"Gaan we pingpongen?"

A project on friendship and psycho-social precarities

© Elien Ronse
© Elien Ronse

"I made this collage when I was 10 years old, it pictures all the girls from my back-then class in the village and our two teachers. The drawing shows us as one group whom seems to get along well. I remember it wasn’t always so easy to relate to each other in such a small group for many years. Often there were ruptures in friendships and changes in relational dynamics. Yet we acknowledged our friendships through many signifiers such as sleepovers, friendship bracelets, fashion, friends books,… or collages such as this one. Nowadays, as an adult, friendships are performed and exist in very different ways.

I’m interested in friend-relations and how they are an important space for care for each other. Within late-capitalist structures friendships are rarely recognised in adult lives; there’s a prioritisation of romantic relations and the nuclear family. To me, friendships are important constructions, where the internalised idea of autonomy can be unlearnt. They can be a model for how we might expand conceptions of intimacy, where we can shift ways of living and working together.

In KAOS I’ll proceed the longterm research on the role of ‘friending’ within a late-capitalist society where we are all (made) precarious in one way or another. Through sharing of precarities we can develop intimacies and experience friendships with care. In KAOS I’ll look at signifiers of friendship within the specific context of psychiatry. I try to do this in a process together with interested others, people involved in this framework or its wider environments."

Research: Elien Ronse — Residency within the frame of a collaboration between KAOS and workspacebrussels

About the KAOS residencies

KAOS develops art projects with artists who may or may not be psychologically vulnerable and has an Artists in residency programme in psychiatry. It brings art and psychiatry together and tells something about the perception of this. In collaboration with workspacebrussels, a few long term residencies are organised each year starting in 2022.



27.09.2022 - 31.12.2022