30.06. – 05.08: Body Tide - Syzygy Collective (WARP #10, SEA Foundation)

Syzygy body tight install 2023 SEA Foundation

We wel­co­me you in the com­fort of our inti­ma­te sphe­re. In the midst of the sof­test dra­pe­ries, whe­re the most bril­li­ant jewel­ry, a soothing brush and flo­wery scents await you. (Syzygy, 2023)

Named after syzy­gy, a term sig­ni­fying the align­ment or con­ver­gen­ce of pla­nets, the art col­lec­ti­ve for­med by Mireille Tap and Brieke Drost stands for sis­ter­hood and mutu­al sup­port. Working under prin­ci­ples of inter­ac­ting, sha­ring and exchan­ging, Syzygy com­mits to buil­ding col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve pro­jects with art wor­kers of simi­lar valu­es to high­light col­lec­ti­ve res­pon­si­bi­li­ty and visi­bi­li­ty over an indi­vi­du­al path.

Part of Acts of Care

Expanding on the col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the Off the Grid / Cas-co, in Leuven, as a part of our joi­ned pro­gram Acts of Care: Solidarity and Empowerment, SEA Foundation will host an adapta­ti­on of the work Body Tide, devel­o­ped during their resi­d­en­cy at Cas-co. For SEA Foundation, SYZYGY will trans­la­te the instal­la­ti­on and adapt its sce­no­grap­hic ele­ments in con­junc­ti­on with the soli­da­ri­ty scree­ning event VAEFE edi­ti­on II.

The exhi­bi­ti­on is also part of WARP, a series of vitri­ne exhi­bi­ti­ons which were acti­va­ted in 2020. These exhi­bi­ti­ons now also fol­low the SEA Foundation’s folds on art and sustai­na­bi­li­ty, cur­rent­ly researching fold #07 on Solidarity. The WARP series aims to sti­mu­la­te artis­tic research and pre­sent the adapta­ti­ons of the works made by regi­o­nal artists or artists with regi­o­nal connections.

For Mireille and Brieke, soli­da­ri­ty is reflec­ted in the urge to con­tri­bu­te to a more inclu­si­ve and open art field. Coming from dif­fe­rent gene­ra­ti­ons and sta­ges in their artis­tic prac­ti­ce, they seek to esta­blish a non-hier­ar­chi­cal, pro­cess-based appro­ach based on care and vul­ne­ra­bi­li­ty to defy the expan­ding logic of com­pe­ti­ti­on. In an art world of gro­wing ine­qua­li­ties, Syzygy aims at cre­a­ting oppor­tu­ni­ties and a fer­ti­le ground for artists to enga­ge, co-cre­a­te and reach a wider audien­ce; towards the wea­ving of a radi­cal sys­tem of support.

Bodies in flux

Syzygy Collective’s latest pro­ject, Body Tide, forms a spa­ce of femi­ni­ne and queer fami­li­a­ri­ty meant to fos­ter a com­mon ground for mea­ning­ful encoun­ters. The con­cep­tu­al spa­ce cre­a­ted through its sce­no­grap­hy unra­vels within the phy­si­cal to explo­re the body as a pla­ce of trans­for­ma­ti­on, expe­ri­men­ting with expres­si­ons, con­tra­dic­ti­ons and shifts.

Body Tide was devel­o­ped during a three-month resi­d­en­cy at Cas-co, Leuven. A roofless, door-less room within the art spa­ce hosted the pro­ject. Within the spa­ce, desig­ned to resem­ble a bou­doir, a vari­e­ty of prac­ti­ces came to play: pain­tings, instal­la­ti­ons, per­for­man­ce and rea­ding; colors, fabrics, papers and lights. The exhi­bi­ti­on ope­ning fea­tu­red Reading my Panties, a per­for­man­ce by Lu Lin, dea­ling with the ways in which our under­wear con­nects us with our bodies and iden­ti­ties. Body Tide par­ti­ci­pa­ting artists inclu­ded Lu Lin, Kinke Kooi, Doris Boerman, Natasja Mabesoone, Tom Hallet, Joseph Thabang Palframan, Günbike Erdemir, Sibylle Eimermacher, Brieke Drost and Mireille Tap.

The inti­ma­te envi­ron­ment influ­en­ced the per­for­ma­ti­ve aspects of being pre­sent’ for artists and audien­ce. Embodying reflec­ti­ons on our phy­si­cal being, the works unra­ve­led a mosaic of topics ran­ging from body iden­ti­ty, the poli­ti­cal and eco­lo­gi­cal body to femi­ni­ni­ty and eve­ry­day­ness. Syzygy descri­bes this for­mat as repre­sen­ta­ti­ve of the pre­lu­de’ charac­ter Body Tide assu­mes as a work-in-pro­gress and a star­ting point for for­mu­la­ting ques­ti­ons and fur­ther exploring.

How do other peo­p­le per­cei­ve me?
How do I fit in my body?
Can clothing be a gen­de­red sig­ni­fier of sha­me or libe­ra­ti­on?
What do plants and human bodies have in com­mon?
How is my iden­ti­ty formed?

Aesthetics of Intimacy

as bodies of water we leak and seet­he, our bor­ders always vul­ne­ra­ble to rup­tu­re and rene­go­ti­a­ti­on’
(Neimanis, 2017, p. 2)

Intimacy is posi­ti­o­ned at the core of Body Tide; a star­ting and end point. Being empa­the­tic to our own body and the bodies sur­roun­ding us is pro­po­sed as a prac­ti­ce of radi­cal care towards our fluid, always-in-trans­for­ma­ti­on nature.

For Syzygy, this pro­cess starts from the fra­me set for their col­la­bo­ra­ti­on. Brieke and Mireille focus on con­nec­ting by sha­ring emo­ti­ons in a rela­ti­ons­hip that is as pro­fes­si­o­nal as it is per­so­nal. They open up to being vul­ne­ra­ble and to the sha­ring of frus­tra­ti­ons and dif­fi­cul­ties. They act under the same prin­ci­ple towards and with the artists they invi­te to co-cre­a­te by fos­te­ring an atmos­p­he­re of com­fort. A nur­tu­ring and safe envi­ron­ment for inspi­ra­ti­on and col­lec­ti­ve expe­ri­men­ta­ti­on expands to how the audien­ce expe­rien­ces the artworks.

The duo works in a per­so­nal and int­ui­ti­ve way not only in buil­ding an eco­sy­s­tem of care among artists and audien­ce but in the cre­a­ti­on pro­cess itself. Layers and tex­tu­res were con­stant­ly added to Body Tide during the resi­d­en­cy. From the choi­ce of spa­ce and set up to coming across mate­ri­als, fabrics and tex­tu­res, Syzygy fol­lo­wed a spon­ta­neous man­ner of cre­a­ting a who­le, pie­ce by pie­ce. This inti­ma­te way of wor­king intrin­si­cally con­nects to dia­lo­gues of empa­thy towards body and iden­ti­ty, to sug­gest a re-ima­gi­ning of soci­al con­structs, labor con­di­ti­ons and artis­tic practices.

0c53038a 5de8 4eb3 b1db fbac841e2aee
7bf2aa3a a5a5 445e a8c9 ebbffd7a74b4 2