Vadim Vosters – Le Parvis des Gentils
The group of sponsors consists of various associations and residents of the community of Sint-Jozef, a parish of Sint-Katerina-Lombeek (Ternat) and the municipality of Ternat:
- Parish: Vzw Kerkfabriek Sint-Jozef, E.H.J. De Ridder.
- Socio-cultural associations: KWB Sint-Jozef, Okra Sint-Jozef, Sint-Jozefskoor, Union of Liberal Senior Citizens
- Neighbourhood committees: De Klimoppers, Kruidenlaan district, Veldstraat district
- Interested inhabitants of the village
- Schools (primary education): free primary school in Dahlialaan, Kiem Municipal Primary School
- Municipality of Ternat and Cultural Centre of Ploter
There is a church in the parish of St. Joseph at St. Catherine Lombeek. Many voluntary workers helped to build it in the 1930s. This made it the symbol of the local community. But, as everywhere in Flanders, church attendance has been falling sharply in recent years. Since 2007, parallel to the restoration of the building, consideration has been given to converting the church into a community centre so that it can grow into a meeting place for a larger and more varied group of people. In order to support and strengthen this new interpretation of the building, the patrons group suggested the installation of a work of art.
Tranquillity, silence and open-mindedness are the terms that emerge from the discussion. Togetherness, interaction and self-awareness are also terms that often recur in the conversations.
There are also other sensitivities. The church is a bit lost now. It is a very inconspicuous building. In order to draw attention to it, a work of art can also be placed on the forecourt.
The patrons dream of restoring the church to its original function: a landmark where people can meet each other.
Vosters worked with the architect Pieter Walraet. He proposes to create a contemporary 'parvis des gentils' or closed space in front of and around the church. He will whiten the interior of the space with reflective street paint. During research into what brings people together, Vosters stumbled upon the search engine 'google maps'. From an immense perspective - comparable to the all-seeing eye of a God who looks down on us - we can then look back at ourselves as individuals in the masses. By means of projections, Vosters will have a recent google map overlapped with an older map of Ternat on the white background of the parvis. Because as a visitor you will only see that part of the map on which your shadow falls, the installation forces you to walk around. This game can bring people closer together. The residents can also project their own texts on the board of the church. You can take a rest on the surrounding wall. In this way, the church can once again take up its function as a landmark and a community or meeting place.
The project has been put on hold. To be continued.
Curator Christophe De Jaeger introduces Vadim Vosters to the patrons group. During a visit to the studio, Vosters talks about his artistic interests and working method. "This is something completely different from talking about art on the basis of pictures," he says. "Suddenly, it becomes very concrete".
In his work, Vosters works strongly on interaction. He shows how he creates images by placing different "image layers" (slides) on top of each other. Depending on the position of the spectators and by playing with light and shadow, these images change or become visible or not. The curiosity of the group is stimulated. They too want to work with light and focus on interaction. After several intense discussions, the patrons decide to continue working with Vadim Vosters on a work of art for Sint-Jozefkerk.