Sacred Fire Pot

Contributor: dallas collectif (Camille Gaillard & Salomon Tyler)

Could we appropriate anti-frost systems to develop a new kind of ritual, as a symbol of care and temporal/punctual movement?

Our research started with a fascination for the anti-frost tower in the orchard we worked in one year ago, which looked like a wind turbine. It led us to the discovery of a whole collection of anti-frost systems; from the distribution of ‘fire pots’ through the orchard, to more mysterious and highly technological objects such as wind tunnels, fans, sprinkling systems and fog dragons. All of them share one and the same specific function: taking care of the blossoms by protecting them from late spring frosts, a threat that often only lasts one or two weeks a year.

The many efforts and heavy infrastructures that are set up to protect the plants for only a very short period of time are impressive. We began to see them as a ritual, similar to the traditional agricultural feasts that have this same recurring, temporal and punctual character. How can these systems be appropriated to develop a new kind of ritual to thematize an act of care, a gesture so undervalued in our modern, post-seasonal, industrialized society?

Our "sacred fire pot" is a new ritual object, re-interpreting the traditional fire pot and referring to its ancestral strength as a place for gathering. It has a ceremonial shape and is transportable with the help of four people. On the 20th of March it will move in a procession over the Roman road that runs through the orchards of Hesbaye in order to be lit on the fruit company Pipo in Sint-Truiden (more info here). A symbol of care, guard of the plants against the frost, protector of the future crops and fruits, and above all a representative of all the elements and people who have this same temporal and punctual movement.

Exposition: Z33 (Hasselt, BE) - 30 January 2022 > 17 April 2022

At the Seasonal Neighbours group exhibition in Z33, we focussed on the specific temporality of the anti-frost systems and their punctual appearance; stored in sheds, unrecognizable after being the main character on freezing nights.
We illustrated this with photos taken by Ode Windels, next to the sacred fire pot, tidy, disassembled, waiting to perform his ritual.

Biography dallas collectif

Many thanks to PIPO in Sint-Truiden, Guy Plevoets & Guido Wevers from  “Haspengouwse Zomergasten” to support this project.

Thanks to the farmers Vincent Van Kerckvoorde, Gaston Derwael and his team of Bel' Export, Peter Pullinckx, Bart Vanhoutte of pcfruit, for letting us take pictures of their anti-frost systems.

Website updated in May 2024