Since the start of 2023, Wendy Morris, in a team of volunteers and interns, has been working her way through a collection of historical processional materials, which she obtained from two church communities in Antwerp. Together, they are reworking the materials and imagery of both religious and non-religious manifestations into a contemporary choreography/procession in which – exceptionally – not people, but plants are given the central role.
The procession, that was staged on 24 June 2023, is not just a parade or a pageant. It is mainly conceived to be a swirling wind through the landscape that aims to connect people with each other, as well as with plants. Banners with texts will be carried in the performance: a statement by the artist about the crucial role of language and written words in this context, in which knowledge was only secretly whispered on – orally, often hidden or even withheld. The performance activates us and shifts our view of the landscape and the stories to be found there, from both humans and non-humans. The procession invites, connects, repurposes and moves – just like the stories in and about the landscape.
The procession Return, Retrace, Replant is a new performative work conceived by Wendy Morris (1960, Namibia) within a new 'Artistic Research Project' (AOP in Dutch). The procession is the culmination of a year of research conducted by Wendy Morris under the theme "Reading the Landscape," in which the Middelheim Museum commissions artists to explore the landscape of the art park.
Photo caption: Return, Retrace, Replant, Wendy Morris, 2023, photos: Tim Theo Deceuninck, Tom Cornille and Wendy Morris