Nomadland

Location, Nomadland, 2019

The global only exists by the generosity of the local.

Koen Vanmechelen

Nomadland is realised by the city of Genk and the residents of Zwartberg, based on a concept by Koen Vanmechelen. Collaboration with surrounding communities – near and far – is one of the basic pillars shaping Koen Vanmechelen's work. His art is steeped in the spirit of the nomad, the outsider. An element looking for fertilisation outside of its cocoon and in so doing fertilising other communities as well.

For its part, the city of Genk aims to use the new, organic development of LABIOMISTA as a lever for the socio-economic development of the neighbourhood. Nomadland was built on that intersection of objectives. It connects the existing allotments to the west of Meeuwerstraat with LABIOMISTA. With its allotment gardens, picnic areas, an open space for events and room for food trucks, Nomadland is a place of collective equality, of fertilisation. It connects LABIOMISTA with the surrounding neighbourhood. Vanmechelen: “Nomadland creates an atmosphere in which people meet others to build a 'common' with ingredients from all over the world.” The artist refers to the nomad, the traveller along the Silk Road who joins together the riches of various cultures. For him, the products brought forth by the allotment gardens is the contemporary equivalent of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

  • Installations and artworks by Koen Vanmechelen: Nomadland, neon installation, The Worth of Life
    Built with help from the local community
  • Architect of the picnic tables: Voet en De Brabandere

The Worth of Life

How important is it to be a community? It is as important as life itself. Communities carry the DNA of a village, a city, a country, the world. As they fraternise and interbreed, communities help establish the genetics of entire societies. Nomadland is one of those places where the worth of life transforms into the worth of living.

As between communicating vessels, water flows from the ponds of LABIOMISTA into Nomadland, and vice versa. This lifeline is essential for maintaining the vitality of both places. It’s an inspiration for the unmistakable correspondence between body and spirit. The force driving this motion is art. Art is the spark for the advancement of knowledge, and for the mutual curiosity that allows us to plant new ideas. The chances of survival for this fragile project depend on the sharing principle. The projects get to germinate in a fertile microclimate. Each germ’s effectiveness depends on the passion and commitment of the community.

In this way, every visitor to LABIOMISTA and Nomadland becomes a virtual member of a new community. By your presence, you enhance the growth opportunities of a new world community, centred on the mindset of the nomad and ‘The Worth of Life’.

Koen Vanmechelen

Besides the City of Genk and private investment from the artist, Nomadland is made possible with the support of: