bench invasion

Krak

I am an artist with my own stand / tribune, consisting of several benches. 
Due to Covid there was a long time that I could not play and had no audience.
Therefore, I decided to go into town with a bench, a part of my stand.
Now my audience wasn’t sitting on it but I was. Being present.

Soon I learned that so many people want to tell their stories to someone who has time to listen.
And so, I listened to many great stories, but I also met many people in misery.
To me, it became clear that our society is missing something.
And that something is time, attention, kindness and presence.

Up to now, for several months I have walked around with my bench.
But now I feel it is time to do this together with other people.
The idea is that, before I arrive,
10 people from the community where I come are invited to join me on my walk with the bench.
10 people who are willing to participate in the project and help carry it literally and figuratively. 
Together with them, each with a bench under their arm, we move into the public space. 
In a busy place, such as a large square, we build the benches. Unannounced.
We wait, we sit.
If no one comes to sit with us, we invite people to come and sit next to us. 
We are simply present, listening. 

At the end, we all come together: the bearers of the benches and the sitters. 
Bystanders are also invited.
We convert the benches into 1 long table in the public space…
With words, music (violin) and a glass we toast these encounters and life.

Central themes are (re)connecting people, being present and celebrating, all happening in the public space.

“Kom hier.
kom hier dat ik u aan Mijn borst druk − kom aan mijn Hart, dat ik mijn hand haal door uw Haar − dat ik u kan vragen of ge Iets wilt drinken, koffie misschien,
Eventueel een glas wijn − en dat gij Dan kunt zeggen dat ge liever alleen
Wil zijn, ook goed − maar misschien Hebt ge zin om te praten − om te Vertellen wat er op uw hart ligt, op Uw schouders drukt, elke twijfel, Elke gemiste kans, elke niet gestelde Vraag − wat ge in de loop der jaren Allemaal hebt beloofd en geloofd en
Waar ge nu misschien spijt van hebt
Elke overwinning, elke nederlaag −
Kom hier, dat ik u draag − kom hier,
Dat ik u draag. (Kommil Foo)

Playing dates

Date Location Info
Friday 10 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Saturday 11 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Sunday 12 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Monday 13 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Tuesday 14 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Wednesday 15 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Thursday 16 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Friday 17 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Saturday 18 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  
Sunday 19 June 2022 Oerol Festival, Terschellingen (NL)  

Credits

Idea: Dieter Missiaen en Els Degryse
Artist: Dieter Missiaen
Text: Els Degryse / Kommil Foo
violin: Anna Buevich // Anouk Sanczuk
Many thanks to Craig Weston, Sander Decuyper, Stef De Blieck, Marec Zeghers, Michael Minjauw, Gwendolien Sabbe, Perplx, Miramiro, CirkLabo, Uitwijken – Brugge Plus, Perplx, Miramiro, CirkLabo, Te Gek!?, CC De Spil Roeselare, Centre des arts de Rue – Ath, L’attitude 50.