Arts Festival Watou 2023 is launching its Open Call "Patchwwwork" again this year, the experimental preliminary project from which several artists are selected for the festival in 2024. Artist Koen Vanmechelen is once again taking on the role of inspirator and looking for how Watou as a village and as a community can connect with the artists and vice versa.
Inspirator Koen Vanmechelen
"Patchwwwork" is an open call by Kunstenfestival Watou for professional artists and final-year bachelor or master students in an art program. Under the inspiration of Koen Vanmechelen, they will be immersed in Watou for three days this summer. The Open Call opens on March 10 and ends on April 20, 2023, after which a nine-member jury will consider all entries and select the artists (collectives) who will be invited to Patchwwwork this summer. After this residency, they will select the artworks/installations to be shown at Kunstenfestival Watou 2024 based on the project proposals submitted.
Watou, located on a linguistic and cultural border, serves as an inspiration for many artists. The similarities with my own culture site LABIOMISTA are countless. Genk is a city that consists of a patchwork of villages and hamlets. In Watou it is also necessary to connect the local wealth and global context in a fertilizing way, and in a way that will strengthen the balance rather than disturb it
— Koen Vanmechelen
Picture, from left to rechts: Curator Poëzie Michaël Vandebril, Inspirator Koen Vanmechelen, Curator Edith Doove
"Patchwwwork" is a concept by Koen Vanmechelen and arose from the need to reconnect the village of Watou and the artistic. Vanmechelen: “Watou, located on a linguistic and cultural border, serves as an inspiration for many artists. The similarities with my own culture site LABIOMISTA are countless. Genk is a city that consists of a patchwork of villages and hamlets. In Watou it is also necessary to connect the local wealth and global context in a fertilizing way, and in a way that will strengthen the balance rather than disturb it. My working method in both communities is based on the philosophy of the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. Letting elements search for each other to give fertilization. The Watou nest, at the crossroads of poetry, landscape, and agriculture is an ideal place for responding to and involving the local community. Searching for a new way of farming, of building and connecting with boots on the ground and the view beyond the horizon.”
De kandidaten voor Patchwwwork worden geselecteerd door een internationale jury:
Koen Vanmechelen (kunstenaar) Loes Vandromme (schepen van cultuur, stad Poperinge) Michaël Vandebril (dichter en curator) Marjan Doom (directeur GUM) Edith Doove (curator en auteur) Dirk Draulans (bioloog, journalist en auteur) James Putnam (curator) Jo Coucke (kunsthistoricus) Sabiha Keyif (kunsthistoricus en curator)
Jury © Michaël Depestele (photo 3, 5, 6)
Arts Festival Watou 2023
Arts festival Watou 2023 will be given the baseline /kom.po’zi.ci.o:/. Curator Edith Doove clarifies, “The word underlines that things should be brought together while maintaining their heterogeneity, their diversity. Moreover, it is linked (in English) to composure or calmness; it has clear roots in art, painting, music, theatre and dance and is thus connected to choreography and scenography. The recently deceased French philosopher Bruno Latour, in his Attempt at a ‘Compositionist Manifesto’, also makes the link with compromise and compromising which implies a certain diplomacy and caution.
But playing further, he also arrives at the ecologically sound compost and de-composition of various invisible elements. In composing, there is always a certain amount of risk, it can succeed but also fail. But at the very least, there is an attempt to constructively construct with a view to creating an engaging whole. At the same time, it is a theme that is close to people and also leaves room for playfulness.”
Arts Festival Watou 2023 1/07 ➔ 3/09 Baseline; /kom.po'zi.ci.o/. Registration for Patchwwwork 10/03 ➔ 20/04