JEANNE. OR THE WESTERN TOUCH
May & June 2021
various locations in Belgium
performative collection for museums and other contexts
Curators: Simone Basani, Alice Ciresola
Artists: Bilal Kamilla Arnout, Maïte Alvarez, Roger Fähndrich, Lilia Mestre, and others
Image: Bilal Kamilla Arnout
This visual is part of a series of images commissioned to the artist for the visual communication of the project.
JEANNE is a performative art collection that explores European desires to meet the Other and the Unknown but also to control, own, and exoticize them.
JEANNE is deeply inspired by the controversial relationship, art collector and dealer
Jeanne Walschot established with her collection of African artifacts.
JEANNE commissions a growing number of interdisciplinary artists, four, for now, to create at
least one work for the collection from their perspective and using their favorite performative
media: choreography, video, music, installations in movement, etc. These artists form a community that works in dialogue with each other first, and then that opens up to a collective
reflection together with the audience.
Every time the collection is hosted by an institution, it takes the shape of a performance - or
performative exhibition - that engages the audience’s senses. Every time, one or more local
artists, selected by Basani and Ciresola in collaboration with the institution itself, join the collection with a performative work created specifically for JEANNE.
JEANNE is an art collection that unfolds in a live dimension. Its pieces are performative and can be activated only in the presence of the audience, or with its intervention. They are independent works, yet constituting all together a non-chronological and largely fictional reconstruction of Ms. Walschot’s life.
The tactile and vocal dimensions have a fundamental role in JEANNE. These dimensions shape our reflection on the Western touch but also our strategy to engage the audience’s senses. This meta-cognitive strategy allows us to subtly unfold the different layers of meaning of Jeanne Walschot’s collection, by letting the audience experience them through their bodies. In JEANNE, movement, tact, and voice multiply the narrations lying underneath the once-and-for-all given meaning assigned to the collection objects, the narration of which has been imposed, invented, or silenced by institutions and societies throughout the time.
The performative collection is shown by four performers (the artists themselves) following a
co-produced by BUDA (Kortrijk), C-Takt (Genk), wpZimmer (Antwerp), and KAAP (Brugge/Oostende)