03/04 – 13/11/2022, Opening: 02/04/2022, 17h
Vermeir & Heiremans have updated their Cabinet de Lecture at Les Musées de la Ville d'eaux, Spa. The Cabinet de Lecture is a documentary exhibition, a meeting place and a reading room, established in parallel with 7 Walks (resolution), a transdisciplinary practice which includes public walks, workshops and archival research. 7 Walks is a long-term collaboration with Les Musées, local participants and invited guest walkers David Aubin, Steyn Bergs, Marie-Sophie de Clippele, Françoise Jurion, Luke Mason, Anne Pirard, Scott Raby, Christoph Rausch, Marie-Christine Schils, Julie Van Elslande, Jens Van Lathem, Tobias Van Royen,...
These discussions continue in the work of the progressive radical journalists Alexander and Felix Delhasse. The two brothers hosted many refugees from Napoleon III’s coup d’état in France in 1851 in their hometown of Spa. The Delhasses were members of the secret society of the Charbonnerie. They were disciples of its founder Filippo Buonarotti who was also a political refugee in Belgium. Buonarotti's text entitled History of the Conspiracy of Equals relates the failed coup d'état of Gracchus Babeuf in 1796. Babeuf rejected the idea that equality before the law itself was sufficient to define societal equality, and therefore placed great emphasis on the abolition of private property. He wrote a 'Manifesto of Equals' in which he proclaimed that the land belongs to no one and that the fruits of the earth belong to all. The Conspiracy of Equals had a strong influence on the progressive movements of the mid-19th century. Le Radical, a Sunday weekly which the Delhasses published in 1838, brings the whole story.
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7 Walks (resolution) draws inspiration from the intangible legacy of historical walkers and, strongly anchored in a local context, invites its participants to explore a balance between private property of and access to resources that we hold in common as a society. Spa offers the project the unique opportunity for a series of itinerant reflections on water and art. The project continues its reflections in a two-day symposium with a series of presentations and collective discussions that challenge ownership issues of common resources, both natural (water) and social (art), and imagines alternative forms of governance that aim to open up opportunities for redistribution, access, collectivity. A number of 19th century protagonists which 7 Walks 'introduced' (Proudhon, Gambart, Delhasse...) will set the pace for this contemporary reflection.