A Fair New Idea?! #2: MAINTENANT

A Fair New Idea?! Oproep 2: Duurzaam internationaal werken

A Fair New Idea?! is veel meer dan de ondersteuning van één project voor verdere ontwikkeling. Het is een reeks van vier open oproepen rond verschillende thema’s. Deze eerste, met als thema ‘duurzaam internationaal werken’, hieronder vind je een van de ideeën die niet verder ontwikkeld zijn in het traject, maar daarom niet minder van waarde zijn.

Welk aspect van internationaal werken houdt je bezig?

Shifting the focus institutionally from contents to infrastructures. We created a network, appointed a curator-researcher and define work fields.

Omschrijving van het idee:

In the Spring of 2020 we set up a series of informal meetings with peers to imagine ways to stay available for art professionals and audiences as some of our core activities were no longer possible, or desirable, in the way they used to. The meetings led to a collaboration network incl. Netwerk Aalst (BE), Grazer Kunstverein (AT), ar/ge Kunst and B-A-U (IT). Our intention is to translate the talking into a practice and to move into a longer time-frame to develop our intuitions while rewinding our understanding of international communities and how we form and keep them. The network was named MAINTENANT, a French word referring to a moment –now– but also to a task –maintaining. We believe that the way forward is in maintenance; in caring and updating the institutional software in order for it to be response-able, to be able to host, show and handle content and users differently. Our practice should grow out of prototyping, by working on a series of case studies that stretch the institutional body, learning our way as we walk it.

Hoe kan dit impact hebben op de internationale praktijk die zich ontplooit binnen of met Vlaanderen en Brussel en daarbuiten?

Brussels and Flanders is comparatively very rich in terms of institutional imaginantion. There are various types of organisations of different scales, operative principles and missions. Many of them are artist-led or bottom-to-top and most end up finding support. This call is an example of that richness. We would like to anchor the project within this field while thinking abroad in conversation with varied partners, beyond those that are already taking part. We believe that the originality of our endeavor is its commitment to practice. While the pandemic has brough the question of institutional renewal back, there are very few examples of how the conversation translates into a practice. “Practice” here does not only mean strict execution, but also a kind of conversation in which institutional life should be shared in a degree of detail that can hardly find its place in public programming. We view this call as a practice of providing an infrastructural framework to make such a thing possible and therefore it lies close to our mission.


Anna Manubens and Pieternel Vermoortel – anna.manubens@gmail.com – pieternel@netwerkaalst.be