“Somewhere in Between” at BOZAR, Brussels

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

With the exhibition Somewhere in Between, BOZAR offers a glimpse of the cutting edge of what is currently happening in various European contemporary art scenes and their networks. Five independent artistic actors are given carte blanche in the spaces of the Centre for Fine Arts. They present a selection of work by artists and curators from their extensive international network.

Since the 1970s, a network of diverse art scenes, operating outside the regular art market and established institutions, has developed throughout Europe. These are often independent initiatives which function on modest resources, remaining under the radar of the wider public, but at the same time creating a huge dynamic. These artistic platforms form a strong network, and an alternative art circuit that has spread throughout Europe. They are small and medium-sized non-profit organisations, often without institutional backing but set up and driven by artists, curators and committed cultural players. Their programmes are not about big names, market values or potential audiences, but purely about providing a platform for the artist’s work. As such they fill a gap, literally ‘somewhere in between’ the commercial gallery circuit and the established art institutions.

The balance has shifted in recent years within the international visual art world. Market value has become more important and is increasingly putting public institutions and individual participants under pressure to succeed and take economic and often political interests into account.

As an established art institution in the heart of Europe, BOZAR is also examining this evolution. In this way Somewhere in Between is a critical reflection on our own operation. The exhibition initiates an almost atypical institutional dialogue between worlds that are aware of each other’s existence but, de facto, function separately. BOZAR and the independent art spaces that will be its guests this summer are related to each other in a subtle interaction and will come together for the first time in a large-scale collective project.

Five artistic actors are given carte blanche to fill the exhibition halls at the Centre for Fine Arts: three Brussels art spaces (Etablissement d’en face, Komplot and La Loge), the Prague curator Michal Novotn. who offers his perspective on the Eastern European art scene, and finally the investigation by Kunstenbibliotheek and the students on the Curatorial Studies course at the KASK (Ghent).

Somewhere in Between takes visitors on a journey through the artistic hotbeds of Europe and introduces them to lesser-known networks of artists and independent curators who are increasingly exchanging their hometowns for a (temporary) life in residencies, workshops, studios and art spaces from Tbilisi to Berlin, Riga to Lisbon, Athens to Rotterdam and Zagreb to Brussels.

In conjunction with the exhibition Somewhere in Between at BOZAR, Variations on Vulnerability is a slow pace evening of time-based projects that proposes a meditation on the power of vulnerability. In uncertain and challenging times fragility can be a strategy of survival, while rendering vulnerability visible can act as a form of resistance. Through a series of compositions, musical and dance performances, readings, lectures and roundtables, the event sees artists, curators, and researches propose different narratives and interpretations of vulnerability. It is either through the lens of gender, ethnicity, hybrid bodies or fragile identities that “Variations of Vulnerability” wants to ask its audiences whether or not being vulnerable is also a form of agency. Taking into account the unstable, precarious situations for independent art systems, especially in our times of rampant populism, “Variations on Vulnerability” sets forth narrative, performative and discursive compositions, which analyse the interstices of what has been done, and what can be done. The event takes a fresh, challenging, extravagant, ponderous and sometimes funny look at vulnerable places, disorder and transborder, with artists, curators and performers using BOZAR’s Rotunda to engage and experience with audiences the broader context of struggles and inequalities in contemporary societies. By cherishing the development of previous projects, showcases, and symposia on these matters, on June 20th, Variations on Vulnerability also looked to the future of artists’ practices and asked participants to think of the current state of affairs of the independent art scenes, its spaces and its players, from a different perspective.

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between, Bozar, Brussels
© Yannick Sas

 

Somewhere in Between
20 June–19 August 2018

BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts | Rue Ravenstein 23, Brussels
Opening hours: Tue–Sun, 10am–6pm; Thu, 10am–9pm
info@bozar.be
www.bozar.be