La Biennale de Momon
July – November 2020
Cooperative project with: Sarah Boulton (GB), Marc Buchy (FR/BE), Joan Heemskerk (NL), Frans van Lent (NL), Susana Mendes Silva (PT), Josh Schwebel (DE/CA), Lisa Skuret (US/GB), Elia Torrecilla (ES).
Maumont is a small village in the Perigord in France. It consists of 15 houses, around 30 inhabitants and there is no church, shop, café or other public facility. Only a few original residents are still living in the village; most of them died over the years, others left to live elsewhere. Today many inhabitants are pensioners coming from other (Western European) countries. Twenty years ago you could still smell the farms everywhere. Herds of cows and sheep were led through the village every day. Nowadays you mainly see quads, mountain bikes and parents, leading their children on donkeys.
The village has changed from a place where everything was related to soil, work, growth and the seasons, to a place where the inhabitants mainly stroll, relax and dream.
On the other hand the place is still what it always has been: earth remains earth and stone remains stone. The Biennale de Momon starts from there but the physical village will only be used as a starting point. Not by changing anything but, on the contrary, by keeping it the way it is, by maintaining continuity. The project is about the thin line between two sides of reality, mass and energy: air touches the earth, the sun moves over the land. Objects are illuminated, heated and perceived but not changed.
The project might consist of texts, scores, routes, images and sounds, everything that can live online without actually touching the physical ground. In the village there will be no objects that refer to the project, apart from a sign with the web address. La Biennale de Momon will be approachable online only. Of course you can choose to visit the actual village (phone in the hand), but without expecting to see something different than what it always was, a small village in the Perigord.
For this occasion I have invited seven artists with different artistic approaches, but with a certain preference of creating work without a material body, without physical traces.
In July, as a vernissage, we will invite all inhabitants of the village, to have a meal in our house, while we present them the (online) works of La Biennale de Momon. They know the area very well, so through them the artist’s contributions will be confronted with the physical reality of the village.
For that specific occasion we decided not to invite the artists, to prevent the focus to move away too much from the actual village to their artistic representation.
Some time after the summer we plan to organise a small public conference in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. This conference will also be called La Biennale de Momon. We will invite all participating artists to this occasion, to meet each other and to talk about their work. Also we intend to invite some other professionals with a possible relation to the subject. I am thinking about actors, writers, journalists, scientists.
Frans van Lent