Ceramic arms, metal, mirror, 2021-2022
public statues, fabric, protective materials, 2022
The first interactive intervention is in the city of Brugge (Unesco city) on and around four monuments
Monuments and statues have a specific function in a city: they commemorate an event, they pay tribute to something or someone, they want to encourage us to think piously or otherwise, and they function as landmarks in the city.
But what if the monument is suddenly wrapped up and made unrecognisable?
Is this how we protect our heritage? Do we come to the conclusion that we actually did not know for whom or what this monument was erected? Do we lose our bearings or do we just start seeing things that we did not notice before, even though we pass by them every day?
Veerle Michiels and Jonas Vansteenkiste have been working together on projects about the function and significance of monuments for several years. While fierce international discussions are taking place about pulling down monuments to figures with a sordid past, in other places statues and monuments are being wrapped in bed sheets and mattresses to protect them from bomb blasts. With the help of local residents, Michiels and Vansteenkiste want to wrap four statues during AMOK ( 01 okt 22 / 09 okt 22)
, thus entering into a dialogue with the city on the function and meaning of its - material and immaterial - heritage.
statues in Lviv
March 8, 2022
Violence provides a void in which everything else becomes absolutely meaningless.
We are very much affected by the war in Ukraine. On social media Ukraine people appear protecting and bringing to safety objects of artistic and cultural value. An action that moves us as people are protecting not only themselves but at the same time their culture and identity (see pictures https://www.jonasvansteenkiste.com/protect-me). Through the action of protecting a monument, it is immediately hidden from view, the monument disappears under its protective form, changing the relationship and dialogue with the public. More than ever we need to be reminded that battles have already been conducted for our peace.
With the project ‘Protect Me’ we ask you, as a social ritual of taking care, to wrap statues with blankets and pillows. A blanket and a pillow are symbols of a place where we feel good, at home. They are inherently connected with humanity, comfort, and pleasant feelings.
This may strengthen solidarity with all victims of war. With this act we hope to convey a message the world of hope to become a more harmonious place.
We are addressing you with a request for collaboration.
‘Protect Me’ is an international art project and responds to the current social and political crises.
‘Protect Me’ project aims to become a global commitment to solidarity with Ukraine. It is supposed to be a representation of the Ukrainian situation in our cities. It’s supposed to be an intervention that makes passer-by ask question like: “What is a collective memory?”, “Is it worth to protect it?”, “Have we forgotten the past when we repeat the same mistakes?”, “How to protect cultural heritage in war?” and finally “How will we protect ourselves in the end?”
Michelangelo covered a church with matrasses when Florence was besieged.
Christo covered up the Reichstag with a silver tarp.
Picasso’s Guernica was covered, when US declared war on Iraq.
Covering reveals a lot. What happens when it disappears from the sight for a moment?
Will you join?
Everything of value is defenseless
Jonas Vansteenkiste, Ivana Kupková, , Michal Travnicek en Veerle Michiels
warm greetings Veerle Michiels & Jonas Vansteenkiste
via the links below you can see more information about our projects
- Brno, Czech Republic:
Michal Trávníček believes in honesty and openness in life, art, and science. He teaches art history in a high school of design and art in Brno. He loves his job. He aspires to be writer of fiction and art curator. His poems were published few times in magazines dedicated to literature. As a curator he had some experiences since he made exhibitions for Industra gallery.
Ivana Kupková – a teacher at the secondary art school in Brno, lover of art, world literature and the history of philosophy, especially the philosophy of the 20th century. She regularly organizes creative writing courses, where she focuses on improving their narrative and language skills. She has published several collections of joint texts with her students. From 2010 to 2019, she was a member of an anonymous street art guerrilla group that focuses on aesthetic and political topics, the relationship between text and public space. Ivana writes mainly shorter prose texts, she is interested in narrative history too. Actually, she is willing to write a story inspired by her ancestors who lived in a Renaissance house, which they are reconstructing with their partner, Czech sculptor Jiří Sobotka.
- Stockholm, Sweden:
KVADRENNALEN is a national initiative that aims to show the role of art in a free society, and the necessity of a free cultural life. The initiative includes all art forms and all parts of the art field. The goal of KVADRENNALEN is to elevate art, and give its representatives a voice in the debate about the role of culture in our society.
Thierry Mortier The Focus of mortier’s practice is marked by his research into ‘the space between a difference™‘. Having stated that art is a relational process in constant need of completion his work talks about transformations and positions; where the meaning is nothing more than the response i.e. art in actu.