Under the steeple - by Jan Boelen & Igor Philtjens

This year we show some twenty artists from Limburg in the official ambassador's residence in The Hague. They are all good artists and we are glad we are able to present them. Some have already shown their works at Z33, others haven't. When we look for artists for an exhibition project at Z33, we never consider where they are from. We purposely look all over the world, we don't apply quotas.

It is enriching to look beyond the end of your nose. We also try to apply that idea in a local context: under your own steeple... An international context expands your view, but you continue to draw your strength from the place where you grew up, where you live and work. Looking at what you have known your whole life from a wider perspective sometimes causes more surprises than something that is completely unknown.

During the summer of 2014, Z33 will set up a second art in the public space project (pit in the town of Borgloon is still open for visitors): De Unie Hasselt-Genk (the Hasselt-Genk Union). Currently we are visiting various locations in Hasselt and Genk together with local artists. We explain to them what we think is special in the cities, which places we think are important. We put them in touch with inspiring people and interesting organisations. We fill their backpacks with information and then anxiously look forward to their artistic reflections. We are extremely curious to find out what they will bring us and how this will change our view of our familiar surroundings.

However, in De Unie Hasselt-Genk we want to hear not only from the artists, but also from the residents of the cities of Hasselt and Genk. You will be able to see this – very locally – starting in October. Z33 will look for the big and small stories in the region and we will make new contacts and renew old ties, we will keep our eyes open and involve anyone who can contribute something. This will create De Unie Hasselt-Genk a story about two cities and the people who live in them. We are curious to learn how much of yourself you will recognise in this project.

by Jan Boelen (artistic director Z33) & Igor Philtjens (deputy of culture and tourism of the Province of Limburg)

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