Bart Eysink Smeets (°1988, NL)
OVER DE GRENS / ACROSS THE BORDER (2022)
The French border is so close to Watou that it inevitably prompts visitors to reflect on this invisible line across the landscape. Eysink Smeets, who is himself immensely intrigued by this borderline, wants to explore it further, together with visitors. And so, his work at the Watou Arts Festival aims to make the Belgian-French border as tangible as possible. On several fields in France, he installs large billboards with poetry, which can only be read with a telescope from a watchtower in Watou. This is how Eysink Smeets instils visitors with the sense of difference between here and there, however imaginary that sense may be.
GRENSWATER / BORDER WATER (2022)
Performance & exhibition
National borders are the result of humanity’s unstoppable efforts to cut nature up into strictly demarcated pieces. As Eysink Smeets meticulously exposes, this occasionally leads to Kafkaesque situations. Yet he also shows the beauty, humour and poetry that result from these attempts to bend archetypal nature to human rules. In his exhibition, Eysink Smeets zooms in on the point where water meets human stories. From holy water to nationally delimited waters: the exhibition ‘Grenswater’ (‘Border Water’) ties into the rich tradition of Belgian absurdist art.