Schipbreukeling – Mathieu Charles



The curatorial concept for the upcoming edition of sonsbeek, titled Force Times Distance: On Labour and its Sonic Ecologies—much like its new structure— revolves around the issue of labour, its conditions, and rights in relation to varying times and geo-cultural spaces. This project has the socioeconomic relationship between employers and employees at its crux. It will look into the ways the history of labour and the working class reflects and is framed by issues such as race, gender, class structure, geographical distance, and politics.

These issues are explored through their sonicity: the exhibition will act as a choreography of sonic frequencies. It will engage with an expanded and augmented musicality that invites and encourages different modes of listening, which want to make audible that which has always been present, but never heard/listened to—and render visible that which has somehow remained unseen. An exhibition that uncovers and recovers, restitutes and repairs the ever segregating conditions under which we live, between visible and invisible bodies, labour and lands. Gathering around the works by artists who work sculpturally, performatively, and sonically, the project will also investigate the sculptural dimension of the laborious, sonic, as well as the politics of the sonorous—multi-medially and multidisciplinary.

The exhibition will take the form of complex and historically laden parcourses through an aircraft hangar, several castles, (former) estates, farm structures, bunkers, art spaces (from museums to a private foundation), as well as the sonsbeek park. The labour of the countless people that have been engaged in the building and maintaining of these structures, who sweated in the tilling of the soils and the cultivation of the lands; the cooks, cleaners, care-takers, gardeners, concierges, builders, factory workers, soldiers, nurses, and many more.

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