Soil Dialogue with artist-in-residence Valerie van Leersum during winter-residency
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On Friday, 16 January 2024, our artist-in-residence Valerie van Leersum is hosting another ‘Soil Dialogue’ at Kunstfort. The ‘Soil Dialogues’ is a series of dialogue sessions that activate sensorial memory to explore personal and collective relationships to soil. Through touch, smell, taste, and conversation, the dialogues seek to foster a deepening attunement with soil, evoking fundamental philosophical and social questions about belonging, alienation, connection, and the influence of soil on our identities.

In the sessions, Valerie brings together about 12 people from diverse experiential and professional backgrounds. Ecologists, farmers, philosophers, experts, enthusiasts, students, and other artists involved in the subject of land come together to reflect on the ground through a rich range of activities. They interview each other through the senses, listen to Valerie reading a letter to the ground, and explore the taste of different flavours of soil. Every participant also brings an object that symbolises their relationship to the ground to the session. Like the sensorial interviews, these objects become conversation starters to uncover the wealth of often forgotten stories and customs surrounding soil. It touches on Robin Wall Kimmerer’s quote, ‘..and you start to remember things you didn’t know you had forgotten’.

The ‘Soil Dialogues’ are part of Valerie’s artistic research ‘Binnenaards (Innerearthly)’ conducted during her residency at Kunstfort over four seasons.


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