Workspace hopping by fariba mosleh

After having a permanent office at the MuseumsQuartier Vienna with a window to the Mariahilfer Straße for more than two years I very much enjoy the variety of workspaces I’ve here in Brussels during this year of brusselsArtproject. Mostly I work at our studioOne-apartment, but very often at different cafés in the neighborhood of fantastic Saint Gilles as well as in other areas of town where I meet people. And then, there are libraries to work at like Muntpunt or there are studios of artists with whom I work or whom I visit where I have the pleasure to follow my work.

Today - Studio Grilli at the recently established studio house Level Five in the heart of Brussels next to La Bourse. It is an atelier house with 3 floors full of artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in a 7-storied former employment office. The atmosphere is great, everybody has its quiet studio, there are common areas for exhibitions and meetings, a kitchen, a coffee break area and motivated people who even cook lunch for sale. And the best - there are rooms with a fantastic view over Brussels!
Of course this workspace hopping has it’s negative sides as well - the coffee shop working habit has become the embodiment of contemporary’s precarious working conditions of younger generations, self-employees, freelancers, exploited culture producers … for now in my case it’s different somehow as I am new in Brussels and want to get to know it from as many sides as possible.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Sculpture Park Middelheim Museum* by fariba mosleh

Having two kids who are already quite resistent to the suggestion of visiting an exhibition means to look for alternative ways of exploring contemporary art together. What’s then better than a public sculpture park open for everyone in a beautiful natural setting? Middelheim Museum in Antwerp is the answer. This huge park opened to the public already in the early 1950ies displays an incredible collection of outdoor sculptures from inter/national artists. I especially liked that they are having artist residencies which invite artists to go into dialogue with the collection and show interventions in the park as Ria Pacquée currently does in a fantastic way. Besides Pacquées’ interventions like the clocks on the trees, I very much loved the Tennismuur by Ann Veronica Janssens, which is in heavy use by locals. Further the installation of Pedro Cabrita Reis The Passage of the House is really beautiful and fits perfectly into the suburban setting of Middelheim. There are more than 200 art works on display - definitely worth a looong visit*

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Final week of kunsten19*** by fariba mosleh

The 24th kunstenfestivaldesartes, first edition under the direction of Sophie Alexandre, Daniel Blanga Gubbay and Dries Douibi went through its final days.
For me the final week started with the heavy theatre production Congo from Faustin Linyekula at KVS Box. The choreographer and dancer shared the stage with a Congolese singer and one actor staging a powerful performance retelling a specific period at the end of the 19th century in the history of the today Democratic Republic of Congo. Over two hours Congolese French was a bit frustrating, to be sincere, but it were multi-faceted insistent pieces of history the three performers where confronting us with. To put it in their words:
“Le Congo, ça n'existe pas. Il n’y a qu’un fleuve et la grande forêt.”
In Phantom Bird Monira Al Qadiri is reflecting upon her diversified background through the transferring Japanese necromancy onto her relation with Saudi ancestors. Although the piece had especially in the digital-visual sense appealing approaches it felt somehow unfinished and like a work-in-process, but maybe thats how conversation with ancestors works? It was definitely fascinating that there were five languages on stage (spoken Japanese and Arabic, subtitles in English, French and Flemish) - that’s BXL, love it*
Thomas Melle’s & Rimini Protokoll’s production Uncanny Valley for me personally was surprisingly good. As artificial intelligence and robots are not so my topic I wasn’t expecting anything. Hence this kind of roboted lecture performance was fantastic and picked me up exactly where I stand with my digital negation strategy.
Before the closing party we saw the young autodidact Iranian dancer Sorour Darabi’s piece Savušun سووشوون dealing with Persian mourning rituals referring to personal body and gender issues. I like its simplicity concerning the setting and use of material. Darabi comes up with quite strong gestures, the initial and final sound which accompanies these gestures goes over into one’s body. It makes curious to see more, even though the text passages and some other dramaturgical approaches weakened the performance a bit.
Three weeks of performance / theatre festival are over … I very much appreciated the atmosphere in which it was taking place. Very cool, unexcited and relaxed. The festival centre in Molenbeek at Recyclart was great and the framework program was in frequent use, all collaborators, team members spread good vibes and seem to have created and opened up spaces which will exist beyond the festival … congrats*

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Open house @ KNUSTfestival & Sonata eve* by fariba mosleh

KNUSTfestival at Quai Hainaut is going into its final week. On Saturday they opened the doors for exhibitions and performances. The collective Trepkodouné, Boryana Todorova and Yumi Osanai, were performing in dialogue with the in-situ installation Recto Versus Verso from Florian Nitsch.

