In January 2023, BBOT will launch Narrating Diversity. Every eighteen months, BBOT invites a (sound) artist as curator. One curator, one year and a half, one theme, different audiences. With this, over the next five-year policy period, in cooperation with the three curators, BBOT wants to open up its organisation and operations to new audiences. We want to give new audiences in long-term co-creative trajectories impulses towards an artistic handling of sound and listening, as well as the formation of multi-voiced narratives.
Period 2023-2024: Maarten De Vrieze
During an intervention of 'desire lines' at the ferry terminal in Calais, I came across the words "I wish for the future", written down on a guardrail at the end of a cul-de-sac. These words struck me like a scream and made me think: 'for what future do I want to work?' Based on the conviction that human beings can play a role as artists, just as an organ in the body is vital, I developed my practice. The artist as an organ of the body that is society. Using encounters as a starting point, my interventions create openings in the conditioned fence through which the imagination gains space to alternatives. Artistic gestures that make tangible what remains invisible due to dominant forms of power. In living together, the question "For what future do I want to work?" forces the question "For whom do I want to work?".
Right now, I have unfolded my tent and set it up inside the showcase of BNA-BBOT. My nomadic practice finds temporary shelter there and this at the art organisation's request to curate the 2023-2024 season. From my practice, of which some elements of 'desire lines' are present in the showcase, I engage in dialogue with other artists, researchers and philosophers. Visitors are invited to my tent to follow these developments while I sonically search for testimonies that guide me through the city of Brussels.
As a curator, I look around me with the same gaze that I have developed in my art practice. In the role of curator, I ask myself what an art institution can do, if the word 'cura' literally means 'to care for'? What should the role of a house be, when the public outdoor sphere is shaped by racist discourse and fake news? When information deviates from our reality what future do we face? Focusing on hard facts and precarious testimonies, Bridges makes itself visible in a sea of disinformation. Using the microphone as a tool, stripped of visual form elements, makes hearing become the focus of attention. From the voice, precarious witnesses become palpable all the way to the body, society.
Maarten De Vrieze