Artist Mikes Poppe extracting himself from a block of marble

Unique performance at the art exhibition ‘The Raft. Art is (not) lonely.’

Through the art manifestation ‘Het Vlot. Kunst is (niet) eenzaam./The Raft. Art is (not) lonely.’ curators Jan Fabre and Joanna De Vos aim to activate Ostend and give people a chance to discover – or rediscover – this city. In addition to the more obvious venues, Fabre and De Vos went in search of locations that were not as self- evident such as the tower of St. Peter’s Church (also called ‘de Peperbusse’), the Courthouse, the Europa Tower, the stables of the Wellington Hippodrome or the vaults of St. Joseph’s Church. As a result, ‘The Raft. Art is (not) lonely.’ will take its visitors on an art tour of 22 enues throughout the City by the Sea.

On 10 November Artist Mikes Poppe (1983, Antwerp) chained himself to a giant block of Carrara marble at the Ostend Courthouse. In between his daily needs and wishes – eating, sleeping, bodily functions and drawing – he attempts to liberate himself by hewing away at the marble: ‘The life of an artist’ in its most solitary and concentrated form.

A video of the performance is streamed live on the website: 

The exhibition’s curators, Jan Fabre and Joanna De Vos, have worked hard in recent months to make a selection of 73 artists, including (inter)nationally established artists and young talent. The 22 venues have also been carefully selected and often stray from the beaten path. The main location and starting point of the exhibition is in Mu.ZEE, but less obvious locations such as De Peperbusse, the law courts, the Europa centre, the crypt of St. Joseph’s Church, and many others have also been included in the art walk through the city.  52 artworks were created especially for The Raft. Art is (not) Lonely , which also includes a programme of 18 performances. 

Visitors are able to find their way on foot to the various venues and works of art through a convenient guide booklet. A programme of live performances and activities will provide an ongoing impetus to activate the exhibition, its various venues and the city itself.