bleed is inevitable
6 September-30 November 2021
curatorial assemblage facilitated by Kristien Van den Brande
The block “Bleed is inevitable” starts from the premise that we are inhabited by several voices – be them spiritual, psychological, political, juridical, institutional, identitarian, non-human, culture-historical, assigned or acquired, short or long term,… – and that we are subject to environments that bring these voices into dialogue or conflict, or muffle them. During the block, the a.pass researchers are invited to think their interactions from the perspective of role play, and to create artificial environments in which to experiment with and dis-equilibrate an individual or collective constitution of voices. It is a guided exercise in letting go of what one knows or thinks to know and a prodding for delineated and contrived spaces to speculate on different modes of being together in the world.
History will always be in the room though. In LARP (Live Action Role Play)-vocabulary ‘bleed’ refers to the experience of transferral between real-life and game-world. In-game experience inevitably spills back into life, and vice versa, one’s game character and world is inevitably inspired by real-life experiences and self-perception. LARPers have developed techniques to halt or hold this zone of oscillation, between what is and what could be. While closure of play might be a necessary tool to keep up with ‘real-life’, we could also question the ‘right to a proper end’ as particular to Western storytelling tradition, with consequences for what we think a proper life or story is. ’Bleed is inevitable’ invites the a.pass participants to question and reinvent assigned roles, investigate the ideological space of ‘bleed’, as well as experiment with techniques of game-design within artistic research.
“Bleed is inevitable” is an assemblage of different curatorial proposals that have been in conversation for a longer period of time. Not seamless, but definitely more than tangentially connected, therefore with the ongoing challenge to superimpose and retrace how they spill into each other.
First, Ronny Heiremans and Katleen Vermeir take us for two walks in SPA in the context of their research ‘7 WALKS (resolution)’. The context of SPA offers the unique opportunity for a series of itinerant reflections on water and art. Drawing inspiration from the intangible legacy of historical walkers — kings and czars, political refugees, artists and philosophers — and, strongly anchored in a local context, Heiremans and Vermeir propose us to explore a balance between private property of and access to resources that we hold in common as a society. Can SPA inspire to unbundle the proprietary rights that have been stacked around authorship and (land) ownership, i.e. two paramount features of Western subjectivity?
Guests: David Aubin, Scott Raby, Steyn Bergs, Jens Van Lathem, Tobias Van Royen.
Second, block curator Kristien Van den Brande organizes a two week Role Play Intensive. The Intensive combines immersive experiences, showcases, reading, film, discussion with invited guests, and this input is alternated with open slots where we translate and experiment for ourselves what role-play can bring to our work. Discussions around consent, boundaries, co-authorship and a willingness to suspend the self into play will be key. We will take role-play as a space for investigation, confrontation and speculation rather than escapism. What conversational, contractual and/or architectural techniques have LARPers, BDSMer or therapists developed to mark the transition between real-time&space and play-time&space? What are ethical limits of engaging in role-play, regarding the politics of appropriation and trauma? What are the conditions for role-play to offer a safe/brave space to practice critical empathy (Ed Fornieles), un-recognizing (Elvia Wilk), disidentification (Jose Esteban Muñoz), or for suspending the cops in the head (Augusto Boal)?
Guests: Amélie Orsel with the LARP Identities; Olivier Stein with an introduction to different Role-Play cultures and techniques; Carolien Stikker with a demonstration of Voice Dialogue Therapy; Femke Snelting with an attempt at a new authorship license; Sarah Vanhee’s film The Making of Justice; Wouter De Raeve and Lietje Bauwens with the film WTC A Love Story; Kobe Matthys / Agency with an assembly about a copyright controversy around reality-tv.
September 27 – October 8
Third, a.pass participants Chloë Janssens, Amy Pickles and Túlio Rosa are organizing a temporary context for collective study: ‘On Coloniality: a public gathering’. Through different artistic and theoretical speculations they invite us to study coloniality and its manifold dimensions. The term ‘coloniality’ differentiates colonialism, as a historical process, from its legacies. It refers to the modes of organisation of power in colonized territories, and how this extends out into supposedly post-colonial states. How is the colonial rationale at the basis of current modes of social and political organisation? How have these supposed histories collapsed into, resonate with, and form our present? Departing from critical reflection on the countries where they were born — Belgium, Brazil, UK — they invite us to draw connections between different times and locations by closely following methods of appropriation and extraction of land, resources, labour and data. Through different artistic practices we will draw parallels, observe symmetries and find correlations across colonialism as it exists across all aspects of our lives; institutionally, economically, in corporations, governance, everyday structures of living and our bodies. ‘On Coloniality: a public gathering‘ will be hosted inside and outside of a.pass, a porous programme open to the public. There will be an exhibition that hosts artist work, reading and listening sessions, screenings, public conversations and discussions.
Guests are announced shortly.