A collective surviving through punk
While the end of the school year draws near, final exams are being suffered through and the last words of theses are being written, graduates make room for a new wave of students. Deciding on what to study is a tough one. To cut the knot, there’s nothing better than listening to the experiences of alumni who’ve been doing great things after their graduation. If you’re thinking about following an art education, these six testimonies of (former) KASK & Conservatorium students might help you out ✌
Text by Noor AL-Bender & Dennis Meersman
I’ve learned to think through different media
How did Kru come about?
In 2017 I started Kru, a studio-less design studio, together with Karl Kipper. We both studied graphic design at KASK. Karl was finishing his Master while I was in my last Bachelor year. Although our mediums were different – Karl was more familiar with the digital world while my territory was print – we shared a passion for well crafted graphic design. At the time, our skills complemented each other and our approaches matched. It seemed like a good idea to fuse our qualities and create together. After a couple of joint projects, Kru came about, and we’re still active today.
How did your education contribute to that?
KASK gave me a good foundation to start my graphic design career. I’ve learned to think through different media. The versatile education has prepared me to have a just as versatile a profile. As a graphic designer, I sometimes have to illustrate, create visual identities or design interiors. Through multiple collaborations I’ve learned to work as a part of a team. I’ve learned to stay in a perpetual state of curiousity and inspiration. All these skills are nice to have in my personal career as graphic designer and at my job at a graphic design agency.
Photo shot by Elies Vanrenterghem
Master student Installation Art
Sound is my native language
What are you currently working on, and how did your education contribute to that?
Besides my job at Recyclart, my practice revolves around the combination of sound, theatre and visual arts. How do those collide? How do you create a moment for visual work, how can the tension you feel in theatre be translated into that space? Sound is my native language.
Previously, I studied radio, where I learned how to tell stories with sound. I find it incredibly interesting to see what happens when you create a visual for a soundscape. That’s why I studied installation art at KASK, to research how visuals and sound can be brought together, where they contradict, where the complement each other and where they stand alone.
Can you tell me more about Recyclart and your role there?
Recyclart is an organisation that bridges the cultural world and social economy. We have a rich combination of concerts, exhibitions, a restaurant and a wood and metal work space. We don’t just work in Brussels, but also with Brussels.
As the communications officer at Recyclart, I make sure everyone’s informed about what we’re doing. This happens online and offline. I like thinking outside of a screen, and I’m a big fan of douchey advertising. Think flags, sandwich signs and banners flown around by planes.
Photo shot by Tatjana Henderieckx
Alumnus Music Production
My education taught me how to listen – really listen
Which bands have you been/are you involved in?
I used to be a member of the band Soldier’s Heart. But at the moment I’m mostly working on my own projects, namely the band Jaguar Jaguar and my mostly electronic solo project Jacobin. I also play with Sylvie Kreusch, Sergeant and Tundra and have worked on production for Bolt Ruin, Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe, Vito, Lohaus, Seizoensklanken, Berg, and many more.
How did your education help you to find your way?
My education taught me how to listen – really listen. In music production everything comes together, which ensures that every aspect of music gets enough attention. I used to be fixated on the little details, but during my education I realised this wasn’t the right way for me to create. Now, when I produce or mix a band, rehearse, perform, or even just listen to music I’m focused on the music as a whole. In that way I try to work towards an end result.
Eleonore Van Godtsenhoven
Photo shot by Bibi Euse
I’m working with a team of eleven KASK Drama graduates on a project for this summer
How did your work evolve from your bachelor project Claire Obscure to your graduation project History of Shadows?
Both projects talk about a given time in the past where we can indirectly relate to in the present from the perspective of a woman that features as a key figure or catalyst for that certain part of history. Claire Obscure was based upon the memoires of the German Jewish writer Claire Goll who lived in arty farty Paris during the roaring twenties. That’s why this performance is more about the inner world of the characters, whereas History of Shadows, that features the terroristic adventures of West German far-left militant and journalist Ulrike Meinhof, has a more broad perspective. The two stories take place parallel to each other, the first inside an attic in Paris, the other right outside on the streets. Both in content and form, there’s an evolution of treading from the inside to the outside. During the writing of Claire Obscure we stayed more true to our theatrical examples, while for History of Shadows we radically chose to show our own style.
