In this research, as in most of Merel Stolker's work, the experienced expert ("ervaringsdeskundige") plays a central part. When it comes to loneliness, a lot of us have become an expert through our own experiences in one way or another. All combined this generates a vast knowledge of loneliness and ways of coping with it. It is this embodied knowledge Merel wants to tap into by coming together.
The residency at KAOS will be the first environment in which Merel seeks to make a space for collective loneliness. She aims to find new embodied and ritualistic forms to enclose the knowledge stored within each individual, making it something that can be experienced and shared by others. Her role as an artist will be that of an apprentice, letting the experiences and input of the residents, visitors, staff and others from the psychiatric environment guide her on this research journey.
About the KAOS residencies
KAOS develops art projects with artists who may or may not be psychologically vulnerable and has a residency programme in psychiatry. In collaboration with workspacebrussels, a number of long term residencies are organized each year.