Text - Stefaan van Biesen


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'In the work of Stefaan van Biesen an associative solidity has arisen between thinking, acting, environment and well-being. Formulated as a question: 'how do our thoughts manifest themselves via acts in our environment and to what extent do they contribute to our well-being?' (Stef Van Bellingen, 2006).

The body is experienced as an influential instrument, a subject that feels out its environment and resonates out of a sensitive thinking. The body thus moves in an optical and emotional field out of a panoramic perspective, a sanctuary.


'Today we discover that thinking is a physical matter (…). Nowadays the embodied nature of subjectivity is emphasized. The body is thinking. I do not stand knowing, distant in this world. Through the body I rather have an understanding, a proximity with this world.' (‘The anarchistic body’, Francis Smets, 2004).

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Wanderlust[Openingstekst Ernest Van Buynder] S & H De Buck Gent 2013. [lees pdf file].

Brieven aan een boom [Nederlandstalige versie] 1996-1997 [lees pfd bestand].

De generfde huid [catalogus Nederlandse versie] 2005 [lees pdf bestand].














[Spaziergangwissenschaft - the art of wandering] Sensitive thinking.


"Science is not necessarily about truth. Science cannot give us the absolute truth about the world in which we live. Science reveals the most probable view of the world. We have some knowledge but we learn more and more. Our gaze turns. So our understanding about the world is a process of changes. We cannot prove it, but we can look for evidence how the world is functioning. And since evidence is only a part of the answer, we are not 100 % sure of anything. So things can change and they can fall out in a different way that we expect. So science is not the absolute answer but an instument of wondering".


Stefaan van Biesen’s way of thinking is in a current way in keeping with the nomadic aspect of the renaissance artists, who travelled all over Europe. Dürer is a striking example of this. These journeys were art projects, in which streams of thoughts, drawings and other artefacts arose from encounters. These journeys were laboratories of thoughts. Knowledge transformed into an impassioned knowledge. Stefaan van Biesen shows this lab. Notes, artefacts and drawings embellish his journey.


Since 1990 Stefaan van Biesen undertakes, at home and abroad, walks, which, by way of performance, he documents with video, pictures, models, texts, drawings. The Swiss sociologist and urbanist, Lucius Burckhardt [1925-2003] introduced in the nineties the concept: 'Spaziergangwissenschaft'. Stefaan van Biesen wanted to expand this 'science of walking'. It can be seen as a subjective thought exercise in the urban texture and the landscape, ['Head Wanderer' 2002]. This resulted in 'Sensitive islands' where social observations from an unbiased position were recorded. Thus arose in various libraries 'Libraries of the Walks' [the most recent was seen in Brasilia 2012, [Jardim Botanico, Brazil]. The core remains a question, an invitation to the 'art of wandering', where the destination is secondary to the road itself. The day as a cycle of meetings, the body as a moving center, instrument of knowledge, experience and creativity.

Art Borgloon 2012.






©stefaan van biesen-annemie mestdagh 13.03.2017