During three months, Elien Ronse is in residency at the psychosocial day care centre St.-Alexius, in the frame of our collaboration with KAOS:
"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."