L’éponge à soucis – Belluard Bollwerk festival

L’éponge à soucis – Belluard Bollwerk festival

Ça fait une semaine que je suis à Fribourg pour le festival Belluard Bollwerk. Mon projet, The Sorrow Sponge / L’éponge à soucis / Sorgenschwamm, est en cours. Nous voulions être bloggeurs dès le début mais l’action du festival nous a pris dans son courant et nous nous sommes contentés de voir beaucoup de performances. Mais quand j’ai vu le site de Martin Schick et Vreni Speiser , j’ai pris fouet en main pour que mon cher Orbite mette la pâte aux mains. Donc:

Here is a post from the Orbit, Jordan Arseneault:
Audio Performance & Public Intervention

Day 1 :

Saturday morning, the Sorrow Sponge set up her listening “ living room” in the beautiful outdoor market on Grand-Rue in historic central Fribourg (kind of like a farmer’ s market but with fewer trinkets and more local produce). Situated somewhat appropriately in front of a gynecologist’ s office, the couch and armchairs were intriguing and absurd to passersby. The spire of St Nicolas Cathedral stood gracefully behind us, just down the rue des Épouses, marked by a small arched sign dedicated to the faithful couples of this Swiss Romande town.
The cobblestone street was lined with merchants selling strawberries, pastries, sausages, preserves, and right beside us, bordelais canelés (more on those later). Seated on the Belluard office’ s deep red brocade couch with matching armchairs, the Sorrow Sponge started her day in the gleaming sunshine of a June morning at 9am. Our first participant, N., literally came running to us from her vegetable stall across the street, eager to lay her head on the listener’ s shoulder.
Sorrow Sponge (and Orbit), armed with wrist walkie-talkies and a cooler full of sparkling water and sirops, welcomed 9 participants throughout the day, including two contestants from a photography contest, two market stall keepers, a man forced into retirement, and a young woman who addressed one of the week’ s often-repeated themes: the supposedly reserved nature of the Fribourgeois.
In the four hours of interventions in the Marché, Orbit found himself sometimes avoided, but just as often greeted with smiles and compliments from families and older couples who were very excited by the presence and concept of the Sorrow Sponge. Most were from Fribourg, had heard of the Belluard, and were charmed by the idea.
The Sorrow Sponge heard and absorbed the worries of a woman who was preoccupied with not living up to her mother’ s standards when it came to raising her own children. J. related her health woes, while N. reminded us not to take our health for granted. M(a) spoke of the challenge of connecting with people in a reserved society, and the perils of consumerism in regards to women’ s empowerment. M(b) waited patiently to confide in the Sorrow Sponge the tribulations of being fired from his place of work when new management came in, and of being a single man late in life.
It was a tiring day for Sorrow Sponge, and by 12:45 it was time to wrap up. As Sponge and Orbit folded up their uniforms to return to their everyday selves, our neighbour offered us a madeleine and a bag scrumptious petits canelés, which were one of many rewards from this first day of the week-long project.


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