Bloch, a global art project, will be at Prairie Village Museum in Rugby on July 28 as part of a six-city North Dakota tour.
During the Rugby Bloch Party blacksmiths, arrow makers, visual artists, and musicians will engage in activities related to the log or Bloch brought here by Swiss artists Marcus Gossolt and Johannes Hedinger.
According to tradition, when the last spruce tree of the winter is felled in the Swiss region of Appenzell, the trunk or bloch is pulled by 20 men from the village of Urnäsch to the village of Herisau and back to Urnäsch. At the end of this one-day procession the bloch is auctioned off in the Urnäsch village square. Typically, the winning bidder has the bloch processed shingles or furniture.
In 2011 Gossolt and Hedinger, known as Com&Com, purchased Bloch and gave it a new role. They want people to interact with the tree, to make art inspired by it, and hopefully generate a worldwide conversation about local traditions and customs. Instead of traveling the short distance between two Swiss villages, Bloch is traveling the world.
Bloch began its travels in Europe in 2012. It went to Asia in 2013. It's North American tour begins and ends in North Dakota this summer.
After its world tour, Bloch will return to Switzerland for one last procession, which project participants from around the world will be invited to join. Rugby's Bloch Party will culminate in a procession from the museum to the Geographical Center of North America monument.
More information and videos of Bloch's travels can be found at www.bloch23781.com.
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