The guerrilla art group

To celebrate the 90th birthday of renown artist herman de vries (1931, The Netherlands), Galerie Block C and Stichting ARTisBOOK are proud to present ‘be here’, an art manifestation throughout the city of Groningen. As part of this manifestation, a guerilla team of artists and art historians has been looking for ways to spread and translate texts written by herman de vries into works in public space.

The sporen / traces / spuren left behind by herman de vries in a landscape that he loves are minimal texts, loose words, signs, symbols, an old cosmic riddle. He calls them "philosophical fragments - fragmentary philosophy. no system! that would be a prison. freedom is a precondition for knowledge. relations are there to be discovered, to be created by a free reader her/himself. it is not without reason that these texts are to be found in nature, in the woods: there are relationships from place to place everywhere [or: all over]. the woods as a suitable space, biotope, for contemplation. walking, moving, searching, finding as a way of getting to know and perhaps along the way you discover something more important than what you are looking for.” 
These traces appear outside of the actual exhibition space and invite to be here. They appear and disappear, are discovered or go unnoticed, perhaps only discovered and seen much later, by different people each time. herman de vries indicates and invites any person to a poetic moment in the here and now, a moment in a stream, a point of attention within an ever-moving whole (Cees de Boer, mei 2021).

a map of all activities taking place during be here:

being here

Foto: Marnix Sixma

The music piece below from Sigita Zurauskaite (1990, Lithuania) and Marnix Sixma (1991, The Netherlands) is part of one of the artworks in this manifestation. They got inspired by herman de vries’ mantras – short poems with a meditative nature – and decided to collaborate. They started making sound recordings at multiple locations in the city of Groningen, of which they chose short fragments that sounded like mantras on their own. These ‘sound mantras’ in turn became a foundation to create music, capturing the essence of each location while at the same time replying to de vries’ body of work. The end result is four music pieces which are connected by a route of QR codes through the city of Groningen. Together, they form an invitation to stand still for a moment and look closely at the city itself; the present-day ‘nature’ that Groningen has to offer to its citizens.

Workshops voor kinderen:
voor jullie voeten

Ontwerp affiche: Monika Balu

Ball machines in Groningen with pieces of artworks: Stationsstraat 1, Pelsterstraat 61, Koninginnelaan 45

ludieke filosofie: traces /sporen in Groningen

posters: my poetry is the world

my poetry is the world is a poem made by herman de vries in 1972 which has been since then, translated in many languages. In the context of be here, we would like to spread around the whole city of Groningen these posters by filling each window with a different translation. Would you like to have one on your window too? you can! Send us a email to or about it, including your name and desired language. You can pick it up yourself at ARTisBOOK (westerhavenstraat 14, Groningen), during the openingstimes. You also get a QR sticker with a link to an audio with herman de vries who reads his poem. Once the manifestation is finished you can keep the poster!

Finissage met Sigita Zurauskaite, wandelingen guerilla group en cake (foto: Robert Mulder - opgenomen 17 juli)