public statues, fabric, protective materials gathered from residents, 2022
The first interactive intervention is in the city of Brugge (Unesco city) on and around four monuments
Monuments and statues have a specific function in a city: they commemorate an event, they pay tribute to something or someone, they aim to incite us to pious or different thoughts and function as landmarks in the city.
But what if the monument is suddenly wrapped up and made unrecognisable?
Are we thereby protecting our heritage? Do we come to realise that we did not actually know for whom or what that monument was erected? Do we lose our bearings or do we just start seeing things we didn't notice before even though we pass it every day?
Veerle Michiels and Jonas Vansteenkiste have been working together for several years on projects about the function and meaning of monuments. While there are fierce international debates about taking down monuments to figures with a bad past, in other places statues and monuments are wrapped in bed sheets and mattresses to protect them from bomb hits. With the help of neighbourhood residents, Michiels and Vansteenkiste want to wrap four statues during AMOK, thus entering into a dialogue with the city about the function and meaning of its - tangible and intangible - heritage.
On the Muntplein, where the monument "Flandria Nostra" can be found: A bronze equestrian statue in the square was placed in 1987 and represents Flandria Nostra, a glorifying personification of Flanders. The woman in amazon seating is sometimes mistakenly held for Mary of Burgundy. Artist Jules Lagae's 1901 plaster design is kept in the Gruuthuse Museum Brugge.
- "Hans Memling" (Hendrik Pickery 1871)monument on the Woensdagmarkt,
- "the Calvary statue" at the Sint-Jakobskerk. Calvary is the Latin-derived word for a symbolic representation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Mount Golgotha, flanked by Mary and the apostle John. Sometimes images of other episodes of the crucifixion are added. and -- the so-called Stadspomp on the Eiermarkt.rococo pump, Bruges sculptor Pieter Pepers, network of public above-ground city pumps 18th century.
A Special Thx to:
Nele Vanthomme, Sabine Pinsart & Dan, Lisa van der aa, Kennet Verhulst, Jan Verhaeghe, Johan Debruyne, ...., super thx toTeam Kaap: Robbie Boi, Hannelore Capoen, Benny Claeysier, Michiel Coine, Melopee Dedeurwaerder,Ruth Dupré, Simon Neels, Rolf Quaghebeur, Stine Sampers, Jaïr Tchong, Evy Vancalbergh, Aster Vandermeeren, Nico Vanderostyne, Merel Vercoutere, Veerle Vermeulen, Maarten Snoeck, Constatin Binar, People of Brugge, ...
March 8, 2022
Violence provides a void in which everything else becomes absolutely meaningless.
We are very much affected by the war in Ukraine. On social media Ukraine people appear protecting and bringing to safety objects of artistic and cultural value. An action that moves us as people are protecting not only themselves but at the same time their culture and identity (see pictures https://www.jonasvansteenkiste.com/protect-me). Through the action of protecting a monument, it is immediately hidden from view, the monument disappears under its protective form, changing the relationship and dialogue with the public. More than ever we need to be reminded that battles have already been conducted for our peace.
With the project ‘Protect Me’ we ask you, as a social ritual of taking care, to wrap statues with blankets and pillows. A blanket and a pillow are symbols of a place where we feel good, at home. They are inherently connected with humanity, comfort, and pleasant feelings.
This may strengthen solidarity with all victims of war. With this act we hope to convey a message the world of hope to become a more harmonious place.
We are addressing you with a request for collaboration.
‘Protect Me’ is an international art project and responds to the current social and political crises.
‘Protect Me’ project aims to become a global commitment to solidarity with Ukraine. It is supposed to be a representation of the Ukrainian situation in our cities. It’s supposed to be an intervention that makes passer-by ask question like: “What is a collective memory?”, “Is it worth to protect it?”, “Have we forgotten the past when we repeat the same mistakes?”, “How to protect cultural heritage in war?” and finally “How will we protect ourselves in the end?”
Michelangelo covered a church with matrasses when Florence was besieged.
Christo covered up the Reichstag with a silver tarp.
Picasso’s Guernica was covered, when US declared war on Iraq.
Covering reveals a lot. What happens when it disappears from the sight for a moment?
Will you join?
Everything of value is defenseless
Jonas Vansteenkiste, Ivana Kupková, , Michal Travnicek en Veerle Michiels
warm greetings Veerle Michiels & Jonas Vansteenkiste
via the links below you can see more information about our projects
- Kaap, Brugge, Belgium:
KAAP is... encounter, creation, a story, an experience...
KAAP is many things. We want to be a place where you not only meet each other, but also get to know new artists, collectives, artists. And that they too get to know the city and its inhabitants.
We do this through residencies, salons, try-outs, open studios and so on. We also break into the city ourselves and bring music, words and stage to the residents of Bruges and Ostend.
KAAP is Flanders' first and only regional arts centre, born from a fusion of the former arts centre Vrijstaat O. (Ostend) and De Werf (Bruges). Since 2017, we are one arts centre lucky enough to work in two beautiful cities around music, stage, visual arts and literature. Both with their own dynamics, charm and assets.
- Brno, Czech Republic:
Michal Trávníček believes in honesty and openness in life, art, and science. He teaches art history in a high school of design and art in Brno. He loves his job. He aspires to be writer of fiction and art curator. His poems were published few times in magazines dedicated to literature. As a curator he had some experiences since he made exhibitions for Industra gallery.
Ivana Kupková – a teacher at the secondary art school in Brno, lover of art, world literature and the history of philosophy, especially the philosophy of the 20th century. She regularly organizes creative writing courses, where she focuses on improving their narrative and language skills. She has published several collections of joint texts with her students. From 2010 to 2019, she was a member of an anonymous street art guerrilla group that focuses on aesthetic and political topics, the relationship between text and public space. Ivana writes mainly shorter prose texts, she is interested in narrative history too. Actually, she is willing to write a story inspired by her ancestors who lived in a Renaissance house, which they are reconstructing with their partner, Czech sculptor Jiří Sobotka.
- Stockholm, Sweden:
KVADRENNALEN is a national initiative that aims to show the role of art in a free society, and the necessity of a free cultural life. The initiative includes all art forms and all parts of the art field. The goal of KVADRENNALEN is to elevate art, and give its representatives a voice in the debate about the role of culture in our society.
Thierry Mortier The Focus of mortier’s practice is marked by his research into ‘the space between a difference™‘. Having stated that art is a relational process in constant need of completion his work talks about transformations and positions; where the meaning is nothing more than the response i.e. art in actu.