In theory, there is no difference between Michelangelo, Louise Bourgeois, Martha Graham and Simone de Beauvoir: they all start out from that empty moment, that blank canvas, and then decide when they will let the world in. The time Michelangelo spent staring at his block of marble before he carved the Pietà: that is noiseless time.
Nowadays, when art is systematically being associated with the realm of commodities, when the work of art needs to meet the demands of production and deliver results sellable on the market, with MILL’s Beauty Salon, we want to mark out the moment of noiseless time – when the realms of beauty and reality come together and feed the artistic process.
With MILL’s Reality Salon, we want to address the question of whether the era of BEAUTY is over and whether REALITY has now become the main topic of artistic interest. Is it the case that the true moment of exploration occurs when one word is mistaken for another? We wish that the artists of the salon, instead of going in one direction or another, remain open to the clash of these two notions – in its poetic and formal quest.
WHAT IS MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON?
MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON was born in 2020 out of the desire to continue the multidisciplinary artistic exploration that Needcompany began more than 30 years ago. We want to create a space in which to keep heritage on the move and open ourselves up for new encounters with artists of different generations, experiences and visions. As one of the most funded independent theatre organisations in Flanders, we feel an urge to share resources in the current crisis, to create possibilities for those in need and to create awareness of the sensibility and precariousness of those who keep the arts alive.
MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON is related to MILL – Needcompany’s artistic house in the heart of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, which, since March 2017, has been a place for thinking, creating, rehearsing, connecting and exchanging.
MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON is neither a residency nor a production-oriented programme. We are explicitly committed to supporting artists in thinking, dreaming and creating timelessly. Our wish is to support the artistic process by providing an environment and the required resources. A fellowship of 10 000 euro will be awarded to (or divided among) the selected person(s). This amount is meant explicitly to support artists by giving them the opportunity to think and create timelessly and not in a result-oriented way. Therefore, it can, but doesn’t have to be spent on production expenses. Each proposal will be analysed in terms of the specific needs indicated by an artist.
In addition to financial support, Needcompany offers extra support in various forms: a residency at MILL, use of the studio at MILL (play room) and a dramaturgical dialogue with the members of Needcompany. The selected artists will be given the opportunity to present their work to the public at MILL.
The essence of the Salon is: there is no choice made in one direction. BEAUTY /REALITY is a poem – it uses language, it is a formal investigation and above all it is a game. / Maarten Seghers
WHAT DOES NEEDCOMPANY STAND FOR?
Needcompany is “we need company”
Needcompany is about collaboration.
Needcompany means creating art – particularly theatre – in a direct, dialectic relationship with the society in which it is created. By respecting the different art disciplines autonomously and yet connecting them, boundaries are shifted. This creates a search for a new radical poetics.
Needcompany is artistic autonomy and authorship. Art is separate from commercial purposes and from ideology.
Needcompany is a group of people whose collaboration and research puts forward the idea of “white canvas” creations. The artistic process emerges from a white void that represents the whole world.
Needcompany is transdisciplinary, transcultural, transnational and cross-generational.
Needcompany is its own ecology, a system of life driven by diversity, self-organisation and collaboration. Rather than institutionalising, a studio form remains the base. An open atelier where people work together to question reality and beauty.
Needcompany is a positive conflict. We do not believe in an iconoclastic approach to history. By studying history and learning from it, new questions can arise.
Needcompany is questioning.
Needcompany believes that the living arts require a generous openness and a constant curiosity.
Needcompany is a house where the human being is central. Both in its daily operations and in the creative process, the human being with his métier, knowledge, individuality, soul and corporeality is the only true content.
WHO CAN APPLY?
MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON is open for artists from all over the world of all nationalities & ages. We want to especially support artists who have already developed an independent body of work.
This year we address the open call to all artists whose work addresses the new form of performativity, blends disciplines and aims for new radical poetics for live art – whether individuals or collectives.
To apply for MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON, we are only inviting artists who have never collaborated with Needcompany before.
We encourage applications from artists who have a link with Brussels, the heart of international thinking.
Downloads: MBRS open call 2023.docx.pdf