On the occasion of Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture, author and literary artist Karelle Ménine introduced an original project entitled La Phrase (“The Sentence”), which she wished to carry out with Ruedi Baur. To write, in the heart of the city of Mons (Belgium), a sentence 10 kilometers long, composed from a literary corpus by authors from Mons, Hainaut, Belgium, and from the whole world. Getting the words out of the books, giving them air and space, this long sentence shows the profusion and originality of literary works. It inscribes literature in urban territory and proposes a new literary space. All set in capital letters based on Garaje, it begins at Mons train station, welcomes visitors, takes them through the whole town and accompanies them back to the station ending in a final point. If one could see it from the sky, the sentence would form a strange figure of which each limb connectes to the Grand-Place in the city center, stretching out to the different neighborhoods. The words are applied to the walls and pavements, adjusting to porosity, to the size of bricks, to window frames and street corners. The project is a work in process that will last a whole year. A segment is painted every day by three sign painters along with their caravan. The sentence moves steadily forward, at its own rhythm of writing, from December 2014 to December 2015. On the walls, the sentence is written with ink on a special white tape and painted on the ground.
The project was presented in the book La Phrase, une expérience de poésie urbaine, issued in March 2016 (ed. Gallimard, col. Alternatives).
Laboratoire irb: Ruedi Baur, Anouck Fenech, Denis Coueignoux, with help from Arthur Guibert, Hugo Sandevoir, Camille.
Mons2015: Karelle Ménine, Léa Varlet, Tom de Wilde, Vincent Tandonnet.
Signs painters: Iona Suzuki, Camille De Barbuat, Renaud Fouchet.