Michiel Vandevelde studied dance and choreography at P.A.R.T.S., Brussels. He is active as a choreographer, curator, writer and editor. He is a member of the artistic team of Kunsthal Extra City (together with Antonia Alampi and iLiana Fokianaki, from 2017 till 2019, Antwerp, BE) and Bâtard (a festival for emerging artists and thinkers, Brussels, BE), of the editorial team of Etcetera (a performing arts magazine) and involved in the Disagree.magazine. From 2017 to 2021 Michiel Vandevelde will be artist in residence at Kaaitheater (Brussels, BE). In his work he investigates the elements that constitute or obstruct the contemporary public sphere. He explores which other social, economic and cultural alternatives we can imagine in order to question, challenge and transform dominant logics and ways of organizing. He has been developing a variety of projects both in public space and in (performing) arts institutions.

The exhibition as a performance, the performance as exhibition

Now that boundaries between artistic practices no longer exist, we can also start to challenge exhibition making by thinking it through the prism of a performance and visa versa. What if the knowledge of choreography or theatre is being used to think of exhibitions? And how would a curated performance look like? Who is performing in a visual art space? Are it the objects, or do the visitors become the actors? Where does the performance take place?

My suggestion is that the exhibition space can allow for a different kind of performance. One where every clear role is blurred in function of a ‘mental in-between’. This mental in-between (between objects (both material and immaterial) and visitors) is where the performance takes place. The composition tools of choreography and theatre can challenge standardized ways of presenting art works and thereby propose different ways to deepen the experience of an exhibition.