Date: 06.07 – 11.07.2014
Town/Country: Antwerp /Belgium
Artists: Kelly Schacht and Thé Van Bergen
Genre: performance, cross-over artist & painter
The theme of the workshop organized in Antwerp is ‘Identity’.
Whether national, religious, ethnical, territorial, economical or other, identity has been the prominent element and more than often the instigator of serious upheavals in the world. Certain modes of identity can indeed be dangerous. Every time identity is determined on the basis of a single form of affiliation, danger arises, and people are led into fanaticism. There exists an unnecessary paranoid attempt of its preservation which has nothing to do with its constant exploration.
It is often presumed that identity is something fixed that you get at birth and anything past that would be treated as treason. In fact, it is the actual opposite of that: identity is a constant state of evolution. Identity is not a static essence or reality. It is a substance, a dynamic reality and therefore constitutes a repertoire. Since it is not a homogenous, continuous, univocal element, it can only exist in a dynamic, dialectic logic of ever-changing difference. As the philosopher Charles Taylor once stated: “What we are can never solve the problem of our condition, because we are always changing and becoming different”.
Neither consolidating (in terms of only one group/nationality), nor dropping your identity (in exchange for more consumption) seems a healthy affair. Identity is a constant quest. Every identity implies a dialogue, or: giving up who one is. Confrontation makes identity possible. Identity gains recognition in the public space through forms of cultural mediation and (artistic) expression. This is how we will approach and structure this workshop. This is how we might understand our engagement towards the other and Europe.
Kelly Schacht: “Even if you simply work as a mediator or facilitator, you still have a certain authority or power. This is a fabulous paradox!”
Thé Van Bergen: “Do you start a (collective, dialogical) process by posing open questions?”
Kelly Schacht: http://bamart.be/nl/artists/detail/749
Thé Van Bergen: www.thevanbergen.be
Our approach is to start a dialogue with the participants. We don’t want to be seen as teachers, we are mediators. We would prefer that our participants would immerse their self in experiencing and learning. You don’t need to be an art student to attend our laboratory.
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