collection of commissioned performative works

2021 - ongoing
various locations in Belgium

The collection includes:

La Collectionneuse by Maïte Álvarez (2021)

“Am I Evil? by Roger Fähndrich (2022)


JEANNE. Or the Western Touch is a curatorial format inspired by the controversial relationship Belgian art collector and dealer Jeanne Walschot established with her collection of African artefacts.

JEANNE aims at exploring European desires to meet the Other and the Unknown but also to control, own, and exoticize them.

JEANNE commissions a growing number of interdisciplinary artists, to create at least one work for the collection from their perspective, in reaction / response Jeanne Walschot. Through this we aim to collectively explore what this character means and stands for within the frame of Belgian and more widely European and Western history.

Each work may be accompanied or followed by curated activities (workshops, lecures, events).
Curatorship: Simone Basani and Alice Ciresola

Co-produced by:
C-Takt (Neerpelt/Genk), Kunstencentrum BUDA (Kortrijk), wpZimmer (Antwerp), radical_hope/Heike Langsdorf (Brussels)

by Maïte Álvarez

shown in Gruuthusemuseum, Brugge 
April 2021

Through writing and by manipulating a collection of personal objects in playful, seductive, possessive ways, Álvarez reconstructs the physical relationship Jeanne Walschot had with her own collection of African artefacts. Through choreographies of touches, Álvarez unfolds the multiple, potential lives of objects that constitute collections, both in private and public contexts. Álvarez engages with a tactile, almost technical, exploration of the objects, of their original and possible usages. By carrying and displaying objects, Álvares creates a fictional world map, explicitly referring to the history of exportation/exploitation of so-called 'exotic' artefacts that is one of the faces of Western colonisation.

With the help of technology, Álvarez constantly stages her own image and the image she wants to give of her objects. The dichotomy between the stillness and the partiality of what is shown on the screen and the richness of the whole choreography experience underlines the implicit power of 'framing'. That power lies as well in the construction of grand, yet partial, narratives created by institutional spaces and, among them, museums. This resonates with Jeanne Walschot’s use of photography as a way to construct her public visual identity and the more intimate narration of her own subjectivity too.

‘La Collectionneuse’ aims to symbolically and temporarily complement Gruuthusemuseum collections, especially the 17th and 18th centuries, that include ‘exotic’ artefacts with performative speculation on Jeanne Walschot, a problematic character which is easy to identify with, especially for a Western white audience.

AM I EVIL? (2022)
by Roger Fähndrich

in Budatoren, Kortrijk - 19 May 2022

in Salon Arents, Bruges - 19 January 2023

In “Am I Evil?”, Roger Fähndrich starts from the scarce historical information about art dealer and collector Jeanne Walschot to create a challenging, semi-fictional reading-performance about her life. By bringing in multiple characters, he tries to fill in the gaps in her life story to understand Walshot’s feelings. In this quest, he cannot help but questioning his position toward the subject of his research, and specifically his perspective as a white, male artist and songwriter.


19 -22 May 2022
28-29 August  2022
Memento Festival: 18 March 2023

Workshop  curated by Simone Basani & Alice Ciresola
with Els Moors & Roger Fähndrich

Can erotic writing become a place for decolonial and feminist exploration?

How could one embrace the tools of erotic writing to investigate power processes of discrimination, nanoracism, marginalization, exoticization, abuse and seduction from diverse perspectives?

“Am I Evil?” is an erotic writing workshop & a collective research journey that navigates these questions through a methodology of peer-to-peer mentoring and reviewing.

The workshop borrows the title from, and is introduced by, a semi-fictional lecture performance** by artist Roger Fähndrich about the life of African art dealer Jeanne Walschot.

In the days following the lecture performance, the participants will start working together with writer Els Moors, artist Roger Fähndrich, and curators Simone Basani and Alice Ciresola.

The process of text writing and reviewing will take place throughout 2022 and 2023, both in collective meetings and individual sessions at home.

The texts created during this collective journey will be shared with the audience through public-presentations and an online publication in the frame of Memento 2023, Apap/Feminist Futures 2023 and other channels.

Workshop curation: Simone Basani and Alice Ciresola

Lecture-performance as workshop introduction: Roger Fähndrich

Invited writer: Els Moors

Co-produced by: Kunstencentrum BUDA, Letterzetter/ Bib Kortrijk, C-Takt & radical_hope

AM I EVIL? - BRUGES (2023)

Workshop curated by Simone Basani & Alice Ciresola
with Els Moors & Roger Fähndrich

The workshop, similarly to the one in Kortrijk, explores the erotic writing as a tool to investigate power dynamics, processes of discrimination, nanoracism, marginalization, exoticization, abuse and seduction. On this occasion, we will also more precisely explore the drive to the desire to own the Other, to collect, display, get intimate with other bodies, cultures, artifacts, ideas in order to expand/escape/fight loneliness and/or work on one's self-representation; this in direct connection with the framework in which we are invited to work. Salon Arents is indeed a project by Musea Brugge (joined for this workshop by KAAP) the aim of which is to rethink the way collections are built and displayed.

Workshop curation: Simone Basani and Alice Ciresola

Lecture-performance as workshop introduction: Roger Fähndrich

Invited writer: Els Moors

Co-produced by: KAAP, Salon Arents / MuseaBrugge, C-Takt & radical_hope