During a three-month residency in psycho-social center Sint Alexius (organised by KAOS and workspacebrussels) I proceeded the longterm research on the role of 'friending' in adult lives. I specifically looked at signifiers of friendship and care in the context of psychiatry.

The first two months I spent many hours in the shared living room (it is called the 'staminee'), having small- and big-talk. While being together we sometimes started creating 'things' together, such as self-made mandala's, different emoji-masks and we printed and made a puzzle from the coffee-moment. The last month I collected many hours of film-footage from shared moments in the staminee. The video shows everyday actions in this context in 28 chapters, it premiered in March 23 in the 'staminee' in combination with two videoclips by Christian Kastart, followed by a coke-tasting and a party with local dj's. During another afternoon-event we created a cola-candy-cake to accompany the screening.

'De staminee in Sint-Alexius in 28 hoofdstukken: Gaan we pingpongen?', screenshot from video, 17 minutes, 2023

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

Elien Ronse was artist-in-residence in the psycho-social center St. Alexius in Brussels. She spent 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 questioned 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 shared her experiences and ideas on individualism and collectivism. Ignace Wouters is an artist who also works in St. Alexius. He’s discussing how friendship or “friendly relations” are part of his work context, both as an employee of the hospital and as an artist.