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Oemoemenoe #3: Moving Backwards to Go Forwards

Ilke Gers


10 December 2023
1:30 – 4 pm
Rugby club Oemoemenoe

Curator: Adriënne van der Werf

Image: Ilke Gers | Oemoemenoe #3: Moving Backwards to Go Forwards | Ilke Gers

For the third edition of Oemoemenoe, Vleeshal invited artist Ilke Gers. She collaborated with the rugby club of the same name, Oemoemenoe, in Middelburg and developed an action that built on her existing work.

This action, titled Moving Backwards to Go Forwards, took place on Sunday, December 10, prior to the match between Oemoemenoe and Feanster. During this one-time action, Gers drew a specific line in chalk on the rugby field. This line was inspired by the rules of rugby, where the ball may only be passed backward, and never forward.

Not entirely coincidentally, the project from the local nomadic program and the rugby club share the same name. This expression from Zeeland means 'how should we proceed now?' and shows that asking a question is an important start if you want to move forward. Gers managed to make this connection clear in her work. It seems that she answered the question by suggesting that sometimes taking a step back can pave the way forward.

Ilke Gers is a visual artist from Aotearoa in New Zealand, currently based in Rotterdam. She creates installations and works with text, drawings, print, and publications to explore the relationship between the body, movement, and language. Her practice intervenes in standardized forms of communication and circulation by engaging with spatial conditions, physical interaction, and time.




Oemoemenoe started in 2023 as part of the Local Nomadic Program. For Oemoemenoe, contemporary artists are invited to develop a project in collaboration with local associations and businesses in Zeeland - sports clubs, swimming pools, hotels, and restaurants. We bring visitors into contact with contemporary art in various special places in Zeeland and invite artists who give us possible directions on which way to go. They question, each in their own way, the accepted norm through their artistic practice.

Vleeshal is an internationally oriented center for contemporary art, rooted in Zeeland. In Zeeland Focus, Vleeshal highlights regional artists, takes part in and celebrates local contemporary art and culture.

This project is made possible by the Mondriaan Fund.