From the performance at KNUST we were hopping directly to the concert of violinist Julia Weeda and pianist Didel Bish, which I organized at our dear neighbour’s L’atelier Bonamin. It was a simply beautiful sonata evening. I am mostly working within contemporary art, the more I enjoy to get in touch with classical music from time to time.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

2nd week of kunstenfestival*** by fariba mosleh

Kunstenfestivaldesartes 2019 is already half way through … It’s not my business to write art critiques here - there many professionals who do that way better than me, but I like to share some impressions, pics and joy about the experiences with this festival (as with the diverse other cultural encounters here in BXL).
Saturday 18th (the #ibizagate day and the fall of the far-right Austrian government): I worked at CityTalk, a conversation on abandoned houses at Decoratelier in the festival centre. Protagonists form several organisations dealing with the use of empty spaces in Brussels have been sharing experiences and discussing with each other. There are already many good practices!
Sunday 19th: I went on a beautiful journey with Ductus Midi by french dancer and choreographer Anne Lise Le Lac & Arthur Chambry at Balsamine Theatre. This object and sound based performance had many magic elements and it was perfectly chosen for the open studio framework program in the days after the performance. There it was possible to visit Anne Lise and Arthur in their current studio at Recyclart and have funny conversations while video-gaming, making pottery or working with thermo-plastic with them … processes of their artistic practice.
The celebrated German director Ersan Mondtag comes up with the quite intense topic of suicide with the piece De Living at Teatre National. Even though the for a huge part synchronical performance of Doris and Nathalie Bokongo Nkumu was really good, the postcolonial approach in combination with the use of many classical theatre elements was rather disappointing.

Within in the framework program of kunsten I saw the photo exhibtion Expo Anneessens at Recyclart and my daughters took part in Hip-Hop workshop at Charleroi Danse together with many kids from neighboring schools - they loved it.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

London - the one and only* by fariba mosleh

Brussels, I felt so much in love with you! Going to Gare du Midi and taking the train — 2hours later you are in the heart of the simply coolest city ever - LONDON, for me still the most dynamic, inspiring, craziest city in Europe. It’s the total materialization of capitalism. Money is simply running out of all your pockets but there is so much going on in the field of urban development, art and culture production and that on all societal levels and in many areas.
Happy about the opportunity to visit our friend, the artist Catharina Bond from Vienna, who does her MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art and sneaking through its artist’s studios :)
Currently I am quite content to have returned to BXL but took something of the atmosphere with me and I am looking already forward to my next visit.

— Guerrilla Girls

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.


Don’t forget to vote …

for EUROPE this weekend***

*finally in the intoxication of KUNSTENFESTIVALDESARTES 2019* by fariba mosleh

What exciting times for experimental theatre and performance enthusiasts, professionals and those who will become it - the unique kunstenfestivaldesartes opened its 3-weeks program this weekend with many premiers, encounters, parties in cultural spots on many places all over the city and at this year's festival centre Recyclart in Molenbeek and the adjacent Charleroi danse

Besides my own work for the festival I saw Norwegian theater maker Mette Edwardsen's new piece Penelope Sleeps with composer Matteo Fargion and the singer Angela Hicks at Kaaitheater. It’s a perfectly staged, calm poetic work with an appealing touch of humor. Not only dealing with literature referring to Odysseus' Penelope waiting for her husband, but also coming up with questions on contemporary opera with the aria of the singer.

