By nadine

The first edition of Being Boucalais gathered 16 artists/curators/writers for a two-day performance on the road from Wimereux to Calais. The initial goal of this series was to present Boucalais to this group as a mobile creation studio. After a few trips, Various Artists realised that tapping into the creative DNA of the participants – multiplying several accidental occurrences, and accumulating these actions – can trigger elaborate story lines.

The scripting of the banal, and the ritualisation of the holiday stroller’s routine, created a puzzling set of situations for the participants. Manipulating and repeating some of the occurrences made participants doubt the veracity of their daily experience along the walk. The vagueness of the initial set of instructions, and the use of “non-art” practices (like objets trouvés, faux art, local craftwork and its appropriation) introduced the participants to a collective and interactive experience.

Connecting and communicating with locals was encouraged, as outsiders could introduce new elements into the process. Halfway through the trip, in Hotel Bellevue, Wissant, every guest was asked to create “roomwork” in his/her hotel room: a temporary, non-intrusive installation/performance that could be photographed or described.

Humour played an important role during the walk. For example the group photoshoots, the maintenance of anonymous works, and the repetition of inside jokes. The walks were guided by spokesperson and mediator for Various Artists, Paulo Sudo. He plays with obviousness, clichés and heavy-handed jokes by parodying tourists and exaggerating certain aspects inherent in our vacationist society.

Participants (in order of appearance) were: Geska Helena Brečevic, Frederique de Montblanc, Annemie Maes, Eveline Heylen, Melissa Bliss, Madaleine Trigg, Loes Jacobs, Pacôme Beru, Christophe Meierhans, Tom Stone, David Helbich, Pascal Vandelanoitte, Sophie Muterrer, Catherine Bompuis, Elke Van Campenhout, and Bart Vandeput.