WONDERTOURS: The artist project

In 2021 Very Contemporary invites contemporary artists to shine their light on the unique characteristics of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion. Professional artists with a link to the region are invited to produce an artwork or event containing topics such as: crossing borders, distance, barriers, language, landscape, cultural and industrial heritage, travelling, cycling, history and the future.

During a research phase the artists research the particularities of the region. During that time they collaborate with at least two of the Very Contemporary venues. In the autumn/winter of 2021/2022 the artists present their end results to the public in the Euregion.

Programme:
13.11.2021 - 27.03.2022 | Silke Schatz / Exhibition 'Manheim calling' @Kunsthaus NRW Kornelimünster
12.12.21 – 13.03.22 | Silke Schatz / Part of exhibition 'Vom Leben in Industrielandschaften. Den Strukturwandel im Blick' @Leopold Hoesch Museum
19.03.2022 | 14:00h | Silke Schatz / Walk through Manheim-Alt @Manheim
21.05. - 04.09.2022 | Stefan Cools / Exhibition 'From the life of a butterfly' @Museum De Domijnen

Very Contemporary, WONDERTOURS: The artist project

Silke Schatz
Silke Schatz's (DE) work deals with places and their history, often focusing on the architecture in which the person lives or lived. The fact that this is linked to socio-political questions is exemplified by the current debate on property prices and climate change.


In ‘Manheim Calling’, Schatz tackles the consequences of open-cast lignite mining. She visited the village of Manheim, which was almost completely demolished due to coal mining. Only a few of the farms are still standing, many orchards and vegetable gardens have already been cleared, only a few overgrown orchards have survived. The operator bought up houses and farms and had them razed to the ground in order to expand the open-cast lignite mine. Not all want to give up their village, few have resisted expropriation to this day or have been negotiating an appropriate compensation for years. Visiting people on site who lived or are still living there, Schatz has started to find traces of the village and to document them, focusing on the nature on fallow land and the abandoned kitchen gardens, which are now left to their own devices. She has started to record her traces and fruits in a shadow archive (cyanotypes) and has chosen it as the starting point for an artistic examination of the relationship between humans and nature.

Walk through Manheim-Alt | 19.03.2022 | 14:00h
In her current and ongoing series of works "Manheim calling", Silke Schatz regularly visits the village of Manheim near Kerpen in the space-consuming brown coal open-cast mining area. Almost completely abandoned, most of the village and its infrastructure, such as houses and farms, gardens and roads, have been demolished and cleared. Interested in this state of limbo, the artist investigates, archives and documents the remaining traces, for example by building up a shadow archive using cyanotypes. Special attention is paid to Manheim's plants. In addition to the primary and fallow plants, the focus is on the useful plants of the former gardens, which repeatedly appear in the levelled fertile wasteland of the site.

Silke Schatz invites you to take a walk together through Manheim on 19 March at 14:00h.
Location: Church Manheim-Alt, Blatzheimer Straße
Number of participants: 25
Free of charge
Registration: museumsverein@dueren.de
Please put on sturdy shoes!

Exhibition 'Manheim calling' | 13.11.2021 - 27.03.2022
In this exhibition @Kunsthaus NRW Kornelimünster, artist Silke Schatz deals with the consequences of open-cast lignite mining. She visited the village of Manheim, which was almost completely demolished for the mining of coal. More information

Exhibition 'Vom Leben in Industrielandschaften. Den Strukturwandel im Blick' | 12.12.2021 - 13.03.2022
As part of this group exhibition, artist Silke Schatz presents an artistic translation of the consequences of open-cast lignite mining in Manheim @Leopold Hoesch Museum. More information

Stefan Cools
Stefan Cools (NL) is a multidisciplinary artist and botanist whose work is on the cutting edge of art and science. Nature has been the source of inspiration for his work since the beginning of his career, and his art currently focuses on the transformational processes of nature.


Barbed-wire vegetation
Cools has been researching barbed-wire vegetation for a while now. The vegetation that grows below barbed-wire is comprised of special species. As no environmental pressures (such as grazing animals, agricultural machinery, and hikers) are present on this area, the soil is left undisturbed. Since the vegetation beneath the barbed wire can't be reached by grazing animals or lawn mowers, the ecosystem is home to a unique set of flora. Even the posts that mark the meadow and hold the barbed wire in place represent independent biotopes, with mosses, lichens, and other types of small vegetation.

Very Contemporary, WONDERTOURS: The artist project

Exhibition 'From the life of a butterfly' | 21.05 - 04.09.2022 @Museum De Domijnen
More information

Programme archive:
15.01. - 06.02.2022 | Arthur Cordier / Exhibition Free Coffee** No smartphone for eternity @IKOB
06.11.2021 – 09.01.2022 | What the flag?! @several Very Contemporary venues
05.09. - 12.12.2021 | Stefan Cools / Walk 'From landfill to flowery grassland'
30.10. - 12.12.2021 | Stefan Cools / Exhibition 'Lines in the Landscape' @Bureau Europa
27.11.2021 | 13:00 - 18:00h | Arthur Cordier / Open studio @Greylight Projects
30.10.2021 | 11:00 - 16:00h | Stefan Cools / Planting day @field Op 't Rentelen
12.10.2021 | 18:00 - 20:00h | Arthur Cordier / Artist talk @IKOB

Very Contemporary, WONDERTOURS: The artist project

Arthur Cordier
Arthur Cordier's (BE) practice tackles the aesthetics of bureaucracy, entrepreneurship, and efficiency through relational, situational, and context-specific works. They often self-reflect upon artistic practice and the entangled economies of art in a production-driven society. ⁣⁣In addition to his practice, he co-initiates the studio and project space The Balcony in The Hague (NL) and contributes as a guest curator to Art au Centre Liège (BE).⁣⁣

Following an open call by Greylight Projects and IKOB, the artist was chosen for this Very Contemporary project by a jury consisting of Maurice Funken (NAK), Brenda Guesnet (IKOB), Wouter Huis (Greylight Projects), and Alicja Melzacka (CIAP).

What the flag?!
'What the flag?!' is a project by Greylight Projects (NL) in which artists design flags that are hoisted on flagpoles outside or inside the venues of the Very Contemporary network partners. The VC network partners invite artists (of their current exhibitions or as part of their collection) to design a print for the flag. A flag from each VC venue will be raised at a different Very Contemporary venue to show the relationship between all of the venues on the network.

Very Contemporary, WONDERTOURS: The artist project