.
This is how I reacted followed by a comment of Peter Netmail (from Germany) and a card of José and Baudhuin in happier days. José mailed the card again to me after the tragic weekend.

Dear Friends,

On March 9 Baudhuin Simon, the Belgian mail artist who introduced me to the mail art network in 1993, committed suicide. The news reached me Saturday.
I composed a message on "what happened" and posted it on a few Yahoo mail art groups.
I would like to share this with all of you:

To all mail artists

On the suicidal death of Baudhuin Simon:
Yes, the news is true. It reached me by a message from his former girl friend on Saturday while I was hosting the arrival of a poet in my flat (Virginia Cubillan, someone I met thru Mark Sonnenfeld, she lives in the USA but is from Venezuela).
The contrast between the excitement of meeting someone new thru' the network and the sad announcement of the suicide of Baudhuin (who introduced me to mail art in 1993) was enormous.

I took Virginia to see a Puccini opera on Saturday (Le Villi)
That opera is on the ghosts of dead people!!!
Sunday we traveled to Ostend to attend a concert with the music of Preisner
(who wrote the splendid scores for all of Kieslowski's movies)
The concert started with a selection of parts of his requiem for a dead friend.
It almost felt that PIG DADA was present during the whole weekend.
I could tell you lots of things on the circumstances of his act but I refrain myself and prefer to be quiet. It's his choice and the end of his traveling, in this world anyway. The least I can do is respect this.

Be well and remember him for what he meant in mail art ...

Guido Vermeulen

La mort ne change rien, rien ne change car tout change, la vie change toujours, ce n'est que la mort qui ne change rien

Dear friends,

I am considering pigdada´s suicide. His end moves me very much. I myself am only still here, because there were people exactly at the right time in the right place to show me the value of life through their mere presence, when I was depressed and wanted to throw it away in my darkest moments of addiction.
I do not believe now any more that all this happened to me by accident, and so am grateful to them and my higher power.
Those of you who know me personally, will understand that these are not the words of a religious spinster, and that I enjoy today every single hour of my new life, as an artist - "whichever the weather" - often enough together with my mail art friends, in their places or mine.
What I do regret is that Baudhuin never revealed this dark side of his soul to me and so I had no chance to share my own way of healing with him. may he rest in peace.

Peter Netmail, GERMANY

"There are no borders", José is from the Flemish part, Baudhuin was from the French part; the lion is the symbol of Flanders, the rooster is the symbol of the Walloon part, PIG was the symbol of Baudhuin. José wrote on the back of this postcard that arrived March 13: "one pig less"

Drawing on a postcard by David Stone, USA
received March 20
It accompanied a poem David wrote after the news of Baudhuin's suicide.

Pigs can fly but now pig crippled his own wings...

David Stone is a contemporary US poet and the catalyst behind the BLACKBIRD anthologies

Baudhuinic Disorder

On the Suicide of Baudhuin Simon,March 9,2006.

A tribune of darts
haunts the forest.
Lumberjacks wake
to the smell
of country fresh
pancakes and sausage
crackling on the griddle.

And for dinner,
sinewy flanks
too tough to chew,
served on a platter
with a glazed apple
jammed in a tusky snout.

22 years ago,
after the animal
farm revolt,
the horse sale
by Napoleonic order.

And in the 1990's,
Dada Pigart
flew on one wing
from the fire ring
above the frozen fields.

David Stone
March 16, 2006
Marvelous mail art envelope from Aline Girard & Véronique Duhaut (France)
mailed to Baudhuin Simon AFTER his suicide.
This posthumous mail art action reminded me very much of the splendid book art project "Postal Séance", an "investigation on the existence of a postal service in another world" and explored mail art to "dead people" and how the postal system reacted on that.
Some of the letters returned, others were delivered! (meaning that communication art beyond "death" is possible ...)
Beyond are more "in memoriam" art works by Aline and Véronique