A project by Youkali for Vredeseilanden on change, community and culture
From 6 June till end of October 2010 on different venues in Flanders.
Although art obviously is valuable as a source of inspiration and knowledge or as a carrier of change in itself, it can also be a means to talk about social issues. With us or somewhere else. Sometimes art can be a way to make a change, to enhance social coherence, battle poverty, respect human rights. Theatre, film, music and visual arts are a way to get to grips with situations like these.
On several locations in Belgium a farmer and an artists are brought in dialogue with each other to either create an art work or to give space for one. Following the point of departure of Vredeseilanden, both the farmer and the artist get a central role. Both are at the basis of human activity and survival and decide the future. Without the activity of the farmer, however small, there is no food, no life. He is the basis. The artist has a similar function – she represents her surroundings, interprets it and discovers new possibilities. Both the farmer and the artist supply each in their own way food that is essential to life.
WIJHEIZIJWEIHIJ… can not be translated into English. It is a play with the Flemish or Dutch words for us and them, he and she, as well as heather and meadow, that have a similar pronunciation but either make use of ei or ij. It thus points to the relationships between artist and farmer, between us here and them there, between land and men. The title talks of strong connections and dialogue, about discovery, about poetry, attention, beauty. The title is not static but can be used in different ways and in that way also points to dynamics and creativity. It thus becomes symbolic for another way to look at life.
THE ARTISTS AND FARMERS
The artists were selected because of their high artistic quality and charisma, both to a broad as to a more specialized public. All have an interest in a social dimension. They are artists from ‘here’ that devote themselves to a wider and deeper perspective. For this project we work with Johan Creten, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Nathalie Hunter, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Koenraad Tinel and Koen Vanmechelen.
We found some wonderful partners for them: bio farmers Koen and Stefaan Busschots for the project of Nathalie Hunter, Kingsmill and farmer Dirk Draelants for the projects of Johan Creten and Koen Vanmechelen, dairy farmers Luc and Krista Callemeyn the project of Lucy + Jorge Orta, the families Dominique De Clerck, Chris De Dijn and Noël Debeuf for the project of Koenraad Tinel and Karel Houdmont of Ourobouros for the project of Berlinde De Bruyckere
Three cultural institutions help us to give the project some broader attention: Museum M in Leuven, S.M.A.K. in Ghent and the Permekemuseum in Jabbeke.