Personally most thrilling was obviously the Belgian premier of Federico León’s work Yo escribo, vos dibujas with my daughter Flora :) … I like this complex piece on synchronicity each time a see it even more.
See also*

Meanwhile also the Wiener Festwochen have been opened - first time under the artistic direction of former kunstenfestivaldesarts maker Christophe Slagmuylder. Serveral productions from kunsten will also be shown there, as Federico León’s work for instance.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

KNUST not KUNSTEN by fariba mosleh

There is a new festival in this town of festivals! This week the doors of former Design Depot at Quai du Hainaut opened its doors for the first addition of KNUST Festival, Brussels Transversal Arts for which about 60 artists and collectives from diverse disciplines were selected for a 5-weeks residency and the development of sight specific interrelated artistic production. During this weeks the artists gonna work in this huge abandoned building with an incredibly thrilling architecture and on weekends a whole lot of program will be presented full of performances, concerts, exhibitions, workshops and exciting interventions. The whole festival relates somehow to this year’s Bauhaus’ anniversary and its Gesamtkunstwerk approach. I am very curious what there is to discover over the coming weeks … and definitely also because of the participation of Florian Nitsch with the project Recto Versus Verso.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

GENK not Ghent by fariba mosleh

Juhu* Genk again! At the train station the guy from the info office asked me 3times if I not want to go to Ghent, but I told him no to Genk, I’ve already been there.
Today is the first day of my second trip to the city of Genk in the Flemish province of Limburg with a population of about 66.000 people. I am assisting the Italian artist Francesca Grilli with the artistic research for the EU-project Acupuncture in cooperation with C-Takt and In-Situ. I have to confess, it’s surprisingly exciting. We have the pleasure of having a plentitude of thrilling encounters and get to know manifold picture of this city, a wetland area where a hundred years ago lived about 1.000 people.
For the first 3-day visit in April we were diving into the exciting history of the city from the urban development, industrial and social perspective - the landscape painters settling down here inspired by the natural surrounding at the beginning of the 20th century, the history of the 3 coal mines which made people from all over Europe to migrate to Genk and then the huge Ford company employing up to 12.000 people in Genk producing around 2.000 cars per day … crazy place this town! The mines were closed in the late 1980ies and the last Ford was produced here in 2014 before transmitting the production to Spain. Hence, Genk is an innovative place investing into opportunities for the people also after social disasters like thousands of people suddenly loosing their jobs … so we also got to know Thorpark specialized in new technologies and education or C-Mine, an wonderful cultural center - both are former mines transformed into sites of the 21st century…

This time we are focussing more on the contemporary live in Genk getting to know the underground hip hop scene talking to 3rd generation Italian migrant rappers, visiting one of the big mosques, interviewing former Ford-workers and 1st generation Italian migrants …
Let’s see what comes out of this research - we gonna propose an art piece in public space - and I am already happy about the opportunity to get to know this city, its past and current plans for the future; quite inspiring for a woman grown up in an culturally poor industrial area on the Austrian countryside …

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

*an exciting journey* by fariba mosleh

Meanwhile the rehearsal for Federico León’s production Yo escribo, vos dibujás at Les Halles de Schaerbeek has started. 23 locals are going on a journey with 2 professionals and a team of theater makers from Argentina and Belgium. It is always exciting and very special for every participant to be part of an community engaged art project. This piece is one of them and I can tell you that much - it’s a unique piece for actors as well as for the audience.
Flora will perform within this piece the 11th and 12th of May 3pm and the 13th of May 8:30pm.
See also here.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

ART*BRUXELLES*ART by fariba mosleh

Oh WoMan, what a week - if you are into contemporary visual art and in BXL!?!
With Brussels Art Week in autumn this is the second week of the year when the city is full of art enthusiasts, artists, curators, gallerists, collectors and so on - it’s the week of ART BRUSSELS, the most important art fair in Belgium with all it’s satellite projects and parallel fair like Poppositions (nicely referred to as “poppo”), Gallery Night on Wednesday etc. Those who know me and art fairs, know that this is not really the place where I feel super comfortable and appreciate how art is handled … it’s of course a concept to be critical about. BUT it’s my second time here at Art Brussels and it’s surrounding program and I have to underline that I haven’t felt as comfortable on any art fair so far as I do in Brussels. It is staged in the beautiful atmospheric Tour and Taxis building next to the canal. It’s international, not too big and not too small. They try out different formats like inviting artists and galleries, giving juried solo shows to young artists or presenting rediscovered gallery positions. One can feel as a visitor that the exhibitors are enjoying their time at this fair, there is an open atmosphere, vivid bar life and you can easily get into conversations with one another.

