The IJssel Biennale is international outdoor exhibition works of art along the IJssel River and an extensive program. At various locations along the route, no fewer than 27 artists zoom in on the relationship between man and landscape. Installations, poetic sculptures, impressive and unexpected places, performances, and other interventions in the landscape. Under the title Grondtonen, IJsselbiennale 2023 puts the earth, soil and ground at the center of attention. A bicycle route of over 100 kilometers will take you in five stages from June 17 to September 17 through the IJssel Valley, past country estates, waterworks, nature reserves and its Hanseatic cities past all the works of art and the many activities.
Do we force the earth to provide what we want, or are we able to listen to what the soil is telling us?
„The notion that we need to regain awareness of the ground beneath our feet, that we actually see, taste, feel and smell what the soil we live on produces or even is, and that we listen to what the earth actually has to tell us.“
That led us to the title of this edition of the IJssel Biennial. Looking around us, we must conclude that as a society we have somewhat lost our way and that we are looking for a new guideline that gives direction to our actions, certainly with regard to our relationship with nature. In a piece of music, this is a keynote. It is the note to which all other notes refer or are derived. Ground tones are therefore guiding and determining. By listening carefully (looking, tasting, feeling, hearing) we should be able to pick up the right signals and build on them to work towards a more harmonious structure that does justice to the intrinsic values of the earth. Ground tones thus also show us the ground in its true form and guide us towards a more balanced existence.
The IJsselbiennale zooms in on the relationship between man and landscape: a problem we can only face if we are willing to look at ourselves and our surroundings in a different way. And that is precisely where art and artists play a role.