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Adventus in Meymac

L’Abbaye Saint-André
Centre of Contemporary Art in Meymac, 2012
Curator: Caroline Bissière

The walking, as a social and mental experience.

In 2012, Simon Beer realizes the monumental Advent Calendar on the façade of the former cloister located in Meymac. Each window of Advent is the blazon of a specific place and a proverb day associated therewith.

At the beginning, it is a walk of 930 km long the artist has defined in specific trips that punctuated his daily during this trip from Zürich to Meymac. Everyday brought him to a monastery, a convent or a rectory.

In Switzerland, the stations were : Zürich, Cham, Rickenbach, Schüpfheim, Langnau, Bern, Fribourg, Romont, Cully, Rolle, Genève and in France : Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, Nantua, Bourg en Bresse, Le Plantay, Lyon, Eveux, Saint Galmier, Saint-Bonnet-Le-Château, La Chaise Dieu, Langeac, Lavaudieu, Blesle, Marcenat, Bort-les-Orgues and Meymac.

The whole Advent Calendar is the result of a high physical performance. A monthly physical performance and at the same time a real self-discovery, a personnal pilgrimage even if places are not those of a classic pilgrimage. Such a walk is also a social and mental experience which led Simon Beer to remarkable encounters and to have rich trade with the clergy of religious sites. During these intensive discussions with the clergy relevant ideas for the artistic project emerged, arising from a recent issues : Which advise give me you for the rest of my walk ? Thereafter, this advise became the quintessence of the artistic project as a proverb.

Thus, we can note for example for the first day : „Dilatato corde per viam tuam procede“ ( continue your journey with an open heart) or represent „Iter nos perficit“ (this is the way which we intended) the 7th day jour „Sibilus aurae tenuis“ (the rustle of a respiratory arrest), the 18th day, „Surge et ambula“ (get up and go to), the 25th day is the end.

Whether it’s a biblical passage, a set of terms, a religious advice or a spiritual instruction, the motto of the day is transcribed in Latin.















14th day, near the site Le Plantay.

12th day, Nantua with Brother Pierre Le Bourgeois, Abbatiale St. Michel.

21th day, La Chaise Dieu with Brother Jean Théophane, Abbatiale Saint Robert.

Second day, Cham-Hadorn with Sister Maria Consolata, monastery Frauenthal.

25th day, 930km after arrival in Meymac.