Also the atmosphere in the galleries in town with an incredible amount of exhibitions starting this week is a unique one … a lot of people from the fair take their time to go and also see those. What I like about it most is the cooperation between the many art institution in this city and beyond. If you have a look into to the booklet of Art Brussels you get information about diverse art institutions - on- as well as off-spaces - and their program of these days. That’s really special and I appreciate it a lot. They are kind of working together - from so called commercial high end to non-commercial art facilitators.

It was special fun to meet several artists exhibited with whom I already worked with and from my time at ISCP New York***

Have a look to the pics which give a little impression about what’s going on these days artwise in Brussels.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Greetings from kunsten ... by fariba mosleh

… it’s official, after the casting the end of March Flora will be part of Federico León’s production Yo escribo. Vos dibujás at this year’s kunstenfestivaldesartes, opening the 10th of May. Greetings from the kick-off at the kunsten office in a welcoming atmosphere full of pleasant anticipation. Rehearsal starts next week … so does my work for the festival …

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Back in sunny Bruxelles*** by fariba mosleh

After a great and intense trip to family, friends and colleagues in Austria, I am extremely happy to be back to Brussels. Another 10 hour journey and Brussels shows itself from its most beautiful side. Springtime, flowers bloom and smell wonderful. People are spreading an even better mood than already the rest of the year. Although we’ve been traveling north-west, it feels like going to warm south.
So much looking forward to the upcoming intense working time and exciting projects***

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Today* casting... by fariba mosleh

Today casting at MILL STUDIO, the rehearsal spaces of the renown Need Company for Argentinean author, theater and movie director Federico León’s production Yo escribo. Vos dibujás. It will be shown at this year’s edition of kunstenfestivaldesartes in May. León works with two Argentinean professional artists and with 23 local performers, professionals and non-professionals, kids, skaters, elderlies, etc. They’ll work together and develop the piece on-sight within ten days. Besides Brussels, it’s gonna be staged in Buenos Aires, Porto and at the Wiener Festwochen, at each location with 23 locals.
Well, it’s not me, who came for the casting … it’s my daughter Flora … she says, she has a good feeling*
to be continued ;)

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

BIG small talk* by fariba mosleh

I love Small Talks at Beursschouwburg! These are not academic lectures, but more of kind of spontaneous talk of experts on certain topic, but still are intense and good in respect of content. It’s an accessible format at eye level in the Beurscafé and with such a concentrated and often critical audience it can end up in constructive reflective dialogues. Yesterday so with the invited guest Malika Hamidi, intellectual, activist and expert in islamic feminism, on the topic of Spirituality and activism, hosted by Atefeh Sadeghi.


For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

*homo deus frankenstein* by fariba mosleh

Wuhu* what a special pleasure to see the wonderful Austrian dancer Martina Rösler performing in the Austro-Belgian production for youngsters 8+ HOMO DEUS FRANKENSTEIN with my daughter Flora at Bronks Theater Brussels. The Austrian director Sara Ostertag (makemake produktionen) and the Belgian director Johan De Smet (Kopergietery) joined for a performance based on the topics of Goethe’s Faust, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Harari’s Homo Deus to bring it into absolute present age. Dance meets drama (with Belgian actress Marjan De Schutter), video projections and a composition by Belgian composer Frederik Neyrinck for the five musicians of I SOLISTI ensemble. These seem to be the ingredients for dealing with the important questions of past and present, constant change, humans versus robots and of how becoming better versions of ourselves.
The great live sound and the perfect scenography are immediately convincing. They let the viewer dive into the piece on a beautiful and light-footed journey through our and especially our young generation’s seemingly most difficult and unanswered themes of a common future***

Check out Schäxpir Theatre Festival for young audience for performances of Homo Deus Frankenstein in Austria in June 2019.
For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Last day Performatik19*** by fariba mosleh

Saturday 3pm at Bozar, the Performatik crowd is gathering in the Horta Hall to see The allegory of the painted woman, a performance by artist and choreographer Alexis Blake. Four musicians and the two dancer Nafisah Baba and Marika Meoli enter the stage. One performer starts with instructions “Magdalena, Anastasia, Cecilia, Salomé, Daphne, Venus, …” , all female characters of classical paintings. The other performer starts to take on the related positions. The oral instructions stop, the music starts and both dancers start to move synchronically according to the sound. The performers are very good, every move and all sound seems to be perfect, but I am not sure if the space provides the right setting. Even though the dancer’s outfits are perfectly fitting to Horta Hall’s marble floor, it may have been stronger in a setting which offers more contrasts, an exhibition space which shows some of the kind of women figures and their assigned roles, issues like gender, representation questions to reflect upon. I am not sure, but I liked this half an hour.

Wow* 10 days of The Brussels Biennial of Performance Art are already over again. It was an extremely broad and comprehensive program, as usual not enough time to see everything I wanted to, but happy about each single event I could make it to.
Looking already forward to 2021***

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

7-storey voices* by fariba mosleh

As a big fan of the unique WIELS building in Forest district, I very much like the idea of former Wiels resident, choreographer and performer Ula Sickle to use the 7-storey staircase as stage for a Bauhaus inspired sound performance or intervention as I consider it. InVoice ascending a staircase Ula Sickle & Hyoid are moving backward from ground to top floor, singing and stroking the handrail. A simple and accessible concept.
The piece Relay by Ula Sickle will also be on view at this year’s edition of Wiener Festwochen, first time under the artistic direction of Christoph Slagmylder.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

Underneath which rivers flow by fariba mosleh

Performatik19 - four days left. It’s a biennial, people interested in the field are focussing and trying to see as much as possible … Jozef Wouters’ work Underneath which rivers flow with people from open house for artists and humans of all background Globe Aroma is definitely the Performatik19 production I’ve heard most so far. Although they scheduled additional performances it was hardly possible to get a ticket. People were stating things like “Jozef Wouters created a wonder” (Mattheu Goeury, artistic directer of Kunstencentrum Vooruit).
I was looking forward anyway to see that production of Damaged Goods and Globe Aroma, co-produced by Netwerk Aalst … but now I went to see it with certain expectations, what in this case didn’t let me down.
Entering the hidden space in Decoratelier in Molenbeek through the meanwhile famous whole in the wall - the starting point of the performative adventure - is indeed a wonder, a miracle, the first minutes have a kind of fairy tale or Alice in the wonderland style … it’s a huge unexpected space or even microcosmos created within the last year in a collaboration between the artist Jozef Wouters and the autonomous artists of Globe Aroma. Even though it’s a highly politicized territory in the midst of urban planning, an in-between stage between factory and park, those people created a fantastic world as far away and as near to political reality at the same time … These artists, poets and dreamers as they call themselves have been creating a garden a fantastic garden or urban landscape giving shape to their thoughts, dreams and wishes and sharing these with the audience. Every artist has worked out his own project ranging form building a wooden bicycle, an outsized two-storey Italian expresso machine up to the replica of ones room within a refugee shelter. Gradually disenchanting this utopian world while letting the audience enter it and starting a face-to-face discourse brings this whole artistic process back into reality. Underneath which rivers flow acts as an inspiring pool of ideas for a common living…

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.

*to the monastary to fort beau and back - another day at performatik* by fariba mosleh

Well, all of a sudden I kind of stepped into it and found myself in the middle of a ritual area with soil and candle light all over accompanied by video projections introducing the rituals and sound as well as some people participating in the rituals -THE MONASTARY Bardo Stastes, a live ritual by Ella alias Elke Van Campenhout and Rovert Steijn presented by Zsenne Artlab.
In the center of attention a pile of soil with one person resting and mediating buried beneath it already nearly for 6 hours that day and about half an hour before excavation.
I haven’t been involved in formal rituals for an indefinite time. The whole ritual installation was divided into the DIY stations for individual ritual practices (introduced via descriptive video projections and text sheets) dealing with the process of dying and death, and the into soil buried body of the performance artist Ella soon to be excavated through a common ritual of all the people in the space. Even though it was all about the process around death it was such a wonderful atmosphere calming down people’s busy and multi-focused minds. The practice was inspired by Tibetan buddhism rituals of bardo states within the biennale for performance art. It was such a privilege to be part of that practice today*

An hour later a few meters further at Kaaistudio’s a lecture performance by Pieter van Bogaert on his book in progress Fort Beau. Chapter1: The end started within Performatik19.
Pieter van Bogaert introduced himself as being not a performance artist but an art critic and sometimes curator and well, this introduction became program. Although he touched interesting topics and fantastic artists like Bas Jan Ader and his falling and failing series, it was not more than a lecture and for me personally quite inexpressively after the strong bardo states practicing.

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.