Meeting on the in-between,
proposal for a fence of Parc des Bastions in Geneva

Max and I, working on the House for Seasonal Neighbours
What does it mean to inhabit a space nowadays? ­— I mean a physical space, like for instance a camp, a neighbourhood, a farm, a region, a care centre… We are living in an era characterised by acceleration, digitalisation, climate change and a diversifying society. All this puts challenges to traditional ways of living and belonging. I am interested in new notions of co-habitation and attracted by the poetics of difference.

Research by habitation
— By inhabiting different spaces myself and inviting others to do the same, I try to deal with this question. By habitation I mean: spending a lot of time somewhere, inventing a role for oneself, setting up an activity, entering into relation with other inhabitants...

CollaborationAs much as I like the interaction with local inhabitants and experts, I cherish the value of collaborating with other artists and designers. The last years collaboration has been particularly fruitful with Maximiliaan Royakkers. Together we have been elaborating ideas on intimate technologies, permanent culture, ecological aesthetics, and many more.

Critical spaces — The kind of spaces I prefer to work on are spaces where notions of domesticity and ownership are particularly challenged. The early years I have been mainly working on ‘spaces of exception’ as the political philosopher Giorgio Agamben described (husn refugee camps, the Korean border zone, Geneva’s freeports…). With Maximiliaan Royakkers I have been elaborating on ‘disturbed landscapes’ , a term we borrowed from the antropologist Anna Tsing (c-mine, rural Flanders and rural Romania ...). In the future I have the ambition to discover more ‘institutional living spaces’ (and I am still looking for a good categorization).

A temporary interruption or in-between space — This shared artistic practice then aims at the design of a temporary interruption in this context, an experimental space and time where contrasting visions can meet. The design consists at the same time of the realisation of a space and its activation. Something in between architecture, performance and social practice.

An artistic agenda­ — The works are maps, images, architectural installations, productive activities or events. They aren’t art objects with a sacral status, but rather tools or frameworks for experiences. The ambition is to make an original and symbolic gesture that goes beyond a particular space and that relates to our cultural history at large.

Ciel Grommen (1989) extended her training in architecture at the University of Leuven (2012) with a master in contemporary art at the HEAD in Geneva (2015). What follows is a trans-disciplinary practice, based on intense fieldwork in well-defined contexts, academic research and collaborations with a close network of people and  institutions. ith models, maps, furniture, installations, events and stories, this shared art practice tries to invent new narratives of co-habitation.

Works have been exhibited in C-mine Genk; Artsonje Art Centre, Seoul; Live In Your Head Gallery, Geneva; Beursschouwburg Brussels; Z33, centre for contemporary art in Hasselt... Works even more often appear in the "real" world, such as Petit Chateau, asylum centre in Brussels, in the post box of a neighbour, on the Aldi parking lot of Borgloon, online ...

At this moment I am starting a PHD in the arts at LUCA school of arts in the research cluster Art, Pedagogy and Society. In the past I have been working on a freelance basis for KULeuven architecture department, Z33, Bozar and A+ architecture in Belgium, Bitbook publisher, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, Ief Spincemaille, Dirk Claessen & Hedwig Snoeckx ... and others.

Maximiliaan Royakkers, Maxime Brygo, Dieter Leyssen, Claire Chassot, Jonathan De Maeyer, Anastasia Eggers, Ioana Lupascu, Mona Thijs, Dallas, Ewoud Vermote, Ines Marita, Yacinth Pos, Karolina Michalik, Ode Windels, Pia Jacques …


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