What are you working on currently, and how did your education contribute to this?
I’m working with a team of eleven KASK Drama graduates on a project for this summer called Camping Sunset. In essence, we clear our calendars and ‘camp’ together for a month. We’ll rehearse an existing theatre piece, Zomergasten, for 2 weeks. Then we’ll perform the piece twenty consecutive evenings for an audience. In doing so, we hope to keep examining the piece with each other and the audience. The performances run from 26 August till 14 September at a location in Ghent. I’m also doing a performance with Menzo Kircz (alum KASK Drama 2018), called Residu Local. It’ll premiere on 5 July 2019 at the Over het IJ festival in Amsterdam. My studies have been a big stimulant in creating, playing, thinking, trying, examining and connecting. I cried like a child when I graduated last summer, but that ending became a new beginning. One of the biggest positives were the people I met and now work with.
Photo shot by Elies Vanrenterghem
Alumnus Animation Film
Towards the end of my studies I mostly made soundtracks for my fellow students
When was your last concert as Sagat and can you tell me a bit more about it?
It was at Het Bos, Antwerp during the Delta Wave festival. It’s an annual three-day festival that focuses on free, unbound electronic music. What attracts me to such events is that their programming is really broad, and they succeed in rhyming singer-songwriter sampler folk and hi-fi techno droning in front of an audience.
What are you currently working on, and how did your education contribute to this?
I’m always working on a variety of things. During my animation film studies I started to get more into sound for film. Towards the end of my studies I mostly made soundtracks for my fellow students. After my studies I worked at Beursschouwburg as head of bar and as part of the realisation team. But right now I’ve committed myself to making music and sound full-time. This month I’m finishing a new record as Sagat. Earlier this year I freelanced for Max Pinckers as a photo assistant and sound engineer for a documentary project in Kenya. The next project I’ll work on will probably be in the nature of a dance performance.
Thanks to my education at KASK I got a broad notion of illustration, film and sound. Even though I haven’t been active solely with animation, the studies taught me a lot since you get to learn every aspect of audiovisual media.
Cosmogony is a logical next step in the exploration I started during my education
What’s the most recent project you were a part of, and can you tell us some more about it?
The most recent project I’ve been a part of is Matisklo, a strongly visual performance by Bosse Provoost centered around Paul Celan’s poems. Bosse invited me to design the light and scenography. The interesting thing about working with him is that everyone is very involved in many different facets of the work. The light for the performance doesn’t have a supporting role, but is drenched in the poetics of the work, which makes lighting an autonomous storyteller in the performance. One of the scenes is comprised solely of the transition between different light positions.
In the past months, I’ve experimented with manipulating and projecting analog 16mm film. This led to Coming Through / Becoming True, a project in which I edited found footage film by painting and scratching it. The original image is ground into coloured light.
What are you currently working on and how did your education contribute to this?
At the moment Bosse and I are working on a performance in which we go on a search for a cosmogony: a birth of something out of nothing. During my studies I worked in the painting atelier, but I didn’t make standalone paintings. I created painted installations tailored to a space or installed in a specific way. I tried to convey light as a standalone entity. I painted following shades of light in images of lava, underneath ice, details of star nebulas, a sunset, etc. The past two years I’ve started to work more with lighting, physical space, light filters and film. Cosmogony, a visual performance that will explore the relation between light and reality, is the logical next step in the exploration I started during my education.
Cosmogony will premiere on 6 February at Toneelhuis, Antwerp.
Subbacultcha and KASK & Conservatorium are teaming up for a series of artist portraits, featuring some of the interesting alumni profiles.
GRADUATION 2019 runs from 11 till 30 June