At the end of this year, the Groenmarkt in Sint-Truiden, Belgium, will be transformed into a large, integrated artwork by Koen Vanmechelen. Cosmowing will permanently link Koen Vanmechelen's work and name to Sint-Truiden, the city where he was born and named Honorary Citizen.
Cosmowing brings together several world-famous projects, behind one facade. In addition to the Cosmocafé, no less than six new works of art will connect and surround the premises on the Groenmarkt. Most notable, the building at number 64 will be completely covered with azulejos tiles. "These are tiles on which chickens from the Planetary Community Chicken project are depicted," says Koen Vanmechelen. "Sint-Truiden becomes, as an international pioneer for the Cosmocafé, the de facto nexus of the project, and is connected to all those other cities that, all over the world, are part of the project."
Vanmechelen is a Sint-Truiden-born cosmopolitan. "That's why this project is so important to me. No matter how far someone ventures out, the first nest remains the most important. It's a permanent breeding ground," Vanmechelen says. On the roof of Cosmowing a greenhouse will be installed. A typical Vanmechelen incubator for experimentation and new life. On the back of the building DNA is painted.
The Future is now
Vanmechelens' DNA is inextricably linked to the city and region, also artistically. Since 2005 he has had several exhibitions in the city as well as a art installation with chickens for 15 years. With Cosmowing as a permanent artwork, Vanmechelen visualizes the growth and connectedness in this city. In total Cosmowing will count seven outdoor works and is a new initiative on the idea of sustainability in the context of the city. And in confrontation with contemporary art. These two elements live in a city and are the ingredients to enable strong urban development. Cosmowing will be the start of the “Sint-Truiden of the future”. In Cosmowing new thoughts can ripen and grow.
With a non-profit organisation set up especially for this purpose, which also bears the name of the work, five socially and culturally committed Haspengouwers want to turn Cosmowing into real cultural heritage. "It is important that we embed Koen in the urban fabric. As Koen always says, 'The Global only exists by the Generosity of the Local,'" states Pascal Vossius, the well-known Truien innovator and trailblazer who has previously worked with Koen Vanmechelen, including for the Cosmocafé.
Cosmowing also wants to be more than an artistic homage. Based on Vanmechelen's philosophy, it is linked to social projects which will be supported by the non-profit organization and with the interest of the crowdfunding.
In addition, the artwork, and the social works associated with it, will be opened up to the general public. Through crowdfunding, nearly 2,000 people and organizations are connected to one of the Vanmechelen tiles on the wall of Cosmowing. They become friends of Cosmowing, and receive a certificate and support the social projects. In this way, the work is truly supported by a broad layer of the population.
Become a “friend of Cosmowing” via www.cosmowing.be