8 December 2016, Musea & Erfgoed Mechelen (E-land) and Het Firmament in collaboration with FARO, Kunstenpunt en Kaaitheater

International conference on the occassion of the exhibition Mad Maiden (Zot Geweld/Dwaze Maagd)

For several decades now, the museum world has been looking for ways of approaching the dynamics of art forms such as dance. The dance world, meanwhile, is fascinated by the challenge of showing or passing on dance within a different context. At international level, various curators and choreographers have joined forces to explore these possibilities. 

The exhibition Mad Maiden (Zot Geweld/Dwaze Maagd, 26 August–11 December 2016, Mechelen, Belgium) also experimented with dance, dance heritage, visual arts and participation. The exhibition provided an opportunity for further reflection. How can dance be presented in an exhibition? How do dancers deal with time, space and the audience when they swap the stage for the gallery? What new experiences can arise from the intersection between performing arts and museums? And how can dance and participation deepen the museum’s activity? 

On Thursday 8 December 2016, Musea & Erfgoed Mechelen (E-land) and Het Firmament, in collaboration with FARO, Kunstenpunt and Kaaitheater, invited performing artists, museum workers and other interested individuals to discover inspiring examples and to engage in conversations with experts from Tate Modern (UK), the Bundeskunsthalle (DE), the Université de Franche-Comté (FR) and others. The high turnout, the fortright testimonies and exciting interventions prove that there is a great deal of interest in the theme.

Read the full report. Videos of the keynote speeches will follow soon.
Enjoy pictures of the day and watch videos of the lectures.


Conference programme

Host of the day: Veerle Wallebroek (Het Firmament)

10.00   Welcome and admission

10.30   Introduction
Luc Delrue (Secretary-General of the department of Culture, Youth, Sports and Media, Flanders)

10.45   Exhibition Mad Maiden (Zot Geweld/Dwaze Maagd): A museum experiment with dance (heritage), visual arts and participation
Staf Vos (Het Firmament)
Watch video

11.00   Dance and museums: a happy marriage?
Sigrid Bosmans (Musea & Erfgoed Mechelen)
Watch video

11.15   Artist, museum and audience: sharing, cooperating, participating
Pauline Chevalier (Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, FR)*
This presentation uses specific case studies and considers major historical references to sketch general patterns in the relationship between professionals from the museum and performing arts fields. It focuses on the way museums, artists and audiences share spaces, objects and processes, from simple coexistence to the most intense collaboration and exchange: why, how and to what end?

*in replacement of Aurélie Mouton-Rezzouk (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle–Paris 3, FR)

12.00   The Trojan Horse: presenting and collecting performance at Tate Modern
Isabella Maidment (Tate Modern, UK)
Focusing on two recent performances If Tate Modern was Musée de la danse (2015) and Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus, Public Collection: Tate Modern (2016), this talk examines the history of the presentation of live artworks at Tate Modern and the collection of performance at Tate since 2005.
Watch video

12.45   Lunch

13.45   Choice of four sessions:

  1. A dance piece rethought as an exhibition
    Conversation with Femke Gyselinck (Rosas, BE) and Caroline Dumalin (WIELS, BE) on the exhibition project Work/Travail/Arbeid
    Moderator: Katleen Van Langendonck (Kaaitheater)

  2. Exploring new ways of audience interaction
    Conversation with Kristin de Groot (Dansateliers, NL) and Gill Hart (National Gallery, UK) about Dancing Museums, a partnership between European dance organizations and museums
    Moderator: Hildegarde Van Genechten (FARO)

  3. Exchanging the stage for the exhibition space
    Conversation with Charlotte Vanden Eynde (dancer), Dolores Bouckaert (actor/visual artist) and Tanguy Eeckhout (Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, BE) on the performance Deceptive Bodies
    Moderator: Staf Vos (Het Firmament)

  4. Towards a living museum: whether and how to integrate dance in the policy of the Flemish museums – session in Dutch
    Conversation with Eva Wittocx (M - Museum Leuven, BE) and Catherine de Zegher (Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, BE) on opportunities and barriers
    Moderator: Olga Van Oost (FARO)

15.00   Exhibiting a choreographer’s legacy: Pina Bausch and the Tanztheater
Rein Wolfs (Bundeskunsthalle, DE)
The actual experience of dance is difficult to translate to the white cube of the museum. By closely working with the Pina Bausch Foundation, the Bundeskunsthalle has always looked for ways to showcase performative mediation – to stay as authentic and true to Pina Bausch's work as possible.
Watch video

15.45   Conference round-up
By Olga Van Oost (FARO) and Katleen Van Langendonck (Kaaitheater)

16.00   Walk to Hof van Busleyden

16.15   Reception and visit to the exhibition Mad Maiden (Zot Geweld/Dwaze Maagd)

17.00   Performance Deceptive Bodies (Charlotte Vanden Eynde and Dolores Bouckaert)
Deceptive Bodies
is a serene, visual performance, which explores the ambiguous intentions and possibilities of the theatrical body. The adapted museum version, stripped of stage and theatrical lighting, will be performed at the Mad Maiden (Zot Geweld/Dwaze Maagd) exhibition.

18.15   End


Organisation: Musea & Erfgoed Mechelen (E-land) and Het Firmament in collaboration with FARO, Kunstenpunt and Kaaitheater
With the support of the Flemish government, the province of Antwerp and the city of Mechelen