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The Waiting Room, PASSIO2024, IL CAMMINO, Sint-Maartenskerk Courtrai, 15 Feb – 7 Apr 2024

On 15th February, the contemporary art biennial PASSIO opens for the fifth time at the Sint-Maartenskerk in Courtrai. Titled "IL CAMMINO”, the expo brings insights that focus on psychological vulnerability, burden and carrying capacity. Curators An Schotte and Klaus Verscheure selected artists who reinforce these burning topical themes, including artist Koen Vanmechelen. With his installation "The Waiting Room”, a symbolic incubator, he invites us to reflect on the depths of human existence, to embrace the complexity of expectations and explore the multifaceted nature of evolution.

Art as a point of rest


This year, the fifth edition of art biennale PASSIO in Courtrai listens to the title "IL CAMMINO," referring to the journey, the path that every human being takes in his life. The expo wants to offer perspectives and draw attention not only to uneasiness, but also to the mental struggle of both the artist and the viewer.


The pastoral unit OLV van Groeninge in Kortrijk is the initiator of this project. Together with curators An Schotte and Klaus Verscheure, they bring to life an exhibition in which mental vulnerability, burden and carrying capacity make up the central themes. The exhibition challenges the visitor to reflect on vulnerability and resilience from a perspective of compassion for all people.


"We live in a world that changes so quickly, in which many can no longer keep up, and no longer feel good about themselves. At such a time, art can provide a point of rest, a life preserver that you can hold on to for a while, a source of meaning" —   An Schotte & Klaus Verschuere



The central artwork is the video 'Ricordo di un dolore' ('Remembrance of a pain') by the Italian artist duo Masbedo. In addition to the video, there is work by Koen Vanmechelen (BE) who created the installation 'The Waiting Room' especially for the exhibition, Renato Nicolodi (BE) shows two sculptures, the Iranian artist Maryam Najd brings recent paintings, Levi van Veluw (NL) presents photography and paintings and Colin H. Van Eeckhout (Amenra) shows bronze sculptures. The young writing talents of Letterzetter complete the exhibition with text.



The Waiting Room


With his installation "The Waiting Room" Koen Vanmechelen reveals the complex dance of human expectations and the unpredictability of life. The installation is fueled by the immanent sacredness of the imposing space in which the boundaries of possibility and evolution appear to be fluid. The Waiting Room consists of two two majestic Vesta portraits, a glass nests cradling an egg and one of the artists Temptation sculptures that were previously on show at the Uffizi galleria in Firenze.


The portraits watch over a glass nest, woven with claws and golden spurs, which acts as an allegory for self-preservation and defense. Nurtured by this nest, is a transparent egg, a mystical receptacle of unknown futures, from which rises the promise of the unpredictable.


Behind this apparent stateliness looms "Temptation" in which the symbols of healing and predation spring from the legacy of Alexander the Great, a figure whose epic history graces the annals of great military leaders. These two elements, seemingly opposites, embody the inescapable contradictions and conflicts that permeate human existence. The Waiting Room, in which life subtly but silently generates invisible energy, symbolizes the birth of possibility.


A symbolic incubator, The Waiting Room invites us to reflect on the depths of human existence, to embrace the complexity of expectations and explore the multifaceted nature of evolution. This installation is a celebration of the beauty in contradictions, a reminder of the fragility of our perception and also an invitation to look with openness at what life has to offer us. But without the generosity of the first moment, life is doomed to extinction.

Exhibition Info


The Waiting Room


Sint-Maartenskerk Courtrai

Jozef Vandaleplein

8500 Courtrai

Opening: 15 February om 20u00 – to 7 April 2024




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