Stijn Van Dorpe


Stijn Van Dorpe is an artist, researcher, and educator. He investigates relationships between art, society, politics and pedagogy. He starts from a critical attitude towards dominant power factors that form the spaces of art and the values that are propagated with them – places like the museum, the art school, but also about (normative) educational or artistic internalized frames of reference. Wondering how these can be transformed into places where dominant power relations are dissolved and other relational relationships can be active, he tries to put this into practice through his work. Key actors within his research are the artist, curator, spectator, participant, organizer, worker and the precariat.


In 2019, Van Dorpe started a doctoral research in which he investigates the transformation of his individual art practice into the para institute for ART and precarity (pKp). The pKp relates to existing cultural places by occupying para positions, positions next to, within, during, in opposition to existing practices and institutions. In doing so, it can both explore, reinforce or counter dynamics. The pKp maintains a focus on precarity and approaches it as a potential because, unlike the ideology of the late capitalist world, it does not want to alienate from the condition of interdependence. Within shared collective processes, the pKp wants to (re)recognize precarity, share it and intentionally make dominant environments and values vulnerable. The pKp thus wants to develop joint organizational forms with other modes of distribution that make new political subjectivities – not only visible (through a centralizing art space) – but also allow them to emerge and spread through the margins without bringing them to the center.


During Kunst en Zwalm 2021, a first experiment took place and the pKp pitched its tents on the outskirts of the village of Korsele. Just as precarious people used to stay outside the city walls, the camp formed the laboratory, the meeting place and the base for its interventions. Besides Stijn Van Dorpe, the pKp Kunst en Zwalm consisted of Elien Ronse, Nancy Vansieleghem, Does Vandousselaere, Marthe Marynissen, Bas Schevers, Emma Boeyaert, Joan Somers Donnelly, Floor Van Hoof, Mona Schietekat, Luth Lea Roose, Elena Vloeberghen, Sarah K├ęsenne, Georgia Kokot, the many participating audiences.


Van Dorpe is part of Piloot.co (Ghent) and closely involved in Jubilee’s collective artistic research Caveat. With Sarah Kesenne he curates School of Equals, a project on art, education and equality.


Read about Stijn’s work on the metadated research tool of caveat.be