Library of Walks - Stefaan van Biesen

 

L I B R A R Y O F W A L K S [ since 1990 ].

 

 

 

 

 

The Library of the Walks. Officially, the 'Library of Walks' was first shown during the art project 'Skin' [CC De Werft te Geel Belgium 2004] This library already had a history with the walk performance with poet Geert Vermeire during 'Uit hetzelfde hout gesneden/Cut out the same wood', [Beeldig Hof in Saksen ', CC Ter Vesten Beveren Belgium, summer 2003]. This along with the 'Studiolo' installation, a reconstruction of 'San Girolamo nello studio', [Antonello da Messina 1430-1479].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Library of Walks] is an ongoing project, regularly shown in public libraries or in special places [indoors or in nature]: 01. > 'Uit Hetzelfde Hout Gesneden' [Beeldig Hof Ter Saksen (start up) CC Ter Vesten in Belgium 2003]. > 02. 'Dag van de Kunstuitleen' [Kunst in Huis, Antwerp Belgium 2004]. > 03. 'Obscured by Thoughts' [Wim De Cuyper Gallery Sint-Niklaas Belgium 2004] > 04. 'Library of Walks' [Public library Pittem Belgium 2004]. > 05. 'Skin, must learn how to breathe' [De Schrijnwerkerij, CC De Werft Geel Belgium 2004]. > 06. 'Skin, must learn how to breath (II)' [Public library Zwijndrecht Belgium 2005] > 07. 'Onderweg' [Sint-Maartenschool Beveren Belgium 2006]. > 08. 'Uit Het Geheugen' [Guislainmuseum: KATHO Ipsoc Kortrijk Belgium 2010]. > 09. 'Sensitive Islands' [Art Borgloon, Borgloon Belgium 2012]. > 10. 'Library of Walks' [ Jadim Botanico Brasilia Brazil 2012]. > 11. 'Letters to a tree/Library of Walks' [OLVG School Melsele Belgium 2017]. > 12. 'Library of Walks (Rewind)' [Happen&Stappen Melsele Belgium 2017]. > 13. 'Letters to a tree/Library of Walks' [De Toren Melsele Belgium 2018]. > 14. 'Library of Walks' [Kinono Art Gathering, School of Fine Arts Tinos Island Greece]. > 15. 'Libraries as Gardens' [Analogio Festival Athens Greece 2018]. > 16. 'Library of Walks (Round up)' [exhibition at TAF [The Art Foundation, Athens Greece 2018]. > 17. 'Made of Walking (V) University of West-Macedonia Prespes Greece 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A portable nomadic Library of Walks:

 

 

[Library of Walks] [What] The Body Knows / The Bleu Parade] Made of Walking (V) Prespes Greece 2019.

 

Walking encounters/conference in Prespes Greece, July 1-7 2019.

Department of Fine and Applied Arts of the University of Western Macedonia.

 

 

 

Video: this performative walk '(What) The Body Knows / The Blue Parade'' in the village of Psarades at Prespes is part of the Library of Walks that has been started by Stefaan van Biesen since 1990. From this ongoing process various applications grew, realized in Europe and Brasilia in collaboration with curator-writer Geert Vermeire. For Made Of Walking (V) in Prespes 2019, Stefaan van Biesen & Annemie Mestdagh, designed a portable nomadic library that is carried by a group of participants:

 

Walkers of the group: Yannis Ziogas, Natacha Antão Moutinho, Miguel Bandeira Duarte, Rosie Montford, Anna Villas Boas, Geert Vermeire, Chistopher Kaczmar, Marie-Anne Lerjen, Kristina Borg, Katerina Paisi, Juana Miranda, Raffaella Zammit, Lucia Masu, Emanuelle Klafiger, Ienke Kastelein, Caterina Giansiracusa.

 

Photo: presentation of the prop and collected artefacts during '[What] The Body Knows / The Blue Parade' at the exhibition at the Byzantine Museum Of Agios Germanos at Prespes Greece 2019.

 

The carriers become the artwork. In this way, a mental and energetic field becomes a space specific practice. They feel their togetherness and become aware of each other's physical presence, through the object/prop that they carry together and that is functioning as a 'conductor'. During walking (and breaks), they are asked to explore the surroundings with an observing alertness and to absorb the scenery.

 

 

People carrying a portable library. The slightly meandering, streamlined shape of the ultramarine blue canvas, (in ancient Greece there was no name for the colour 'blue') *1.), refers to the nearby Little Prespa lake. Also a link to the fate of refugees. While observing, participants are asked to collect items they notice on their way in the environment nearby, small significant artifacts. The pieces can be put in pet bottles (or later in glass jars), which are attached to the blue canvas. This gives the walk a ritual dimension in which a collection is created that is representative of the biotope where the action takes place. This way the natural and social identity of a place is archived, documented.

 

 

 

Being together in silence, carried away by a human energetic stream, walking as a sensitive experience, must lead to a collective act that sensitively reinforces the walk.

 

 

 

The project of Made of Walking (V) on Kozani TV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Study [(What) The Body Knows / The Blue Parade] Library of Walks [XVII].

Made of Walking (V) Prespes Greece 2019.

 

 

 

A nomandic A3 book, travelling [paper and textile]. Photos of walks, drawings, models and earlier versions of the Library of Walks in Europe and Brazil. Shown at the exhibition at the Byzantine Collection Of Agios Germanos at Prespes Greece July 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All about walking. Kinono Art Gathering in Tinos. Library of Walks: an installation by Stefaan van Biesen, walks with Vermeire Geert. Plantescape with Simona Vermeire. 

