Bellouard Bellwork International
28 June – 1st July 2007
It turns out this small mediaeval city hosts a great international arts festival each year. Their inventive programme included a monthly T-shirt ‘subscription’ and comedy Rock-Noise band AssDroids alongside us and Hotel Modern – who we bump into intermittently across Europe.
We were in a beautiful stone built arsenal alongside the old city wall and ramparts. The colour of the rice, the paper, the floor and walls all worked beautifully together, wooden pillars gave the show an interesting framing. This 8 tonnes of rice came in the 25kg bags which are standard for mainland Europe. The novelty was a pallet of useful 10kg bags, once empty of rice these started to disappear as local helpers attempted to start a new rice accessory fashion handbag, with a few handy 10 kg bags for good measure. The armoury was a little small for such a magnitude of rice, as a result we concentrated on piling large statistics as high as they would go and packing them tightly together. The result was a pleasing Alpine rice-scape befitting the Swiss premiere of the show.
The festival seems popular in the City and as a result the show was busy and well received. Heather was airdropped in towards the end to captain the 2 days of intensive schools workshops. The youth of Fribourg are now rice conversant.
Communal living and eating with the other artists and festival staff, picture-postcard surroundings, good visitor numbers, interesting conversations with punters and friendly festival directors willing to get their hands dirty and muck in by doing things like helping us with our internet troubles combined to make this a very successful and enjoyable gig.
Riding on the Fribourg funicular railway (powered by using the city’s sewerage as a counterweight – the only one of its kind in Europe!) to discover numerous participants of the imminent Fribourg pipe and drum festival practicing on the river bank before their big march to the beer tent.
Being introduced to Rivella, a carbonated soft drink made out of milk plasma.
Performers: Heather Burton, Chris Dugrenier, Louisa Pearson, Benny Semp, Jack Trow, Nick Walker, James Yarker
Concept: James Yarker
General Manager: Charlotte Martin
Advisory Producer: Nick Sweeting
Laughter, tears, loads of emotions about some grains of rice. Who’d have thought it?Audience Member
The contents are suggestive and the deployment of the exhibition makes the interpretation of the paradoxes and injustices so much stronger.Audience Member
An exhibition which triggered laughs, disgust, surprise and astonishment in me… It’s fabulous.Audience Member