HOOGTIJ/laagtij dag 6

Sibran Sampers (18:00-21:00)

Rituals and animals: equally traditional as controversial. Sibran Sampers delves into ‘Tripudiometrie’ and ‘Vogelwichelarij’: a Roman-Etruscan soothsaying method based on the behaviour of poultry. During 3 consecutive days the visitor can take part in a personal sessions with predicting quails under the watchful eye of the artist.

Kim Snauwaert & Anyuta Wiazemsky (23:00)

Kim Snauwaert and Anyuta Wiazemsky decided to marry and their many different motives (e.g. a residence permit for Wiazemsky) form the fundamentals of this work. It’s a long and thoroughly documented process that raises many questions: How do you have to love each other in order to marry? How do you measure that love? How and in what way does the public atmosphere influence their relationship? They float between love and pity, traditional values and principals, between staying and the fear of disappearing. During HOOGTIJ/laagtij they expose the contemporary capacity of some juridical and administrative ceremonies for a public.

Nienke Baeckelandt (18:00-00:00)

During HOOGTIJ/laagtij Nienke Baeckelandt lifts her performance ‘SNIP IT’ to metaphysical heights. Ten days long she locks herself in an atelier, armed with paper, scissors and a headphone that conducts the rhythm of her action.

Rutger de Vries (21:00)

The in-situ work of Rutger de Vries gives HOOGTIJ/laagtij a solemn allure. He constructed a splendid ‘paint chandelier’, which he sparks every day at precisely 21h in the entrance hall.




During the yearly citywide craze, Gouvernement pays tribute to the “Homo Festivus” and “celebrating” as such. HOOGTIJ/laagtij is a festival within a festival, a scaled-down metaphor for a city on the verge of insanity. An invitation to both total surrender and sobering reflection.

Around twenty artists have been invited as the Masters of Ceremony of this 10 day-festival. They are commissioned with the task of immersing the audience into their idea of jubilation, transcendence and related rituals. Their daily actions ignite from a visual, theatrical or musical spark and draw on well-founded ceremonial heritage. Just as well, interventions are flagrant, nonsensical bursts of euphoria & decadence.

All actions leave specific, physical traces all over the Gouvernement-site. These will eventually lead to the formation of a ‘Gesammtkunstwerk’ and become a visual guideline for a reconstructive exhibition in the aftermath of the festival (27-30.07).

Forensic investigations reach a final stage with the release of publication by Jelle Martens and Raimundas Malašauskas (autumn 2017).

*with the support of Vooruit, Stad Gent & Vlaamse Gemeenschap



“The necessity for reversal is so important that it had, at one time, its consecration: there is no constitution of society which does not have, on the other hand, the challenging of its foundations; rituals show it: the saturnalias or festivals of madmen reversed the roles.”

Georges Bataille, Inner Experience (1943)