19TH EDITION: 02-24.05.2014
This year’s festival was particularly intense and featured major new creations. World premieres included new work by Mariano Pensotti (Cineastas) and Toshiki Okada (Ground and Floor), two exceptional creations which were definitely among this year’s highlights, focusing on the work of artists who are favourites at the festival and whose careers have developed here over the years alongside us. The 2013 festival presented a clever and inspiring mix of artists who are closely associated with the festival’s history and profile, such as Bruno Beltrão and Kris Verdonck, as well as newcomers the likes of Matija Ferlin, L’Encyclopédie de la Parole and Antoine Defoort & Halory Goerger who have created very exciting works. Marcelo Evelin meanwhile confirmed his singular choreographic talent very movingly. Freedom of speech was explored several times this year and a number of artists (Tiago Rodrigues and She She Pop, for example) explored the possibility of documentary theatre in a fictional space. Film-maker Chantal Akerman’s work explores the dividing line between fiction and document. Her project Maniac Shadows and her moving nocturnal reading during the festival’s opening weekend will not be forgotten by anyone lucky enough to have been there.
The 2013 festival presented very different artistic forms. Some projects ran for the duration of the festival, for example inviting audiences to a new and temporary museum section (the Zoological Institute for Recently Extinct Species from Jozef Wouters) or to a library of living books (Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine by Mette Edvardsen) or by inviting themselves without warning to around forty different gatherings or meetings in the city (Lecture for Every One by Sarah Vanhee).
A very big thank you to all the partners and audiences at this year’s wonderful festival and to all the artists who brought their work here. We look forward to seeing you next year at the 19th Kunstenfestivaldesarts from 2 to 24 May 2014.
Christophe Slagmuylder and the team at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts
LET PEOPLE MOVE FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. This was one of the statements adorning the city in Tim Etchells’ poster project during this year’s Kunstenfestivaldesarts. In May 2014, the 19th festival provided an intense period of human movement and encounters. For three weeks, more than thirty very diverse, yet united artistic creations allowed ideas to be circulated, viewpoints to be exchanged and different forms of gatherings to be held. They generated a lively space, here and now in the Capital of Europe, in an uncertain social and political climate.
Among the thirty or so projects presented this year were several creations supported by the festival that are faithful to its spirit of engagement and risk taking. From 100% Brussels – an extensive and symbolic project set in the context of the city and what is happening now, conceived for 100 ‘Brusselaars’ by Rimini Protokoll – to remarkable creations by artists from all over the globe, Kunstenfestivaldesarts audiences were able to share in some unsettling and inspiring creative approaches. New and fascinating works by Milo Rau, Tsai Ming-liang, Brett Bailey, Marcelo Evelin and many others made a huge impression – all exceptional, precious creations initiated by the festival. This year’s festival also offered an opportunity to see the latest works by some big names, such as Claude Régy, as well as discovering powerful, up-and-coming artists like Alessandro Sciarroni.
The 2014 festival centre, the former Marivaux Cinema, in itself constituted an invitation to move. For three weeks, this disused space in the city centre was transformed into an unexpectedly vibrant and lively venue.
The Kunstenfestivaldesarts is an international Brussels-based festival. A project that brings together professionals from here and there, who are attracted by its specific and bold programming, and diverse, inquisitive audiences prepared to be displaced. A polyglot project involving a variety of forms that brings numerous partners, artists and enthusiastic audiences into contact with one another – with over 23,000 tickets sold (an estimated occupancy rate of 97%), many hours of exchange and discussion, and long evenings punctuated by singular creations and artistic and human encounters. TIME SHOULD GO LESS QUICKLY.