in the Category: art

I have always been a rebel

Now that museums have opened their doors again we explored the exhibition It Never Ends by John M. Armleder, accompanied and guided by performance artist Rabina Miya. A submerging experience throughout the impressive halls of KANAL Brussels, located at the former Citroën garage - and not for the faint-hearted, since you as a visitor become part of the expo yourself. We asked Rabina what made her the exciting artist she is today.

Text by Victor Seys 
Photos by Elies Vaer

Hi Rabina, can you introduce yourself?

I’m Rabina Miya, originally from Nepal. I’ve studied at RITCS’ drama school and I’m now studying performance arts at KASK. Belgium has been my residence for about 17 years now. I know my ways as an actress and dancer, but I actually prefer to say that I’m an overall performer. It’s a thing that has defined me since I was a kid.

Were you born an artist?

I’ve always been performing, even before I knew how to dance. However, I was always a very shy human being, and unfortunately still am. But somehow there’s this weird thing when I set foot on stage, some switch flips and I’m performing without even worrying what the audience thinks about it.

Do your studies at RITCS influence the way you’re working right now?

There’s no doubt about that. Every stage of any kind of schooling either helps or breaks you in a way. Becoming an artist ain’t no fairy tale joyride. RITCS has of course its huge name and reputation which can give you a head start. But in my case, the experienced teachers couldn’t really get through me because of the language barrier. At KASK I notice that the clash between my classical theatre background with its established values and the more innovative approach which is cutting the edges of those values is shaping me into the artist I am today.

Becoming an artist ain’t no fairy tale joyride

Is an artistic education necessary to become a better artist?

According to me, there will never be a perfect school where all your dreams will be fulfilled and where you will be fully satisfied. There will always be moments where you think, ‘This isn’t me, this isn’t what I want or this doesn’t resonate with me.’ The thing is, it’s less about the education itself but more about what you do with it. To try and make something out of any negativity. So I guess my answer is no here.

How did you end up here?

That’s actually a funny story. One day I registered on ‘Let’s make some profile and you never know’ is what I thought by myself. Many months later I got a call from Caroline, like, ‘Hey there’s this project and we’re looking for an actress who can tell a story and also be sort of a tour guide.’ Eventually, we ended up working together for It Never Ends by John M. Armleder.

How does your approach help the visitors to experience the exhibition differently?

There’s no harsh informational thing going on. That was also the purpose. The performance I bring people while guiding them through the expo is very personal and also involves them into my - or, rather, our - performance. This contribution helps the visitor to really understand the artist and to experience the exhibition in a challenging, yet unique way.

The performance I bring people while guiding them through the expo is very personal

What can we expect from you in the future?

It’s quite difficult to see the future for me right now with this corona thing going on. But I’ve always been a rebel and have always been questioning a lot of things. Just like I’m questioning this whole situation and our government right now. However, I hope that there will be plenty of opportunities to pursue my artistic beliefs. It’s safe to say that the future means hope for me: it’s the hope and desire that things will go smoothly and that people have learned lessons through this messy period. Finally, I pray we can come back together soonish and share more than ever before.

It Never Ends 
KANAL, Brussels 
Free for members until 25/04
Book your tête-à-tête with Rabina here

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