“When Saturn rules,
all things are turned around,
and everything becomes its opposite.”
(from the Saturnalia)
“An archeology of the here and now” - that’s how the Saturnia project defines itself.
The beguine and the engineer, social economy and design, tradition and innovation: contrasting impulses of a dynamic social fabric. Saturnia, with its second ‘City in Action’ project, focuses on the West-Flemish city of Kortrijk.
Things, objects, instruments: they tell stories.
Sometimes they reveal the presence of human activities in the most concrete fashion: digging, praying, cleaning, cooking, drawing. Sometimes, through the creative interpretation of the artist, they become abstract images that speak to the imagination of a ‘listening’ public.
Saturnia tells some of these stories through photographic portraits of everyday objects embedded in human activities and professions.
Like ancient tapestries we often see in city halls, representing guilds and trades of past times, Saturnia portrays ‘a city at work’. Unlike the ancient images, these portraits do not show people, but objects belonging to individuals, carrying the signs of usage and the echo of human presence. Still lives of an intimate archeology, of a latent poetic heritage.
The Kortrijk project pivots around the concept of ‘passion’, which is at the heart of the individual engagement as well as of the family traditions that characterize many West-Flemish enterprises. Passion is the point of innermost contact between man and his activities, it embraces inspiration and the impulse to creativity, it seals the identification between the individual and the path he has chosen.
Passion does not just characterize our ‘doing’. It is also a ‘way of being’. Therefore Saturnia highlights, beside the world of the theatre director, the designer, the engineer and the skater, also that of the beguine, the geriatric helper, the priest and the psychologist. The active and the contemplative, the public and the concealed, the innovative and the traditional are placed next to each other allowing for new associations and reflections.
Saturnia displays 18 activities: architect, beguine, geriatric helper, biker, in-line skater, blogger, brewer, homeless, layer of cobbled roads, hotel manager, engineer, manager of horse stables, furniture designer, priest, psychologist, skateboarder, carpet weaver, theatre director.