'Gaan we pingpongen?'

Residency in psycho-social center Sint Alexius, organised by KAOS and workspacebrussels, 2022

I made this collage when I was 10 years old, it pictures all the girls from my back-then class in the village and our two teachers. The drawing shows us as one group whom seems to get along well. I remember it wasn’t always so easy to relate to each other in such a small group for many years. Often there were ruptures in friendships and changes in relational dynamics. Yet we acknowledged our friendships through many signifiers such as sleepovers, friendship bracelets, fashion, friends books,… or collages such as this one. Nowadays, as an adult, friendships are performed and exist in very different ways.

In KAOS I’m proceeding the longterm research on the role of ‘friending’ within a late-capitalist society where we are all (made) precarious in one way or another. Through sharing of precarities we can develop intimacies and experience friendships with care. In KAOS I’m looking at signifiers of friendship within the specific context of psychiatry. I try to do this in a process together with interested others, people involved in this framework or its wider environments.

“Doing friendship”, a KAOS Talk with Elien Ronse, Mirra Markhaëva and Ignace Wouters.

1st of December 2022 at 8pm

Dr. Guislain museum in Gent

Elien Ronse is artist-in-residence in the psycho-social center St. Alexius in Brussels. She spends most of her time in the “living room”, where people ask each other how they are and conversations go from smalltalk to very intimate topics. In this context she questions how care takes place in our everyday relations and what the meaning is of friendship in our adult lives.

For this KAOS Talk at Museum Dr. Guislain (Ghent and online) she invited two other artists to dive into the topic of “doing friendship”. Mirra Markhaëva is an artist and an activist, who migrated to Belgium from the Republic of Buryatia. She will share her experiences and ideas on individualism and collectivism. Ignace Wouters is an artist who also works in St. Alexius. He’ll discuss how friendship or “friendly relations” are part of his work context, both as an employee of the hospital and as an artist.

KAOS-coordinator Mike Michiels will join and moderate the talk. The talk will be in English but we can translate to Nederlands with pleasure. Very welcome to join, listen and also share your thoughts about friendship.

Subcribe here: