conference, research center

international conference Tender Institute

7-8 September 2012


international conference by a.pass

After finishing the artistic research post-graduate program at a.pass, 8 participants open up their researches in a performative and multi-layered setting.
Sharing their insights into questions that are on the table for contemporary artists every day: what is the notion of work? How to deal with intuition today? What is the performative power of the object? How can the city be the witness of time?
8 cases open up as many different strategies, diverse invitations to engage and experience artistic research from 8 wholly different perspectives.
During a residency period of 3 weeks, a space is constructed that invites you into all these different cases, constructing crossing points and welcoming the visitors into the research trajectories.
At the same time, a.pass organizes the conference ‘The Tender Institute’: an active meeting around the notion of the ‘institute’ in artistic practices today.
In the last ten years, more and more artist initiatives have been re-thinking the institute once again as a point of address: a place where people share their concerns and interests, where you can find topical information and engage with it, where knowledge is archived and opened up to public interest and scrutiny. Compared to the more established Institutes these initiatives seem less concerned with classical knowledge conservation than with a dynamic reformulation of knowledge processed in situ. Opening up the monolithic space of recognition and representation into a heterotopic space of engaged interest.
In these two days, a.pass invites speakers, artists, and administrators to construct new imaginations of what the institute today might look like: how to think of an institute with flexible walls, how to administer an organic institute that grows out of the interests of the people working in it? What is the place of this kind of institute in today’s society? In other words: how can an institute still stay an institute when it is embracing its ‘tenderness’: when it recognizes its dependency on the interest of its users? The risk to become obsolete in the whirlwind of heterotopic interests? The challenge to re-invent its administration to shift from a politics of categorization to one of attention and engagement?

performative publishing, research center

Ed. by Adva Zakai and Elke Van Campenhout Curating as Environmentalism

1 September 2012

postgraduate program, research center


1 September-30 November 2012

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lecture, performative publishing, research center

Elke van campenhout the tender institute

12 January 2013

“In the whirlwind of changing subsidy policies, and political crisis, the Institute has become a partner to be mistrusted. What has become clear from all the waves of institutional critique that have fueled the visual arts production in the last decennia, is the Institute’s extreme flexibility to reinvent itself, to recuperate and produce the ruling discourses, in a constant craving for the new. The Institute in this understanding has become synonymous with capital power struggles, with normative regulation of the arts scene, and with an unsavory attachment to a global economy that creates and sustains inequality, poor labor conditions and a sanctimonious elitist attitude towards knowledge and its distribution.”

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performative publishing, research center

Elke Van Campenhout Tarot of Hope

25 euro - tarot cards and book

1 December 2013

If you wanted to come up with a language that could be understood by anyone, and that allows for different ways to adapt to the situation, but that still speaks about what concerns us all, the Tarot is the way to go. The Tarot is an ancient method to gain insight into your current situation. It is a way to bring different aspects of your life together, and relate them to an outside world that sometimes appears hostile or unconcerned by your sorrows or doubts. With the Tarot of Hope, Bureau d’Espoir tries to get a grip on our current situation.
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Order this publication.

performative publishing, research center


15 December 2014


Bureau d’Espoir is a long-term research project on hope, initiated by Elke Van Campenhout. Bureau d’Espoir researches the possibility for a new engagement with the concept of hope, both on a political, social, physical and spiritual level.

Bureau d’Espoir is a research practice that starts out from the question: why do something rather than nothing? The last ten years the artistic sector seems to be burdened by a nagging form of debilitating self-critique that blocks artists (and other artistic workers) from assuming an affirmative position on the scene. Not only does it feel like any kind of performative gesture has become over-identified by decennia of critical theory, but an all-encompassing economic system has rendered any kind of emancipatory or critical gesture close to impossible.

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Unfortunately we no longer have applications. Both programs: the Postgraduate as well as Research Center have come to an end due to the decision of the ministry of education to stop financing a.pass. At the moment we look into new plans for the future. More news soon on our website.

Alternativly you can upload your Research proposal, Portfolio, CV and other documents here.

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Open Call

Contact person.

Every application will be offered a copy while stocks last of the a.pass publication In These Circumstances: a collection of methodologies, insights, experiences, ideas, researches from 15 years of a.pass. If you like to receive a copy then please provide an address below.

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