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Pandstraat (in the public space) 
Frederik Lizen, “Eventjes om zeep” (2022). Met dank aan de kunstenaar en Geukens & de Vil; © David Samyn

The ancient Romans considered the most western point of our continent, Cape Finisterre, as the end of the world. Today our world view is broader. But Cape Finisterre takes on a new function, namely the symbolic end of the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims who undertake the journey often do this to achieve introspection. When this search ends, at Cape Finisterre, this is often accompanied by a ritual burning of hiking equipment such as shoes and/or sticks. 

This burning ritual is depicted three times in Eventjes om zeep (2022) by Frederik Lizen. The plumes of smoke do not only indicate the wish of the pilgrims to make a new start in life. It also symbolizes an emergency signal to limit our CO2 emissions. The Dutch title of the work responds to the purifying ritual, but also to the killing of our globe. This Dutch expression refers to the Dutch sailors who often did not return from their journey across the dangerous Mediterranean when they went to get hard soap in southern Europe. Lizen wrote it down like an almost innocuous note. This is in contrast to the length of the pilgrimage route and the fact that global warming is serious business. The text is straightforward but at the same time puts things into perspective. It also emphasizes the temporary character of the state of our earth. Lizen also emphasizes the ephemeral nature of the painting itself, since this work in the public space will be exposed to wind and weather, or will be subject to manipulation by people walking by.. 


For the artist, the exhibition FINIS TERRAE – which takes place at various places in the city of Antwerp – may be seen as a kind of pilgrimage. The work consists of three parts that have been created at three different locations in the public space of the city (Lange Leemstraat, Van Cuyckstraat, Everdijstraat). The individual works have been brought together in the Pandstraat where they form a powerful ensemble and aim to encourage both passergers and visitors of FINIS TERRAE to take action for a new, better world.

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