Thor places particular emphasis on performance as a space for interdisciplinary cross-fertilisation, where choreographic practices meet other artistic practices.
This support takes the form of two different alternating events: the (Pas si) Fragile! springboard in even-numbered years, and the TROUBLE international festival in odd-numbered years.
Le festival Trouble
In odd-numbered years, the festival takes over every corner of Studio Thor, and many other venues in the surrounding area and beyond. Cultural venues such as the Musée Charlier, Ateliers Mommen, KANAL, Point Culture, Centre culturel arabe, Maison des Arts de Schaerbeek, Théâtre La Balsamine and others, as well as churches, sports halls, wedding halls, nightclubs, school playgrounds, disused museums, community centres, hotels, parks, squares and streets in Saint-Josse, Brussels and Schaerbeek… Thanks to this in situ programming, many projects have a socio-artistic dimension, sometimes involving participation.
Le tremplin (Pas si) Fragile!
The biennial showcases young artists involved in performance art, recently graduated from art schools in Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles. With a specific formula for each edition (3 so far), each one aims to bring together around 10 young artists from ENSAV-La Cambre (including the Dance Master), erg, ARBA-ESA (and ISAC training), ESA Le 75, Beaux-Arts de Liège, Académie de Tournai and Arts² in Mons.
Every two years, the festival takes over every corner of Studio Thor, and many other places around and beyond. Cultural places such as the Charlier Museum, les Ateliers Mommen, KANAL – Centre Pompidou, PointCulture, Institut Européen de la Culture Arabe, Maison des Arts de Schaerbeek, la Balsamine, etc, but also churches, sports halls, wedding halls, nightclubs, school playgrounds, disused museums, community centres, hotels, parks, squares and streets in Saint-Josse, Brussels and Schaerbeek.
As a result of this in situ programming, many projects have a socio-artistic and sometimes participatory dimension.
Trouble #12 : « It’s about time »
The forthcoming Brussels performance art biennial will focus on time in all its facets: time saved and time lost, time stolen or being out of time, time loops or generational gaps, protracted experiences or intensely brief moments. It’s high time that Trouble comes back to trouble you!
Trouble #12, It’s About Time: it’s the question of time (and especially the time we allow for ourselves, that we give to relationships and to works so that they can resonate) that will be at the heart of the Brussels biennial performance. To survey notions of historical time, stolen time, out-of-time, time loops, generational differences, protracted periods … or on the contrary, very brief moments. Are you losing your bearings? It is high time that Trouble comes back to trouble you!
From 17th to 23th April 2023, at Studio Thor, in the vicinity, or even further away – the online program will be available at the end of February 2023.
(Pas si) Fragile!
The biennial highlights young artists involved in performance art, recently graduated from art schools in the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles. With a specific formula for each edition (3 so far), each one aims to bring together a dozen young artists from ENSAV-La Cambre (including the Master’s degree in dance), erg, ARBA-ESA (and the ISAC training course), ESA Le 75, Beaux-Arts de Liège, Académie de Tournai and Arts² in Mons.
Over recent years, visual arts schools across French-speaking Belgium have been devoting part of their curriculum to performance art, thus responding to the innovative dynamics of these practices in the professional artistic sphere.
We can thus observe a new generations of artists making deep inroads into the Belgian and international performance art scenes with individual or collective works, multiplying collaborations. These artists do not do perform as their elders did, however, these artists are inventing other forms all while searching for new spaces in which to present themselves and their work.
As part of the two festivals devoted to performance, Trouble and tremplin (Pas si) Fragile!, Compagnie & Studio Thor will be right at the heart of two pan-European projects: the first, Time For Live Art brings together four performance festivals, those of Ljubljana, Turku, Athens and Brussels, while the second Performer l’identité is a showcase nomadic program focusing on the training and practice of performance art.
With the support of the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, “Time For Live Art” is a project shared by Studio Thor / Festival Trouble (BE), Infinite Present (SI), New Performance Turku Biennial (FI) and MIRfestival (GR).
Time For Live Art
“Time For Live Art” is a collaborative project gathering Studio Thor / Trouble Festival (BE), Infinite Present (SI), New Performance Turku Biennale (FI) and MIR Festival (GR), supported by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.
