Welcome to my 10 WEEKS unemployment residency program
“Following a restructuring project, I recently learned of my dismissal. I decided to turn this delicate experience into an opportunity for research, reflection and artistic (re)action : The 10 WEEKS unemployment residency program !
During the delivery of my 10 weeks notice, I’m questionning about the situation we go through, as a man, as a citizen and as an artist in this modern society, and more specifically in relation to work.
This project was born of a spontaneous initiative in response to the announcement of my upcoming dismissal. It is an extension of my work around human complexity, whether in community, in its relationship to otherness or to oneself.
During 10 weeks, each new day draws the progressive construction of a large body of projects gathering all types of mediums (photo, video, painting, installation, sculpture, net art, design, participative works, embroidery, …).
The whole approach addresses many themes and issues related to our relationship to the world of work. From our own identity and behavioral relationship to our relationship with others and with the society we are part of, this project tends to become a global and complex study, fully connected to the tools and contexts of our time.
The results of this work-in-progress are still unknown. This can very well generate 10 as 100 proposals and final achievements. All of these 10 WEEKS can also lead to an exhibition, a publication, or to many collaborations with artists, curators and / or personalities from various fields.
The goal of future achievements will be to create a space for action, reflection and dialogue. The project will therefore take on a more open, inclusive and participative dimension.”
Following below are some of the works produced during those 50 days (10 weeks working full time) :
DAY 3 & 4 : Hire me / Fire me (diptych), 2017. Photography, 60x80cm (each), Brussels
DAY 6 : Hey!…, 2017. Public interventions, 21 x 29,7cm, Brussels
DAY 9 : 7h36 punished in the corner, 2017. Performance, Brussels
DAY 10 : Burning computer (from the Burning series), 2017. Video (still image from a video), Brussels
DAY 15 : Keep Smiling, 2017. Photography, Brussels
DAY 17 : Looking for job, 2017. Photography, Brussels
DAY 20 : The Christmas Tree (from the Burning series), 2017. Video, Brussels
DAY 21 : The Five Stages, 2017. Embroidery on handkerchief, Brussels
DAY 22 : Do you have a card ?, 2017. Participatory installation made of business cards, Various dimensions, Brussels
DAY 28 : Tinder Me – 1 question, 100 answers, 2018. Netart. Brussels.
Experimentation carried out on Tinder for a period of a few days.
Only one question is asked of each “Matched” person: If there was any job that would allow me to make your life better, what would it be?
The responses gathered from a broad spectrum of the population (all ages, genders and ethnic origins combined) draw a large portrait of our time.
DAY 29 : Study of a coffee stain (in progress), 2018. Painting, indian ink on canvas, 120 x 120 cm, Brussels.
DAY 30 : Le Mur des Motivations, ou la folie moderne de l’intégration (The Wall of Motivations, or the modern madness of integration), 2018. Various dimensions (here : 10 x 4 meters), Brussels.
Large scale installation in situ, made from 400 cover letters that I have written between 2012 and 2017.
DAY 31 : Floating in Colored Smoke (from the Elevations series), 2018. Photography, Brussels.
DAY 32 : Candidature Spontanée, 2018. Photography, Brussels
DAY 33 : Studies of Human Perspectives (the middle finger (tribute to Ai Weiwei) ; thumbs up ; stop/high five ; flowers ; gun), 2018. Photography, Brussels
DAY 35 : The Walk Home, 2018. Video, Brussels
DAY 36 : The Weight of the World, 2018. Photography, Brussels
DAY 37 : Selling Services, 2018. Photography, Brussels
DAY 38 : Temporary Offices, the full collection (an ongoing project), 2018. Photography, Brussels
For those who are following me on my social networks, you might have seen many posts about my “temporary offices”.
This project just came up like this, as some kind of collecting game resulting from my eye for photography but also about my jobs situations which made me live quite a nomadic life.
Being constantly connected and creative wherever I am, made me consider the importance of all those places where I work, in a way or another.
Now, due to the 10 WEEKS, it is becoming a full book project on itself, or more like a photo album collecting all those fragments and memories of my activities.
Let’s see where this will go…
DAY 42 : The Primal Scream Therapy, 2018. Videos, Brussels
Following a call for participation, people are invited to appear in front of the camera, with the aim of gradually embarking on a process of therapeutic scream.
Participants are asked to bring an object of their choice.
Alone in the room, people are left to themselves, acting according to their own impulses and desires, until reaching this moment of tension pushing them to scream.
Following this filmed performance, a second video is shot immediately after the experience of the participant. This second video is a short interview intended to collect the person’s immediate testimony about the lived experience.
DAY 43 : The Day, a theater play (L’Entretien), Scenario for a theater play, 2018. Brussels
This scenario for a theater play is the transcription of the dialogu I had with my employer while he was announcing me my dismissal.
I’m planning to hire an actor and make it play in a theater.
DAY 48 : I need a job, 2018. Videoperformance, Brussels
As always with my work, I wanted this performance to be the most authentic as possible : fully spontaneous, no rehearsal, done in one shot.
I guess the most difficult part for this one was to find the right “moment” to do it : the perfect correlation between the mind, the context & the mood. So you know, that wasn’t easy at all.
You can watch the full video here : https://youtu.be/768YLvBDXxw
DAY 49 : The Funeral Ceremony, 2018. Videoperformance (still images from the video), Museum of Industry & Labor, Brussels
In my opinion, the best way to conclude these 10 WEEKS was by organizing my own “professional” funeral. A funeral ceremony that marks a passage, a transition.
No religious connotation here, but a narrative scheme with the use of some codes.
The different forms of rituals existing across the cultures and tribes that populate the world are very interesting.
For this one, I asked a real undertaker to animate my ceremony.
I invited colleagues, partners, collaborators who crossed my professional path.
My physical presence is a central element, replacing the urn or the coffin.
I remain frozen, like a sculpture, emotionless during the whole ceremony.
The ceremony took place at the Museum of Work and Industry in Molenbeek. I think this was the perfect place to end this adventure.
You will notice in the background a reminder to my installation “The Wall of Motivations”.
DAY 50 : The Business Stone Grave, 2018. Sculpture (engraved stone on metallic structure), 30 x 22 x 14 cm, Brussels
That’s the end!
To finish these 10 WEEKS, I decided to make this stone grave, based on the graphics of my last business card. A last memory engraved forever in the stone.
Many things happened during these 10 WEEKS. Many ideas and many projects have also emerged. Some will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead.
But before looking back on everything that happened, it’s important for me to ask you the question: what did you think about it, about all this ? Did some proposals speak to you more than others ?
Your opinions, your testimonials, your comments are quite important to me.
In the end, everything I do, is the catalyst to trigger opportunities for conversations, dialogues and exchange of thoughts, feelings & emotions.
This is my vision of art.