Basic Belgium - Bicycle Quartering, Brussels April 19, 2008
Quartering was a middle age torture technique very well analysed in Michel Faucoult's Discipline and Punish. In late 2007 when the discussion about interrogation techniques was at a hight in the USA - waterboarding etc. - I decided to restage a quartering but one without horse power. Whereas they used 4 horses to pull a body apart and have the limps be transported to the end of the kinddome, I used bicycle / man/woman power fo this act.. In NYC's performance, I was myself the person to be quartered. I dressed in orange and was able to keep up the pressure for about a couple fo minutes.
Asked by Filip Luyckx to do something for his exhibition "ephemeral frindges" for art brussels I opted for the same performance but with a different content. When in NYC the actual torture discussion was the main objective - together wiht the bicycle issues (we did it in the middle of a crossroad and blocked traffic.. so it can also be read as a metaphor to what happens to bicyclists in NYC traffic where bike lanes are still not the norm - ..
So for Belgium I was thinking to the language conflict and the actual Beligium problem to resolve basic political questions about the unity of the country.. there are divisionist forces at work and the word crisis is often emploid.
Therefore I asked the organizer to find us some voluntiers who's parents are from both contexts.. flemsh and vallonish (French) - so pulling them apart as others try to pull on the cultural and political map.
To wonderfun performers where found, a art student, and .... a philosopher. Both object the devisionism that stresses Belgium, ironically, the country headquateringf the European Union.
I'm thankfull to all the bicyclsits who helped me and rode the long trip in a rather shitty wet weather.
nonetheless it was a bit a bloody affaire:
there was a second volontier - ... name --- a philosopher from Brussels who is as well Flemish and Vallonish (French)