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Body and Material Reinvented

 

A BRIEF HISTORY

The research group Body and Material Reinvented was established in 2015 as a cluster of individual projects on body-, material-, technical- and craft-related issues. Grown exponentially, we averagely have about 20 members who recently performed research, who are doing an ongoing research, or who will shortly start an artistic research. Since 2019, we are conducting a three-year action plan initiated by a strong urge to engage with each other's research projects and to combine efforts in common action. During 2020 we started with processes of team building and formulating mutual aims. Three open laboratory weeks in September-October 2021 will enhance our visibility within the Academy, including the inauguration of a long-lasting reference installation at the Academy Library. In 2022 all these will culminate into a printed publication, intended to be distributed widely. During the past six years Body and Material Reinvented was characterized by a strong openness and thematic diversity, a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary artistic research departing from body- or matter-oriented questions on the one hand. On the other, our issues became increasingly socially anchored, sometimes even socio-political. We consider this now to be an inseparable part of the group's identity, which should be cherished.

RELEVANT THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

In recent decades, 'body' and 'material' have been the epicentres of stormy debates and pioneering research. What may have seemed like clearly defined concepts at the time the research group was set up, the notions of 'body' and 'material' now have become highly problematic and open to very diverse discourses, interpretations and speculations. Cultural studies and feminism made the body the object of groundbreaking discourse on representation, gender, cultural identity and diversity. At the same time, artists developed new theories on collectivism, with notions such as 'the social body' and 'social sculpture' becoming central concepts. At the beginning of the 21st century, Posthumanism and theories about the Anthropocene made their appearance. These movements, which criticise forms of anthropocentrism and universalism, further questioned humanity’s central and superior place in creation. New Materialism, which has far-reaching consequences for our perception of matter, creation and embodiment, also made its appearance.

OUR MISSION AND VISION

Against this turbulent background, Body and Material Reinvented appoints its substantive spearheads determining our profile at least for the years 2021-2024. With these themes we explicitly connect to current issues and debates within society and the art world. We specifically want to attract and support researchers who focus their artistic investigation on:

  1. Forms of social togetherness, global interconnectedness and ecological integrity. Contemporary artistic strategies with a strongly committed or activist character, in which ecology issues, the commons, rituals, sense of purpose and belonging, play a role.
  2. New conceptions of matter and embodiment, nourished by Posthumanism and New Materialism, movements that take mutualism and ethics beyond the human. New vitalist, inclusive worldviews, methodologies and ontologies, in which 'all the animate and inanimate makers of the world, including people' participate.
  3. Active contributions to our positioning as a laboratory for critical, interdisciplinary research into sustainable alternatives for the future, where artistic and scientific ways of knowledge production go hand in hand with other fields of enquiry.

HOW AND WHEN TO CONTACT US

Body and Material Reinvented sticks to communication, consultation and long term relationships. Before you might be supported by us for a research application, we strongly advise you to build up connectivity with us during at least 6 months.
Contact chair Ria De Boodt: ria.deboodt@ap.be
Contact scientific assistant Roel Arkesteijn: roel.arkesteijn@ap.be

RESEARCH MEMBERS

Currently active: Andrea Cammarosano (fashion), Anna Godzina (in situ3), Anton Cotteleer (sculpture), Karel Tuytschaever (performance), Renata Lamenza (performance and costume design), Stefania Assandri (performance and costume design), Vivi Touloumidi (jewellery design), Chris Snik (Costume design), Ines Ballestros (in situ3), Michela dal Brollo (in situ3), Bart Van Dijck (sculpture).

Recent past: Adam Galach (in situ3), Ellen De Meutter (painting), Janna Beck (graphic design), Karin Hansen (painting), Lavinia Rossetti (jewellery design), Lies Van Assche (costume design), Nicolas Baeyens (sculpture), Valentine Kempynck (costume design), Wim Wauman (multidisciplinary), Athar Jaber (sculpture).

Collaborations: Adrijana Gvozdenovic (coaching), Elisa Zuppini (dance coaching), Jean Bernard Koeman (critical friend), Jo Caimo (Samenschool), Nat Muller (critical friend), Vijai Patchineelam (coaching), Vincent Van Dijck (Samenschool).