As UNESCO points out, what is meant by “cultural heritage” has changed considerably in recent decades. Cultural heritage does not stop at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices about nature and the universe, or the knowledge and skills needed for traditional crafts.
During his residency, the French filmmaker and visual artist Pierre Coulibeuf worked on the location scouting for a film shoot in 2021 in neimënster.
Having stated his desire to make the site of neimënster a character in its own right in his new project, he was able to develop a transdisciplinary and transmedia creation project that will count notably on the participation of a transcultural group of five dancers-performers, the Swiss choreographer Simone Truong, and the opera singer Véronique Nosbaum. This project will result in a film and a video installation. This project is supported by the Institut français du Luxembourg.
What is a monument? Etymologically: “that which must be remembered”. But what do you do when something goes wrong in the middle of an inauguration? When speech and memory go awry and the bodies of the participants go awry? With Hysterical Monuments, the documentary approach wavers on its foundations and tips over into fiction and irrationality.
“Monuments hysteriques tells the story of an event that isn’t happening – that is, the story of many events right now. So, because we could not gather for performances, we decided, with the director Maud Martin, to make not a recording, but a film, taken from the show, which, in a way, would take its place. Because places are never where you think they are. And that it is not because we can’t find each other that we can’t be together.”
Each year, Wallonie-Bruxelles International and neimënster launch a call for residency dedicated to the visual arts in Luxembourg.
In 2020, Alice Leens, a young Belgian artist and visual artist used to working with ropes and textiles, was chosen for her project which is directly inspired by the site of neimënster. Passionate about architecture and ornaments, as well as weaving and braiding techniques, she chose to rematerialize the ornaments to retextualize the textile and thus reveal the structure of the rope and fabric. During her residency, she reflected on the concept of a future exhibition that will link her ornaments to the architecture of Neumünster Abbey. Alice Leens was also able to exchange with the curator Enrico Lunghi during a meeting organized by neimënster.
Selected following a call for applications launched jointly by neimënster and Wallonie Bruxelles International, the Belgian illustrator Romane Armand worked in residence during the summer on Le cha-grin de Cairn, a comic book project whose boards were created with felt pens and gouache. Seeking the impact of images that give rhythm to the story, the fiction is about the inexorable melting of glaciers, the urgency of reconnecting to and protecting our direct environment, but especially about the ties that human beings have with their natural environment.
The artist’s studio was open to the public every Tuesday. The plates were exposed, revealing a graphic bias using felt pen for the characters and the scenery, enhanced with gouache for a more liquid treatment reminding the melting ice and the lakes that are born. With this work, Romane Armand chose to limit the amount of text as well as the number of boxes per plate in order to reinforce the impact of the images. These are more mas-sive and give the story a more contemplative rhythm. During 6 weeks of intensive work, Romane Armand first finalized the storyboard and the writing of the text, before devoting herself to the realization of her plates which she presented to the public during an event at the end of the residency. Looking for a publisher, Romane Armand would like to publish her comic book in 2021.
neimënster is pleased to have Alvaro Marzan Diaz as an associate artist. This research work is a dialogue between painting, architecture, history and nature.
The artist is immersed in the Abbey, its graceful vaults, its deep color and its immense spaces that can seem disproportionate. He finds his inspiration in the rich and tumultuous past of the place, but also in its present, engaged and rich in projects. The landscape of Neimënster is also a source of inspiration, between river, forest and old stones, as well as its geographical situation, enclosed and protected by the imposing Bock rock.
This impression of immensity inspires him to create large format paintings and even more conceptual pictorial installations. Alvaro Marzan transforms little by little the dimension and the impact of his work. This project of fusion between art and place is possible thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture with the Neistart grant.
Initially scheduled to be shown last summer, the exhibition Space and Desire by our associate artist Álvaro Marzán Díaz, was interrupted due to the severe floods that hit the Grund district. It will be shown again in 2022, and will finally allow the public to discover the works of a singular artist for whom the paintings represent a bridge between the physical and metaphysical worlds, between the extravagant and the mysterious.