A one-year research project.
One and a half years ago I stressed out the employees of an American organic supermarket chain. Where I could find fennel tea, I asked. "What’s the purpose?" I was asked back. "Euh, I like the taste." "But what do you need it for: to relax, sleep, lose weight, digest, get energy, detox, retox?"
This last word made my colleagues, whom I was telling this story to, laugh and it immediately raised a discussion about how society proposes a cure for everything. RETOX: a simple slip of the tongue or a wake-up call?
The term retoxification is normally used when a person resumes the consumption of addictive substances after undergoing detoxification. In a society where ‘feel good’ is compelling, relaxation has become imbedded in our neoliberal system, green tea is promoted rather than water, and the vast choice of wellness activities creates stress, the Festival Belluard Bollwerk International considered it is time to RETOX and get out of our comfort zone.
Not to start binge drinking all together at our new cocktail bar, but to reinvent, restore, refresh, revitalize, renew, relocate and regenerate art, culture, politics and ecology. To stretch out the tension between something you don’t want to see and something that is irresistible, to ethically challenge the audience. To return to one single action or practice, as a counterpoint to the hierarchy of knowledge we are confronted with in our society, or to propose playful or radical visionary strategies for a new world.
Sally De Kunst & the Belluard Festival team