During the first Covid lockdown in 2020, when we were only restricted to 2 kilometers, I was walking from one beach to the other. Then my eye fell on a rock with a little white stone on it. Written on the stone, in what looked like a young girl’s handwriting, was the following message: ‘Covid, I am lonely.’ That attempt at connection inspired me. After half an hour walking there by the sea, I added ten more white stones to the rock. I kept doing this gesture daily, like a ritual. Other walkers started copying me and the Covid shrine became not only a personal ritual but a collective monument of connection. Laying a stone at the temple is sharing your intention and special wish with the universe and releasing it to the elements.
-- Els Dietvorst
Images: Els Dietvorst and Ali Dietvorst
Texts: Els Dietvorst, Carine Fol, Karla Sanchez and Stefan Vanthuyne
Graphic design: Sadrie Alves
Published by Stockmans Art Books & Track Report (Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp)
Print: Bruno Devos, Stockmans Art Books
→ This publication is part of the PhD research 'Partisans of the Real', conducted by Els Dietvorst at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and ARIA - UAntwerp.
→ ‘Coastal Shrine’ is published in parallel with the exhibition 'This is what you came for' in CENTRALE for Contemporary Art and Bozar Brussels, in the context of the BelgianArtPrize.
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