The name Jubilee is a reference to the Jubilee Law, a 7-yearly annulation of debts in Sumer (c. 2400 BC). The law was a mechanism for maintaining social peace by redistributing wealth. At the time, people’s debts were inscribed on clay tablets. In a Jubilee year, they were thrown into a river, where the debts literally dissolved in the water…
Jubilee is a platform for artistic research developed and run by artists Justin Bennett, Eleni Kamma, Vincent Meessen, and Vermeir & Heiremans. Founded in Brussels in 2012, Jubilee has developed into a polyphonic artist-run organisation that supports the work and research of its artists, as well as the projects of associated artists within collective reflection trajectories. Jubilee aims to create opportunities for (upcoming) associate artists, initiating collaborations based on a shared focus and interest. They form the basis for long-term and reciprocal relationships. Jubilee’s most comprehensive collective trajectories to date are Caveat (2017-…) and Emptor (2021-…).
The artistic practices within Jubilee are characterised by transdisciplinary methodologies and cross-sectoral collaborations. Through structural support and (inter)national distribution of individual artistic work that lays the substantive basis for collective reflection, Jubilee valorizes artistic research as a practice, and makes it visible as a professional activity.
The concern for sustainable practices of artists is one of the reasons why Jubilee was founded. This motivation continues in the pursuit of viable conditions for an ecology of artistic practices. Jubilee wants to raise awareness among artists and have a positive impact on organisations and policies. It does so both by disseminating critical perspectives on the existing precarization in the arts field through individual artistic projects and collective reflections, and by participating in educational contexts, debates, lectures and working groups on an (inter)national level.
The dynamic between the close support of the artistic processes and the discourse around their value, gives Jubilee the unique quality to continuously map the changing needs of the artists and their artistic research practices and the knowledge that results from it, to share them with the landscape and to integrate them in its own mode of operating. From that contextual knowledge, Jubilee generates practice-based solutions as a basis for a solidarity system for its core and associate artists.
Jubilee is polyphony. Jubilee’s voices never merge into one uniform whole. No voice gives up its own identity. Each voice explores its own panorama, creating a constructive tension between the individual and the collective. This means that Jubilee’s network is multiple: it is a topography of Jubilee’s recent history, reminding us that artistic practice generates multi-layered social processes and dynamics.
Jubilee’s commitment to good governance, fair practices, and integrity of psycho-social well-being
Jubilee wishes to improve the conditions of artists and art workers in its daily practice and is focusing on these conditions in its collective research trajectories
Team & legal support
Jesse van Winden, curator-coordinator
Julie Van Elslande, legal advisor
Ychaï Gassenbauer, audio-visual archive
Nina Janssen, communication assistance
Jeanne Gilbert, social media assistance
Board of directors
Justin Bennett, independent artist and founding member of Jubilee
Sari Depreeuw (secretary), Crowell
Saartje Geerts, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Nav Haq, associate director at M HKA
Zeynep Kubat, rekto:verso
Katrien Reist, :arp, founding member of Jubilee
Pascale Viscardy, Critique d’art (AICA) – Direction des Arts plastiques contemporains (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles)
Boris Debackere (chairman), V2, LUCA School of Arts
Ronny Heiremans, independent artist and founding member of Jubilee
Vincent Meessen, independent artist and founding member of Jubilee