Sarah & Charles – Cour, Jardin
Ronse still bears visible traces of an industrial past. The vacant lots, although in the centre of the city, have so far only been used as allotment gardens for social purposes. Their redevelopment into a new residential park confronts residents with an influx of newcomers from various social backgrounds.
From an existing social network of allotment gardeners and cultural activists, the sponsors wanted to see the emergence of a work of art that, beyond prestige and costly representation, can bring together old and new inhabitants. The group of patrons was extremely critical of the known formulas and expressed the desire to see a work that would stimulate encounters without affecting the visual recognition of the site.
The Renaix park offers the possibility of building villas and apartments in the greenery. But does it become the property of its new inhabitants only? The artist duo Sarah and Charles invite the sponsors, the original residents of the neighbourhood, to literally play a role in the park through a theatre set.
Sarah & Charles
The selected artists Sarah & Charles offer an open stage image, a play structure around which the many existing theatre companies, art academies and other local groups can build scenarios and try poses.
The title of the work refers to a theater expression used to determine the players position on stage. It dates from Molière's time, where in the Palace of Versailles, players referred to the 'side of the courtyard' and 'the side of the garden' to indicate their location.
Inspired by the garden's design, conceived by architects Robbrecht and Daem, Sarah & Charles proposed a permanent stage design, located behind the garden's amphitheater. Concurrently they invite the local theater- and art schools to activate the sculpture on a regular basis.