“Time For Live Art” sees four human-sized live art festivals join forces to underline the resilience of the live art sector, in a contemporary world suffering from ecological and health wounds. These festivals believe that gathering around a live event has never been so precious and necessary, though our current conditions urge us to do it in a different way. With this in mind, the partners address and answer to questions of ‘time’ in the creation, presentation and circulation of live artworks: time given to relate the creation to a context, time to experience the artwork, time for mediation around the presentation, time taken for the travel of the artist and time to develop the memory of the audience.
« Time To Reflect » retreat
The project started in February with the “Time To Reflect” retreat which took place in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Višnjan and Rovinj (Croatia). An intense moment for a group of 12 people including the curators of the 4 festivals, and the artists who will be traveling through Europe during the project: Theano Metaxa from Greece, Gaëtan Rusquet from Belgium, Mark Požlep from Slovenia, and Dash Che from Finland. The retreat was enriched by the presence of author and activist Cy Lecerf Maulpoix and writer and researcher Daphne Dragona who gave lectures and reflections on the discussion related to the topic of time and degrowth. It was also the occasion to meet with the team of Maska Institute, and to encounter local figures like astronomer Korado Korlević and artist-winemaker Tomislav Brajnović. “Time to Reflect” retreat gave the project a collective experience offering the group a common soil from which each one will develop differently.
The project “What Time Is It?” which follows 4 artists traveling slowly from one city to another, where the experience of the trip will become the material for a new artistic production, will be launched with Theano Metaxa’s travel and performance “Deadlines”.
Theano Metaxa’s travel from Athens to Brussels took place between April 8th and 17th, through the Mediterranean, Italy, and France. Theano had been traveling with another person who has passed away before Modernity. She travelled into the past while her partner travels into the Future. Undertaking a slow journey through time unfolds artists’ exploration of the issues of social acceleration, Europe and Modernity. Theano and her companion made a skeleton of their journey, proposing to each other possible visits and meetings with philosophers, artists, psychologists, train station clocks, monuments, traces of migration, museums of Natural Science, cemeteries, old surviving buildings, and as many Euro-workers as possible. After their arrival, Theano and her travel partner presented the performance “Deadlines” at the Trouble Festival on the 21st of April.
After the four festivals, the next step looks at the future: it associates a platform for younger European performers, and a professional gathering to open sustainable perspectives. A final publication brings together the memories of the different steps.
“Time For Live Art” is 22-month project that will take place in Brussels, notably during Trouble #12 festival (from 18 > 22 April 2023) and the 2024 edition of tremplin (Pas si) Fragile! In addition to young artists from the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, it will host up-and-coming Greek, Slovenian and Finnish creators, as well as a cohort of young Polish and Irish artists, as part of the partnership with the “Performer l’identité” project.
Compagnie & Studio Thor is moreover a partner in the Erasmus + strategic partnership project led by ENSAV-La Cambre, culminating in its participation at the tremplin (Pas si) Fragile!
“Performer l’identité” is a nomadic program of training and practice for performance art that will take place, on an ad-hoc basis, over the upcoming two academic years (2022-2023 and 2023-2024).
Focused on the question of identity, this project proposes a series of workshops devoted to artistic practice, professional and theoretical meetings, visits to festivals, as well as the realization of performances in diverse public settings and venues. A living archive will be built up throughout the project. At a festival open to the public and professionals alike, students will present their works in a thoughtful and creative way.
Bringing together four art schools – ENSAV La Cambre and ESA Le 75 in Brussels (BE), UAP in Poznan (PL), Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan (IRL) – and three festivals – Verão Azul in Lagos (PT), New Performance Turku in Turku (FI) and (Pas si) Fragile! in Brussels (BE), this program is aimed at some fifteen students of higher arts education practising performance art.
Merging these two European projects will thus lead to an intensely compact edition of (Pas si) Fragile! (renamed (Not So) Fragile! for the occasion) during April and May 2024, bringing together, in addition to the fifteen artists participating in Performer l’identité five other artists from Greece, Finland and Slovenia, as well as the customary selection of a dozen emerging artists recently graduated from the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles’s écoles supérieures des arts.