An asylum is a place of refuge. Of taking leave of the world for a limited period of time. It is a place out of the world. Where rules function differently. Where people without a place of belonging are temporarily ‘parked’ in order to mend their ways. It is a place for the ones that don’t fit the grid: mental patients, refugees, people suffering from ailments of all kinds. Desiring bodies, in search of papers, legitimacy, acceptance, health, reconnection to the outside world.
In that sense it is also a place of hope, a world-in-a-world where difference can live and be accepted. Maybe even celebrated. Where the norms are temporarily suspended, and common sense rules no longer apply. In this gap, in this suspension, wild thoughts can go unchecked. Dubious behaviour flies under the radar.
For this block, Elle/Elke Van Campenhout/The Monastery curates a block for finding refuge from the status quo of the arts. A place to turn inwards, temporarily turning sideways from the demands of the artistic world and society. To look at what actually wants to be said, and experimented. What is the desire of the artist, of the researcher, that flows underneath the work? Which are the parts in the research that flow like ghosts through the methodologies and conceptual frameworks.? What else is there but dossier language and salonfahigkeit? What is there that can not float to the surface, but can only be seen from the back, using a hand-held mirror?
The Asylum (for Desiring Bodies) proposes to take a close look at our desires, these lines of flight that connect us to the world and the others. To look with radical honesty to our drives and attractions, and enter into the intimate zone of connection: with our work, with the others, with the body of the group. The emphasis lies on encountering each other anew, working with the stories we construct about ourselves and the work we make. And tinkering with transforming these, just for a moment, to open up the multicolored layers of sediment they are built on.
Stepping out of the framework of ‘acceptable’ or normative knowledge production into murkier zones of memory, intimacy, body knowledge, and dark rooms. A time to rest, to turn inwards, to become undone. As an artist, a worker or whatever you think you are…