It’s with a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it,” that we launch the sixth edition of the Festival ARTONOV during a period of uncertainty and difficulty.
The program which was already closed in February 2020, and included creations by Belgian, Australian, Canadian and Japanese artists, needed to be modified because of the way all transportation modes were affected by the epidemic. We have adapted this edition to comply with the current health and safety regulations while maintaining the theme, “what the day owes to the night,” as well as the sense of artistic adventure that is in the festival’s DNA.
Uniting East and West, the artists of this edition seize the light and enchant it, revealing world of multiple transparencies. In doing so, shadow and reflection become visible too. Indeed, in ancient Greek those two concepts are often represented by the same word, “skia”. Shadow and reflection. Projection of the form, without matter or contour, depending on multiple variables: movement, the source of light or the object itself. The shadow represents darkness, hell, but also the invisible world and the depth sought after by the mystic. It is uncertain and moving. Cartoons and cinema have fun with it, and so do we. The desire of shadow haunts us because it allows the light to break through.
This year we are also opting for venues of a more contemporary architectural style, those of COOP in Anderlecht, and See U in Ixelles. In doing so we choose to present urban projects that have similar dimensions and values as the ones that characterize Art Nouveau and Art Déco. Nevertheless, these styles remain an important aspect of our festival.
During the lockdown, we have often had to choose between different priorities and to reflect on the importance of art in our lives. Yet, it’s quite simple; there are basic necessities, care, agriculture, education, economic and technological sovereignty, but living is more than surviving. Art, it seems to me, is the sign of life, rather than survival.
Art has the capacity to create worlds, sensations and make a difference. Art and its’ ‘social uselessness.’ Artistic works are both useful and useless and with these works, we feel, we live and we create a possible world.
Now more than ever, we need you for this edition of the Festival ARTONOV where architecture is an integral part of the performance ritual.
We wish you a enriching edition filled with intense sensations so that you may continue to dream of the many editions to follow.
“When I was 60 years old, a long time ago, I went to Japan with my wife and I visited the Ise Grand Shrine. Do you know why the Ise Grand Shrine is important? It is destroyed and reconstructed every twenty years. In the East, eternity is not constructed for forever, but continuously. The youth arrive at the temple in their twenties, see how it is built, reconstruct it in their forties and then remain to explain it to the new youth. It’s a good metaphor for life: first you learn, then you apply, then you teach. It’s the younger ones who will save the earth. The youth are the messages that we send to a world which we will never see. It is not they who ride on our shoulders, it is we who ride on theirs in order to have a glimpse at the life we will not be able to live.” Renzo Piano
Artistic director of the Festival ARTONOV