A talk with Jane Penny, TOPS’s vocalist, at her home back in Montreal
Currently acting as artistic and general director of CIAP, Nieuwe Kunstverein in Hasselt, art historian Louise Osieka has long been interested in contemporary artists, namely in the strategies they use and the issues they address. The most meaningful experiences she had so far happened on the intersections between seemingly banal encounters and those who she thought to be logical next steps in her trajectory. Today she witnesses an emerging generation of ambitious and engaged women. Inspired and influenced by her peers, Louise continues to challenge conventions and to experiment in the unconventional atmosphere that so characterize CIAP. Next on her list are solo shows by Brussels’s own Aline Bouvy and British artist Dan Walwin, both set to open on 11 June, as well as a collaboration this fall with an external curator for a group show relating to the periphery as an artistic strategy.
How did begin doing your thing?
While studying a Masters in Art History in Leuven I became fascinated with the issues contemporary artists address and the strategies they use. I was eager to find out how this rather hermetic art world functioned on itself and in relation to the world. This interest was nourished by two experiences at that time; a study of the oeuvre of the Belgian artist Jef Geys (ongoing) and my task as an Art Mediator during the Manifesta Biennial in Genk.
What advice/lessons would you share with another young person in your field?
Say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that presents itself, even when the outcome isn’t clear, badly paid, far from your comfort zone or not related to the niche you’re working in. The most meaningful experiences I had so far happened on the intersections between seemingly banal encounters and those who I thought to be logical next steps. In short, a transparent, linear path is an illusion. Be passionate, work hard and surround yourself by engaged people who care.