This Rare Earth - Stories from Below

This Rare Earth - Stories from Below

STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound

Cecilia Jonsson, Haem, 2016. Photo: Signe Tørå Karsrud.

February 5, 2018
This Rare Earth - Stories from Below
Artefact Expo/Festival 2018
February 13–March 1, 2018
STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound
Naamsestraat 96
3000 Leuven
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Curators: Karen Verschooren / Ils Huygens (Z33)

“Without a recalibration of the senses, at the level of our global species-being, without at least half a conversation to understand, and then attenuate and nuance our desires and needs, we cannot conceive of another mode of production, another set of social relations, another ethic of husbandry between ourselves and the earth.”
–Raqs Media Collective in Art in the Age of the Anthropocene, ed. Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin, 2015, p. 22

On February 13, 2018 STUK will be taken over by Artefact, an exhibition and festival on the crossroads of contemporary visual arts, current events and societal challenges. Artefact presents contemporary art practices that engage with complex topics, “wicked problems,” urgent themes that unite or divide us, in a a poetic, critical and experiential way.

This Rare Earth - Stories from Below directs our gaze down to our feet, to the stones and minerals that lie beneath the earth’s surface. The exhibition starts from the fundamental connection between man and the earth’s elements which not only ground our existence but which also make up the core elements of human biology. From this deep connection between geology and biology, a century-old cultural tradition has grown which shines through in numerous cultural practices, rituals and stories: from the simple fascination for stones and minerals exemplified in countless personal collections, to the attribution of magical and spiritual powers, to the worldly desires these materials incite in us which have led to human development and technological progress.

This Rare Earth - Stories from Below brings together contemporary visual artists who deal with the so-called geological turn not only in a critical way, but in an engaged “embedded” way. They do not limit themselves to visualizing or imagining our relation from a distance with a reflexive or aesthetic regard, but go out and explore the often desolate post-industrial landscapes of toxic waste lakes, abandoned drill holes and scarred mining areas up-close, tracing their histories, following the geographical and economic routes of materials, and the political relations they create in this theatre of the world.

In their practice, these artists not only collect stories of man but also of stones. They shed new light on the complex global economic implications of mining, formulate new relations between man and mineral, (re)discover cosmic resonances between the body and earth, and experiment with image, form and method to create a place and meaning for mankind in this new cultural paradigm.


Otobong Nkanga  / Ilana Halperin  / Julian Charrière  / Justin Bennett  / Cecilia Jonsson  / Prabhakar Pachpute & Rupali Patil / Maarten Vanden Eynde  / Unknown Fields  / Füsun Türetken  / Lise Autogena  & Joshua Portway  / Susanne Kriemann  / Lara Almarcegui  / Sissel Marie Tonn / Milo Rau  / Ursula Biemann (CH) & Mo Diener  / Egill Sæbjörnsson  / Kirstie van Noort  & Xandra van der Eijk 

Artefact Music Festival
Visionist / Golin / Joep Beving / Echo Collective / Loney Dear / Yusuf / ENSEMBLE LABEL NIGHT / Stellar OM Source / Toby Tobias / Fyoelk / Kong & Gratts / Rhythm Mind / Alessandro Cortini / Wouter Dewit / Handless DJ / Stijn Demeulenaere / Yannick Franck / Hantrax

Performances and lectures
Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere / Justin Bennett / Koen Binnemans / Stef Denayer / Tie Roefs / Serge De Gheldere / Leida Rijnhout / Egbert Lox / Bart Blanpain / Katrien Rycken / Peter Standaert / Kostas Komnitsas / Karel Van Acker / Marieke Meesters / Dirk Draulans

Expo guide / Publication
Available February 13. Download here:


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STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound
February 5, 2018

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