Kunst & Zwalm is a biennial art route in the Zwalm region that has been organized by BOEM vzw since 1997.
Kunst & Zwalm 2019 took place during three weekends in August and September 2019.
For this edition, BOEM vzw was teaming up with the Brussels based arts laboratory nadine. Both local and Brussels artists imagined a new landscape. The project invited 16 artists to create new work in situ or to make interventions in the landscape.
“The Kunst & Zwalm route forms a free canvas for the participating artists. They are invited to ‘wander’ (both physically and mentally) in the landscape, to roam, get lost, stroll, etc. In this context, ‘wandering’ can be seen as a work method, i.e. collectively taking the time to explore the area, to discover its past and to look for specific places where there is still room for interpretation or ambiguity.
The landscape of the Zwalm region serves as a temporary artist’s studio in which various art disciplines will come together and enter into a dialogue with one another and the public.”
For Kunst & Zwalm oracle proposed to “read” contrasting places along the trail that served as different entry points to the public. The main hotspot was the playground “Geen Speelplein” that invited people to participate in the practice and that hosted the oracle community which was invited to join for this occassion.
“The proposal to vocalize in public space without necessarily using words seems to be something that is childlike or not normal or unusual. But we like the contradiction of playing and not playing, of saying: “It’s quite serious what we do, but we approach it lightly”. However well planned, the practice will not guarantee tranquility, pleasure, joy, oneness. It may be distrubing, confronting, a source of angst or grief. But it guarantees a now with which one must choose how to be.”
In this festival oracle experimented with audience participation through scores that were printed on cards and panels.
One station along the route invited the audience to “score what they hear” which later was transformed into a publication for the exhibition of Kunst & Zwalm in Brussels.
During Kunst & Zwalm we participated in the night walk program as well as in the educational program that offered kids workshops to different schools.