 

 

 

Music of biofauna with Anastasia Georgaki. Music improvisations by students of Department of Musical Studies (University of Athens). July 25th, Katapoliani Monastery.

 

Nomad Gardens: sound/-landscapes of Tinos. Between Agapi - Volax, a narrative walk, interpreting the dry stone landscape with storytelling and site specific interventions on the trail by Ecomuseum. The narration will be accompanied with in situ music performances on the go, by students of the Department of Musical Studies (University of Athens), followed by a concert of Sound Poetry in Volax village. 
July 27th, Agapi - Volax.

 

Garden of fig trees, an improvisation concert based on walks throughout the landscapes of Tinos with ten students of the Department of Musical Studies (University of Athens), presenting compositions of soundscapes and sound poetry, Coordinator: Anastasia Georgaki Composer: Orestes Karamanlis. Students:Μποσινάκη Ειρήνη – Αφένδρα, Γιάννης Σταματογιάννης, Ερωφίλη Παναγιωταρέα, Βασίλης Μπίλας, Χρήστος Νταούλας, Αναστασία Καπετανάκη, Γιώργος Μιζήθρας, Λιάνα Γκιόζου, Γιώργος Κόκκινος
July 28th, Volax.

 

 

 

 

 

[Library of Walks]. At the start of this project [2002] Stefaan van Biesen invited each one for a walk and the memories, [something that attracted attention and took you on your journey], in a locked glass. Photos, letters, notes, audio and voice recordings, drawings: a reflection to conserve a special moment of walking. This glass of experience in a dialogue with the thousands of [other] books in a library where the artwork. These 'glass books' invite you to reflect the experience.


 

The art of wandering. The size of the box is determined by the walker and by what he or she wishes to keep and in principle, it does not play a role. Every glass added to the library symbolically represents the presence of the walker within this project. With the info provided by the walker: [name, place and date of the walk], the label is uniform with everyone else.

 

This creates a 'Library of Walks' which is very diverse and grows from the participation of walker. For example, every contribution and walk is unique and every book is a silent witness of a journey and the associated experiences. By the artist's question, the walker is requested to approach the location of the walk as a focused visitor, an attentive observator. The "landscape" you move in is any urban or natural place in which you are moving. The body is experienced as an influential instrument, a subject that resonates on the environment from a sensitive thought. The body becomes an ever-moving center in an optical and emotional field from a panoramic perspective.


 

At the start of this project [2002] Stefaan van Biesen invited each one for a walk and the memories, [something that attracted attention and took you on your journey], in a locked glass. Photos, letters, notes, audio and voice recordings, things taken from nature, drawings: a reflection to conserve a special moment of walking. This glass of experience in a dialogue with the thousands of [other] books in a library where the artwork is showed. These 'glass books' invite you to reflect the experience.

 

The art of wandering. The size of the glass is determined by the walker and by what he or she wishes to keep and in principle, it does not play a role. Every glass added to the library symbolically represents the presence of the walker within this project. With the info provided by the walker: [name, place and date of the walk], the label is uniform with everyone else. Participants are asked to collect what attracts attention during their walk in a glass bocal. From a more conscious way of walking, ecology and perception. Locations in Europe and Brasilia where these libraries were shown (or are still to be seen). Geert Vermeire [curating The Library of Walks, Jardim Botanico Brasilia Brazil 2012], the Greeck island Tinos and during 'Libraries as Gardens during the Analogio Festival in Athens 2018..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[nomadic museum] Made of Walking La Romieu France 2017. The Box of Walks is an artifact of a nomadic museum of walks [drawings, prints, maps, painted figures], that are displayed in situ for a limited time. It is taken in the luggage of the artist on the go and shown to the public when the opportunity arises.

 

Pop Up presentation during Made of Walking (IV) La Romieu France 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[New shapes of the Library of Walks] Ideas, approaches, models, design installations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Museum of Walks.

 

 

T H E M U S E U M O F W A L K S .

Model Spaziergangwissenschaft / Wanderlust [philosophical scale model for the urban flaneur]. This model is based on observation, how people behave in a museum space.

 

Some museum visitors also want their own route, apart from the pre-chewed paths. For example, they go slowly or just look at a few works.  This human reflex is described as the tactic that the visitor develops to deviate from the imposed strategic plan. Put simply, this means that people are inclined to take a look behind corners or in side streets, deviating from a mapped out route such as offered in a city guide or a museum guide. This tactic gives the visitor back the individual experience. It stimulates them to reinforce individual experience. The "experiential viewer" moves more anonymously through the city than the classical tourist. Here he is also called 'flaneur' or 'einzelgänger'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Geert Vermeire and Stefaan van Biesen talking about Lucius Burckhardt & Joseph Beuys]. A talk at Documenta 14 Kassel Germany.

 


 

 

 

U T O P I A [ B O O K ] [ 2 0 1 7 ] .

 

[Utopia, just around the corner?] Limassol & Nicosia Cyprus February 2017.

 

Utopia. A book of longing. During the Urban Emptiness Network exhibition at NeMe Limassol Cyprus. Following on walks and interventions in Limassol and Nicosia February 2017. Curated by Geert Vermeire. Book by Annemie Mestdagh & Stefaan van Biesen. Project started as a pilot in Braga Portugal December 2016. Photo's (of the walks and interventions by Stefaan van Biesen and Annemie Mestdagh) : Marielys Lely Mendelez (Porto Rico) walking with us in the devided and occupied city of Nicosia.

 

 

 

 

 

[Passages] solo exhibition in several historical places. Walks as a prospection for an art project at La Romieu France 2016. This village in the Gers is a place where pilgrims, on their way to Santiago de Compostella are passing through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

©stefaan van biesen-annemie mestdagh 23.09.2019