Seventh edition of the ARTONOV Festival

“In sacrificing the essential for the urgent, we end up forgetting the urgency of the essential.”

Edgar Morin will have spent his life between the two. A thousand emergencies steal our attention, we run from one reflection to another.

It is with this phrase that I would like to present the theme of the seventh edition of the ARTONOV Festival 2021: the Japanese word IBASHO (the place where you feel best, where you can remain yourself). The Japanese language is imbued with poetry, with different meanings for the same word or character and constant reference to space and time. In recent times, we have become accustomed to the uncertainty of the future and language is now bestrewed with words that accompany our lives regarding the essential, the non-essential and physical distance. More than simply a carte blanche for creativity, the theme this year is a veritable reflection on the role of art in our lives and perhaps on language itself.

Philosopher Gilles Deleuze made an observation in the 1990s on the role of art and the difference between art and communication. For him, art has nothing to communicate or to counter-communicate. If we define communication as the transmission of information and information as a set of keywords, art on the contrary, is in itself an act of resistance and something that resists even death.

This year’s programming is born of a somewhat holistic approach and comprises a week of interdisciplinary events that will lead us to reflect on an array of questions. 

With BALSAM, the company Laika will present a sensorial performance at the Maison de La Poste. We welcome you to the more classical ARTONOV programming at the Hôtel van Eetvelde and the Hôtel Max Hallet. Add to that some more contemporary locations such as the Tour à Plomb and See U, where the performances Forme(s) de Vie and Urban Beethoven put the focus on disability and the struggle to conquer physical movement, or the democratisation of art, both too frequently relegated to the margins in our competitive, health and safety obsessed and techno-scientific centred society.

ARTONOV will be like the grain of sand that comes to disturb the oyster, to revive in both the audience and the artists, the desire to listen with a willing, discerning but above all, resistant ear.

“Liberty presupposes a risk, the only true risk a man ever faces, and by which he makes himself man; it is a second birth through which one may die. In captivity, we had known free men. They had fulfilled the necessary motions: given their bread when they were hungry, cut the barbed wire when they had been told to wait. They would have died so that others lived or to live themselves: they existed. Almost all of us, at one moment or another, had existed. But today, that is no longer enough. Our return presented us with a more insidious problem. We also need to liberate that part of ourselves that is from the past and ordinary. Bound to works and days, we are alive but no longer exist.” 

Henri Maldiney, La dernière porte (L’ouvert n°1).

Vincenzo Casale, Artistic Director

Jens Van den NieuwenhuysenEdito 2021