PLAY Kortrijk - Circuit for contemporary art 23.06.18 11.11.18


PLAY is a headstrong city festival organised from 23 June to 11 November 2018 that will take over the centre of Kortrijk with contemporary artworks. You can immerse yourself in the unique world of national and international visual art at diverse indoor and outdoor locations in the city. During PLAY, the city not only serves as a canvas; bit by bit the festival simultaneously dissects our relationship with 'play'. How does play influence our social behaviour? How does 'play' reflect the evolution of our society? How important is play for our motor and cognitive development? 

Kortrijk is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, was officially named a child and youth-friendly city and is chosen as European City of Sport 2018.


Kortrijk is growing, flourishing and above all, does not stand still. And it is precisely this continuous urban metamorphosis that makes the West Flanders city the dream décor for PLAY. Not only a breeding ground for regional, national and international talent, but also a springboard that offers opportunities. This unexpected creative melting pot carefully connects different disciplines such as art, design, education and entrepreneurship. A city with a generous dose of daring, sense of creative entrepreneurship and above all, the (play)room to experiment. 


Dit is de auteur

Dit is de beschrijving


For playful people! For people of all ages! For inquisitive and critical minds! PLAY appeals to a substantial and diverse audience, but is primarily aimed at five large groups.

International arts public

PLAY presents works by over 40 renowned national and international artists in the centre of Kortrijk. Famous names such as Carsten Höller, David Claerbout, Lawrence Weiner, Erwin Wurm, Martin Creed, Pipilotti Rist and Peter Friedl will attract art lovers to West Flanders from all four corners of the world.


PLAY stands for interactivity and entertainment, an ideal mix for young children to have a ball and to introduce them to visual art. A special educational package with workshops and master classes will entice schools to experience PLAY with their classes.

Groups and associations

PLAY promises a fascinating day out in Kortrijk. Groups and socio-cultural associations such as Zilveren en Koperen Passers, Davidsfonds, Femma, Okra and Neos are also important target groups when it comes to day trips or weekend breaks to Kortrijk. Visitors from the wider region As the event and the interactivity are easily accessible, PLAY not only appeals to a visual arts public, the city festival is aimed at all layers of the population.

Northern France and Wallonia

As the Flemish partner of the Eurometropolis, Kortrijk is aware of the added value of collaborating with Northern France and Wallonia. Visual art offers the advantage that language is of secondary importance. This is why PLAY wants the 2.1 million people in the Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai triangle to enjoy the city festival through a close partnership with the Eurometropolis. The Eurometropolis is a partner of PLAY in terms of cross-border cooperation in the field of communication, public activities and promotion.

Hilde Teerlinck and Patrick Ronse

Hilde Teerlinck

Patrick Ronse

Modified Social Bench #05 - Jeppe Hein

Jeppe Hein

Modified Social Bench #05, 2015


PLAY is based on the Homo Ludens, Latin for 'Man at Play', a cultural-scientific work published in 1938 and written by the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga. In it he discusses the importance of play and related elements in our society: the 'man at play' is older than society and culture and is essentially a condition for personal growth, evolution and social development. New Babylon — a visionary visual arts project by Constant Nieuwenhuys — was also involved in developing PLAY. The city festival derives inspiration from the Peter Pan syndrome too, in which a carefree attitude and the pure freedom of 'being a child' are key. 


PLAY consists of more than 40 indoor and outdoor installations by national and international artists interested in the interactive aspect of art and the relationship between an artwork and the observer, the space and urban developments. The city festival offers unique artistic experiences that give visitors the opportunity to reflect on their personal actions and to view human behaviour in a different light. The artists use humour and play to focus our attention on diverse social codes and subjective ideas about human behaviour. In recent years, the boundary between art and urban planning has blurred: both contribute to a positive transformation of the public space using play, involvement and citizens' participation. PLAY encourages visitors to discover, or rediscover, Kortrijk and demonstrates how the urban environment plays a leading role in our daily lives. 

Polly Apfelbaum, The Sound of Ceramics, 2016

Polly Apfelbaum,

The Sound of Ceramics, 2016


Hilde Teerlinck 

Hilde Teerlinck (1966) was born in Bruges but currently lives and works in Barcelona as CEO – General Director for the Han Nefkens Foundation. From 1994 to 1999, she was artistic director of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in the Spanish city where she invited renowned artists such as Jeff Wall, Panamarenko, Ulrich Meister and Thomas Ruff to create site-specific interventions. Shortly afterwards she moved to Perpignan in France, where she set up a ‘kunsthalle’. In 2002, she was named director of the Centre Rhénan d’Art Contemporain (CRAC Alsace) in Altkirch and from 2006 to 2014 she was director of the FRAC (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain) Nord-Pas-de-Calais. She was also one of the curators of Beaufort Buiten de Grenzen in 2015. 

Patrick Ronse

Patrick Ronse (1962) lives in Bruges and works as artistic leader and coordinator for Be-Part, Platform for contemporary art in South-West Flanders. He studied Art History and Archaeology specialising in Plastic Art at Ghent University and from 1990 to 2003, was communications manager for organisations such as PMMK Ostend (the former Provincial Museum for Modern Art, now part of Mu.ZEE) and Stedelijke Musea Brugge. In addition he often acted as the curator for various contemporary art exhibitions and coordinated the publication of over 30 artists' books. Ronse was responsible for founding Be-Part in 2004, and is still the driving force behind the platform, which recently announced its expansion to Kortrijk. Since 2015, he has also been active at the policy level and is a member of the Art Committee of the Flemish Parliament and Flanders Evaluation Committee.

—  Take a look at our press file