After Paradise

The theme of the third Triennial is 'After Paradise': 'What after 'paradise'? In contrast to the harmony and rich abundance that can be found in paradise, the after-paradise confronts us with raw material shortages, social tensions and a highly polluted environment. Although this sounds mainly negative, After Paradise wants to tell a positive story. Taking responsibility and empowerment are central here. This is reflected in the artistic interpretation, with a focus on works that challenge dialogue, reflection and action.

When we realize that paradise has been irrevocably lost, this does not necessarily result in negative feelings such as melancholy, sadness or defeatism. You could just as well say that only through this sense of a 'paradise lost' can we understand which questions and challenges really matter today. In paradise, material abundance, social harmony and natural purity were taken for granted: they were not considered or realized that these too could disappear. Only after paradise can there be responsibility and empowerment. Responsibility as in the realization that we must cherish those values, that they are not obvious, and that people are responsible for them. Empowerment is the realization that we must take action ourselves to create a livable world.

A perfect world is not within human reach, but people can work towards a better world. We need to think together about what we want to take from the past into the future, and what we don't. And we realize that it is up to us to shape the future.

The concept for 'After Paradise' was created through a collaboration between the curators (Hilde Teerlinck and Patrick Ronse) and Stéphane Symons (KU Leuven, Institute of Philosophy).

In collaboration with the City of Kortrijk, we are working with Be-Part on an edition of the Triennial for the third time. The concept of this edition is more in line than ever with the global social challenges we face today. The hope to transcend the limitations that these challenges bring is very present in 'After Paradise'. -Patrick Ronse Curator

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