an encounter in wandering
2015 - today
part of research: ...am wOAndering... a research on landscape and the practice of wandering.
How do I experience my environment? Can I call it mine? How do we look at the world and in what way is our gaze shaped by the built and non built space through which we stray? Fascinated by the errance of Depardon and the dérive of Debord, I’m curious to research these questions by wandering from place to place, in and around Belgium. With a caravan as my moving, living and working equipment, I attempt to understand this experienced environment and am resolute to experiment with new kind of methodologies within my architectural and artistic practice. Considering the caravan a place from which the landscape keeps on changing. “Persons on the dérive escaped the imaginary totalizations of the eye and instead chose a kind of blindness.” (McDonough, 1994) Internet, road maps and navigation systems are cast aside, to be able to acknowledge different criteria and to pursue a connection with the landscape that fully embraces the practice of wandering.
Concept: Jolien Naeyaert | Mentors: Hans Bryssinck, Heike Langsdorf, Adva Zakai and Anna Luyten | Thanks to: Sjoerd Paridaen, René Van Gijsegem, Fairuz Ghammam, Luc Naeyaert, Christine Ducoulombier, Verholles, my classmates, friends and the many people whom I’ve met during my wandering; Hortance, Chris, Jacqueline, Yvonne, Mrs Oudenhove, George, Mireille and their neighbours, Ruth, Jean-Pierre, Paul, Filou, the trucker from Bulgary, Paul, the Russian journalists, Kurt, Els, Fien, Miriam, Cynthia, Evelyne, Arne, the man from Grobbendonk, the fishermen in Smeerebbe-Vloerzegem, Jessica, Antigone, Pete, John, the stone worker in Namèche, Karel, Kamiel and Jérôme.
During the encounters, I welcome you in my caravan to let you discover my ‘research center’ and to guide you through my two months experience of wandering around. The practice of wandering and my fascination with the notion of ‘landscape’ are put into focus.
AU BOUT DE CE VILLAGE
QUI PART DU VILLAGE
S’EN VA TRES LOIN
L’ESPACE DU REGARD S’ETEND
QUAND ELLE PARLE DU PAYSAGE
C’EST D’ELLE-MEME QU’ELLE PARLE
L’ERRANTE EN QUETE
DU LIEU ACCEPTABLE
DANS UN TEMPS FLOTTANT
AU LONG DES ROUTES
LE PAYSAGE LUI REGARDE
REGARDE LE PAYSAGE
ROUTE AU LONG
QUI FLOTTE DANS LE TEMPS
ACCEPTE LE LIEU
LA QUETE D’ERRER
TE PARLE DE TOI
DE TON REGARD
UN ESPACE S’ETEND
S’EN VA TRES LOIN
CE VILLAGE AU BOUT
Installation and residency
LES BRASSEURS - art contemporain
Vitrine Jeune Artiste
Rue du pont, Liège, BE
Elisa Schmitt and Michelle Saenz Bu on residency at Jolien's Practice of Wandering
In collaboration with DRIFT
Antigone Michalakopoulou on residency at Jolien's Practice of Wandering
Xaidi Tsirogianni on residency at Jolien's Practice of Wandering
On a tourné autour de Tournai
Bára Sigfúsdóttir on residency at Jolien's Practice of Wandering
Contemporary Dance Festival
July 2017 Ostend
Pictures by Tine Declerck and Bára Sigfúsdóttir
Leo Rottmann on residency at Jolien's Practice of Wandering
A short text by Antigone Michalakopoulou.
I remember this strong separation between these two worlds.
There was us and them. And this question: what do they do? We kept finding answers on our way: that’s what they do…
And who were we, if the other (the people we came across during our trip) was so well defined. We were a strong bond for two days, something between tourists, colleagues and friends. You denounced the word tourist. As if the tourist does not have the capacity to purely be in a place: the place he is visiting. Who has then the advantage to purely be in a place? And what does the rest of the people do? They can’t be? If they can’t purely be in a place, where are they? Are they in a fantasy? Were we in a fantasy? Is there such a thing, being deprived of being in a place? What is creating the fantasy?
We again, as a strong bond: how else could we make it? The temperature was very low and the dark came too fast. So we assumed that the lack of light and warmth meant lack of action, or something like that. Someone can’t be under those circumstances. Someone who doesn’t act cannot be.
Them: the other people. It was Saturday noon and they were walking their dogs along the river. That’s what they do. In the evening, they go to one of the few bars and they drink cocktails. They drink cocktails even on Sunday noon. Or they stay home, or maybe they go to the big city, where roles get inversed. Or they get bored. Or we got bored and we imagined everyone being bored. Thus, the place is boring. Or we are boring. Why not being bored in boring a place? Yes, we could be in a cold, rainy, dark place and feel bored.
We left the city. We only had the signs. But did these signs mean anything? I randomly picked beforehand a place with a river and lakes, which turned out not to be lakes. I followed the signs and my sense of orientation. It ended up being easy to find the place. What if I sort of knew where I was going –south- it finally didn’t mean anything, because it was a random choice. It was a village and that was a choice (my choice). We saw animals during our walk along the water. We saw horses, ducks and other birds. Again, we and them. I tried to imitate their walk. I tried to talk to them. I tried to explain the way they gather in that spot where the river turns and becomes larger. Them, the birds, being contemplated in my own human terms.
When the dark came, all seemed to loose its interest over there. We never found out what we could do there the next day. Or, if the 4-5 people playing pool inside the only bar, were friendly or not. Which were their names? What do they finally do?
We will never know.
A fast decision brought us to the highway: another place, a bigger place, a better place, which could remind us the lives we live. And then the place failed. It was a nice failure to experience. Who created the expectations? The name of a city. Because a place has to give. That’s what a place has to do: to give. And we receive. But, did we?