A Radio Room by KANAL – Centre Pompidou
Forced once already to postpone the opening of its projects in the spring of 2020, then closed temporarily in October 2020 following the measures taken for the second lockdown, KANAL – Centre Pompidou, like most art and culture venues in Europe, has been compelled to rethink in depth how it relates with its audiences. How can we keep in touch when the museum is closed? How can we stay connected when social distancing is the norm? In a period marked by uncertainty, self-reflection, the need to act, and questions about our respective roles in times of crisis, how can we share the concerns of artists and the institution in a flexible, quick and accessible manner?
Initiated during the first lockdown and finalized as a matter of urgency in the context of the current situation, a proposal took shape at the very heart of John M Armleder’s exhibition. Between the dismounting of the first part of It Never Ends and the mounting of the second part, the rooms on the ground floor of the Showroom will host a temporary and experimental radio studio. As KANAL closes its doors for a few weeks, the institution will hit the pause button before opening itself up even more. During four weeks of interviews, debates, meetings, round-table discussions, exchanges, performances, documentaries, sound creations, rare archives and carte-blanche programmes, KANAL will make room for a myriad of guests from different backgrounds and invite them to speak out and share what’s on their minds – their questions, desires and visions.
Radio programmes will then be produced, both live shows and recordings, that will serve as moments of research in the elaboration of a ‘live’ reflection, in phases, on the role of art and its institutions and on the function of artists and museums during a pandemic. Programmes ‘granted’ to a group of committed individuals and collectives will address the subjects on the minds of creators, thinkers and society today, and which must feed an institution that is itself in a state of creation: art and the feminist question, the decolonization of minds and museums, the forms of engagement of artists at the heart of civil society, how to propose a more queer place which takes into consideration the need for care …
A programme of exchanges will tackle the major questions that artistic venues should be committed to answering today: ecology, interculturalism, knowledge diversity, etc. Artists as well as cultural and social actors will deal with these issues in their own way, in the form of creations and sometimes participatory productions that are in direct relation to the Brussels canal area. A series of interviews with artists from different backgrounds, organized around the notion of hospitality, will structure a month of free, fluid and open exchanges and creations.
Why a radio station? In the 1970s already, John M Armleder and Ecart used the medium of radio to share the experiments of their Geneva-based collective on an international scale. In a world saturated with images, in a social space under constant threat of disunification, in a context defined by precariousness, anxiety and lack of legibility, many artists have recently turned to radio as a space of possibilities and alternatives, a space where they can produce, present and broadcast art collectively, but from a distance. It was logical that KANAL should equip itself with such a tool, light and open to the public sphere.
Studio K is the opportunity to launch a new project at KANAL – Centre Pompidou which, we hope, will be developed over the long term. It is a declaration of dependence: if there is one lesson to be learned from this pandemic, it is that we need each other, and that we need others above all. Studio K has been designed to offer hospitality, to welcome, in a flexible and organic manner, proposals enabling different forms of relations with art and artists, a greater sense of intimacy, as a transitional community takes shape. It aims to crystallize a potential, ‘eternal’, fluid and friendly network. We need it.
In January, the institution is closed: welcome on studio K!
- Open KANAL
An important part of Studio K.’s programme is entrusted to a group of institutions, collectives, artists and independent figures, each of whom are invited to design a series of programmes dealing with issues that are specific to their commitments and that urgently need to be addressed in relation to the situation we are going through: feminism and decolonization, the social commitment of artists, the forms of political art, the issue of queerness and the ethics of care …
Structuring the programme, a series of conversations and interviews let contemporary artists, thinkers and cultural producers speak out at length. On one hand, the series Lessons from a Virus tackles the major questions that arts venues must commit themselves to answering today: ecology, interculturalism, knowledge diversity, etc. On the other hand, De l'hospitalité proposes a programme of interviews with creators who have made cooperation and transmission an integral part of their work.
Participatory commissions, they punctuate the programme with short forms anchored in the reality of the time and the context and even of the area of KANAL: in Blabl’art, children describe what they discover in KANAL but also try to describe the area that surrounds them and us, supervised by the TADA association (ToekomstATELIERdelAvenir) and the museum's educational team; in Dream, droom, rêve, everyone is invited to describe the museum of their dreams, somewhere between dream, utopia and manifesto; political poems, artistic manifestos, texts on the virus, Infectious Reader proposes a series of readings, by artists, of what they consider reference texts in order to tackle the situation we are facing.
The program is punctuated by a series of participatory interventions: Dream, droom, rêve (imagine the museum of your dreams!). To participate, you can write to or leave a message on +32 (0) 2 435 13 68.
A programme of sound creations is in dialogue with this first, more discursive ensemble, which takes the form of commissions from contemporary artists for ambitious and brand-new radio plays, produced for the occasion, as well as a series of programmes dedicated to the presentation of important, recent, as well as historical pieces.
- Aural History, Dark Screen
Every week, a sound archive, document or audio work is broadcast and commented on in partnership with Centre Pompidou. With: Marcel Broodthaers, Michael Snow, Alison Knowles, etc. A programme conceived and realized with the collaboration of Jonathan Pouthier, curator of the Film Collection at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris.
- After Hours
Kicking in when Studio K’s daytime programmes come to an end, After Hours offers a myriad of original creations, between impromptu concerts and UROs (unidentified radio objects), norm-shattering mixes and conceptual mix tapes, artists’ archives and surprising collections … With Gaillard & Claude, Mega City One Records, Cyrus Goberville and Sidney Gérard, Hampus Lindvall, Marlie Mul, Stephan Armleder, Charlemagne Palestine, A-Sides, etc.