A Conversation with Dries Segers on the Occasion of his Participation in POPPOSITIONS, Brussels, Belgium, by James Scarborough
A Conversation with Alice Sparkly Kat, on the Occasion of her participation in POPPOSITIONS, Brussels, Belgium, by James Scarborough

A Conversation with Freek Lome, Founding Director of Onomatopee Projects, on the Occasion of his participation in POPPOSITIONS, Brussels, Belgium, by James Scarborough

13 years ago, Freek Lome founded the public gallery/publishing firm Onomatopee Projects in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He has directed it ever since. Its mission is to inspire in-depth experiences and to provide critical nourishment. He is also a freelance curator, lecturer, moderator, and writer.

Onomatopee Projects is participating in this year’s POPPOSITIONS.

(Also interviewed were Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Artistic Director, Dries Segers, artist, and Alice Sparkly Kat, artist.)

JS: It is written that Onomatopee Projects was inspired by a DIY attitude. Such an out of the (white) box approach dovetails with POPPOSITIONS’ inspired hybrid articulation as an art fair/exhibition. What was it about POPPOSITIONS that made you submit a proposal for this year’s fair?

FL: By chance the topic of Poppositions very much connects to exhibitions and publications we have up at Onomatopee Projects right now: Diagrams of Power and Eindhoven Footnotes: tales from a technocratic city . So I did not have to come up with a proposal and simply stated we could present the projects in a simples version, as a reflection of the shows, and bring people in for a book launch and talk whom we have as guests in our program anyway.

JS: What do you mean when you describe Onomatopee Projects as a visual sanctuary for pop culture, power and other environments of visual consciousnesses alike, particularly as a source of power? Do you envision social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as sources of power? If yes, what type of power? Economic? Social? Political? Does this power run the risk of being diluted and/or misappropriated by corporate and social structures?

FL: The full sentence says we discuss and mediate such visual sanctuary. Onomatopee itself is a place for doubt, where the liberal idea of the marginal optionally holding the truth is still delivered by freethinkers and doers.

Social media, like any other medium, is a structure wherein power behaves. More power means more responsibility. Here are choices to be made and these can be made visible and presented as information, can be discussed or be attacked. This space for alternative imagination and articulation is what Onomatopee offers. Any structure ruins the risk of being diluted by power, Onomatopee as well. 

JS: I like how your practice’s interdisciplinary approach provides a source of wonder. Why is this wonder so important now?

FL: A little more analytical as poetry, both wonder and poetry open up to sensitivities that sharpen our deeper being; touch upon our habit, soul, social sphere. In this age of protectionism and conservatism, struggles become harder and sharing, altruism is more difficult. This can cause societal unrest and so for, so poetry and wonder help to promote tolerance. People without doubts are frightening.

JS: How will this source of wonder push boundaries, tackle POPPOSITIONS’ theme of wokeness?

FL: I have no time to consider that; just need to do my work and deliver the stuff I need to deliver but I am curious to see how things turn out. Intuitively it feels good, but I am noiot directiung this.

JS. To ask the same question I’ve asked of others in this series, what is the social value of art in general and Onomatopee Projects/Publications affiliated artists/writers in particular?

FL: The social value of art…that is a big question…just come and join in the conversation and meet people with interesting stories, ideas, perspectives and stuff that open up to alternative considerations. Such ‘Eureka moments’ where you come to a felt understanding of something or the ‘indeed, I have never considered it this way’ moment, or the ‘hey, never heard about this!’ or ‘ Damn, why didn’t we got this information before’ are good signals that something is happening. Peace, love and regulated chaos.