Casper Fitzhue & Bart Van Dijck/ URS GEEST
We are happy to present URS GEEST by Casper Fitzhue (1990, RO) and Bart Van Dijck (1974, BE). This extensive project has been inspired by the artists’ many travels to the east of the Carpathians and their immersion in the local ritual of the dancing bear. Fitzhue and Van Dijck worked closely together and combined symbolic elements coming from Belgian and Romanian folklore to create their own, unique rite of passage.
Their new works, on view at CIAP, function as traces of their participation in the bear dance. The exhibition reflects the cycle of the bear’s hibernation, but also evokes a journey, a metaphorical transition from life, through death, to re-birth. URS GEEST posits the ritual as a cross-cultural phenomenon, at the same time local and universal. It is a call for the reinvention of our relationship with nature through, what the artists call, ‘re-wilding’: getting to know ourselves better by observing nature.
Two weeks before the exhibition’s opening, Fitzhue and Van Dijck are going to perform their Ceremonial Invitation; dressed in self-made festive outfits, the artists are inviting the neighbours to the opening, while offering them a taste of a self-made jenever. This special tonic, brewed with the help of the master distiller of the Jenever Museum in Hasselt, Jan Kempeneers, contains herbs and roots that the brown bear eats to regain strength after waking up from the hibernation.
Following the opening, the jenever, bottled in bear-shaped clay sculptures, will be available in limited edition at CIAP. This multiple has been created by Fitzhue and Bart van Dijck especially on this occasion.
This exhibition is part of EUROPALIA ROMANIA and CIAP wants to thank for their support. URS GEEST Jenever has been created in collaboration with Jenevermuseum Hasselt. CIAP also wants to thank Kunstenpunt, Ceata Ursilor din Asãu, motionARThoughts, ICR Romania, Museum of the Romanian Peasant Bucharest, Stijn Yperman, Jan Marechal, Ion Blãjan, Dorin Preda, Alex Gligor, Davy Jacobs, Jan Kempeneers.
With the support of: Flemish Community, City of Hasselt, and CIAP members.