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Announcement
February 15, 2022

Young Curators Programme: Belgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK), School of Arts of University College Ghent

From left: (Top) Camille Lemille, Jef Declercq, Arno Huygens. (Bottom) Badïa Larouci, Inès-Gabrielle Tourlet, Josue Aliendre Carvani.

Curatorial Studies at KASK & Conservatorium, Flemish Community, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, BIJ (Bureau International de la Jeunesse), ArBA-EsA (Académie Royale des Beaux Arts de Bruxelles) and the City of Brussels are pleased to announce the fellows selected for the second iteration of the Young Curators Programme (YCP) at the Belgian Pavilion–59th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale.

The 2022 YCP fellows are Josue Aliendre Carvani, Jef Declercq, Arno Huygens, Badïa Larouci, Camille Lemille and Inès-Gabrielle Tourlet. The YCP is coordinated by independent curator Laila Melchior.

The second edition of the Young Curators Programme invites the six young emerging curators operating in Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders to provide mediation for the Belgian national exhibition while pursuing their personal curatorial research. The programme offers the opportunity to enrich the exhibition The Nature of the Game by Francis Alÿs, curated by Hilde Teerlinck.

The six YCP fellows will contribute to the development of various aspects of the project while in Venice, including daily mediation at the pavilion. They will engage with audiences, supporting their interpretations and contextualising the exhibition, linking the show to the practice of the artist, the curator and the broader framework of the Belgian scene, as well as its representation at the Venice Biennale. This mediating role will allow the YCP fellows to closely follow the development of the exhibition over time and gain invaluable experience from working in a high-level international art context. During their time in Venice the YCP fellows will develop their own personal curatorial research, connected to the Biennale or other art institutions based in the city. Programme participants are expected to share the ongoing research on the YCP-section of the Belgian Pavilion website.

Beyond nurturing career development opportunities and encouraging curatorial practice and investigation, the YCP simultaneously addresses the specificities of the Belgian art scene, promoting an interaction between young professionals from different backgrounds and the country’s two main linguistic communities.

About the exhibition
Artist:
Francys Alÿs / Curator: Hilde Teerlinck / Commissioner 2022: Flemish Community.

The Nature of the Game
For the exhibition in the Belgian Pavilion, Francis Alÿs presents a selection of new short films shot since 2017 in Iraq, Hong Kong, Democratic Republic of Congo, Belgium, Mexico, to name a few. Filming without interfering in the games, Alÿs reveals the hidden rules of playing, the ingenious interaction of the children with their environment, their deep complicity and their hopeful mood and joy. The installation in the Pavilion invites the visitor to walk through a labyrinth of screens as if they were in the middle of a global playground. The sound and image of the different films interact with each other, fragments forming together a whole, allegories translating the complexity of a sometimes harsh reality.

A series of small paintings covering a period from 1994 to 2021 accompanies the video presentation providing the context in which some of the films were made. From Kabul to Ciudad Juárez, from Jerusalem to Shanghai, they unfold Alÿs’ distinct poetic sensibility towards social and political concerns.

Francis Alÿs (Belgium, 1959) lives and works in Mexico City. Trained as an architect, Alÿs’ practice embraces multiple media, from painting and drawing to video and animation. His works address ethnological and geopolitical concerns through the observation of and engagement with everyday life. He has most recently been involved in a series of new projects in Iraq culminating with the historical fiction Sandlines (2018–20). His Children’s Games series (1999–ongoing) is a recollection of scenes of children at play around the world. A dozen new games filmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Belgium, Canada, Iraq and Hong Kong will be featured at the 59th Venice Biennale. Alÿs has exhibited in renowned museums worldwide and will represent Belgium at the 2022 Venice Biennale.

For more information: curatorialstudies [​at​] hogent.be.

The Young Curators Programme was initiated in 2019 by the Belgian Pavilion in association with Curatorial Studies at KASK & Conservatorium (HOGENT & Howest), Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, La Loge and BIJ (Bureau International de la Jeunesse).

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