SoNGLiNeS

Nulpunt. Point zéro. Zero (point).
Nomadic performance in Mechelen, 19 – 21/06/09

The “zero point” is a monument, a milestone, a stone sculpture that stands right opposite the Mechelen train station. It is a memorial to a historical event: this is where the first train journey on the European continent began. It consists of a large column, resting on a heavy architectural structure of brick and concrete, a strange totem pole that hangs in the air above a condemned underground passageway. The “zero point” is the point of departure and arrival of the project by Els Dietvorst and Hassan Darsi in Mechelen.
The project rests on the parallel and complementary approach of the “zero point” by the two artists. It is the source of their shared journey and at the same time the continuation of their individual artistic journeys.
After some initial surveying and research, the artists will give this fixed point a “new identity” by reproducing it in 1001 small-scale replicas made by craftsmen in Casablanca. Through the technique of moulding, with loam, they will arrive at the “zero point” of artistic creation, returning, as it were, to the “original”.
The 1001 replicas will be transported in a small van similar to the countless vans that criss-cross Casablanca, and that will be redesigned by Hassan Darsi. Protected under golden covers, the 1001 replicas will then be shared among the citizens of Mechelen and will function as meeting points, a memorial to the original.
Els Dietvorst has filmed the evolution of this physical and mental journey through time and space: the time needed for the project to reach maturity, and for encounters and re-creations to occur. The project is a metaphor for the physical and cultural distance that separates Belgium from Morocco, places that are ultimately linked through the artistic exchange of these two artists, a symbol of their shared journey.