press release

PLAY is a headstrong city festival that will take over the centre of Kortrijk with contemporary artworks.

PLAY. A city circuit for contemporary art
23.06.2018 - 11.11.2018

From June 23 till November 11, 2018, the Belgium town Kortrijk invited curators Hilde Teerlinck (CEO Han Nefkens Foundation, Barcelona) and Patrick Ronse (Director Be-part, Waregem) to develop a brand new city festival. Under the title PLAY, they present a series of ambitious, sometimes spectacular or interactive outdoor and indoor interventions, undertaken by 40 international contemporary artists.

The concept of the project is based on the important scientific publication by Dutch anthropologist Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) entitled "homo ludens" (The Playing Man). It is an analysis about the importance of "play" in human evolution which turns people from working persons ("homo faber") into more creative and more intelligent beings. Huizinga is not the only scientist fascinated by the analysis of this phenomenon however. Several psychologists and sociologists have followed his example, trying to define the importance and impact of "play" in our society.

Notwithstanding the advantages, time for free "play" has been markedly reduced in society today, being perceived as unproductive. Between personal and professional responsibilities, a hurried lifestyle, an increased attention to academics, there is no time to "play." This is why we thought it to be the perfect time to create an Art Project that invites the visitor to PLAY.

Coming to Kortrijk will be a real adventure for the whole family: you will have the chance to play football on a surrealist field created by Priscilla Monge, enter the fake casino of Guilaume Bijl, punish yourself by sitting in Leo Coper’s voluntary prison cell, take a jump from Piero Golia’s ramp, dance with hoola hoops, ride the colourful art-bikes of Gavin Turk and watch TV in Pipilotti’s living room where you will feel like Peter Pan…

…because once you enter the game, you’ll notice that magic forces are at play!

–Patrick Ronse & Hilde Teerlinck, Curators Play Kortrijk

Carlos Amorales / Polly Apfelbaum / Guillaume Bijl / Marc Bijl / Pierre Bismuth / Stefan Brüggemann / David Claerbout / Leo Copers / Martin Creed / Barbara Davi / Erin Davis / Wim Delvoye / Hans-Peter Feldmann / Peter Friedl / Meschac Gaba / Piero Golia / Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno / Jeppe Hein / Carsten Höller / Fabrice Hyber / Christian Jankowski / Bernard Joisten/ Lang/Baumann / MAP13 / Anna Marín / Paul McCarthy / Dane Mitchell / Priscilla Monge / Navid Nuur / Erkan Özgen / Paola Pivi / Tere Recarens / Pipilotti Rist / Jennifer Rubell / Markus Sixay / Gavin Turk / Frederik Van Simaey / Heidi Voet / Lawrence Weiner / Erwin Wurm ​