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Partisans of the Real

Between 2004 and 2017, Els Dietvorst realized three projects, each in collaboration with a specific group of participants or community. Beuys' understanding of the role of art in society, 'The Social Sculpture', and the context of democracy are the key here. His emphasis on discussion, dialogue and fluent, conversational forms is central to how she will frame this analysis.

The departure point of Dietvorst is the project The Return of the Swallows (Brussels, 1999-2004), a multimedia project with migrants/refugee communities. She will analyze the process and unravel the working method that is embedded in the collected archives of the project. On the basis of this analysis, she will link the two other projects, Skull 3 and I watched the white dogs of the dawn.

Dietvorst has moved a large part of her art formation from an urban environment (Brussels, BE) to a rural environment (Duncormick, IR), where she is a part-time shepherdess. This research will also examine the relationship between city and countryside and the impact on how we connect (and disconnect) our lives, our community, our society, our planet and how we as an artist can participate in a more involved, active role in society to become a ‘Partisan of the Real’, an active agent for change.