ABOUT

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Persona, still from SKINNED, 2021

 

 

 

Persona is an art collective that connects performative artists Steffi Mennen and Pieter Desmet with visual artist Jonathan De Maeyer. A collaboration that works inspiring because of its interdisciplinary nature and which offers new insights that wouldn’t be found as individuals. Generally Persona works on the crossroad between dance and photography, but also takes detours into other media and art forms.

 

Common interests and closely connected research questions are handled inherently different by each artist because of our own views regarding those subjects. By combining those perspectives, with our individual medium bound experiences, we create an extensive and unique vision that gets established in the specific imagery of our general body of work which navigates in between the realistic, the cinematic and the deformed image.

All of our works live inside this landscape, they are part of the same reality. It is a world that is brought to life by our perspective as young city dwellers and digital natives, and keeps on evolving every time a new work resides in it. We expose the contemporary individual and their alienation from corporeal reality.

 

Persona, as a multidisciplinary collective is not, nor wishes to be, stuck to one certain art form or medium. The outcome of any given project depends on what the research demands of it. Persona aims to develop research in a non-pre-established way, with fluidity towards the shape a project takes. Starting from dialogue and with an open mind, from where new directions can be taken. The product is part of the process, but is not the starting point of the concept and research-driven work.

 

 

Steffi Mennen

°1996, the Netherlands

she/her 

 

Steffi received a bachelors degree in dance in 2017 and a degree as a certified dance teacher, both from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp / AP Hogeschool.

 

Next to her work for Persona she is working as a freelance dancer. She has worked or is working with a.o. Renan Martins de Oliveira, Marcelo Moncada, Company Oliveira & Bachtler, Cosmin Manolescu, Tuur Marinus and Ayham Qomoq.

She is a permanent dance teacher at the MUDA School of Arts in Ghent and the Kunstbrug Academy. As a guest she's been invited to guide classes for Retina Dance Company, LAP vzw and Oiterpe. She has been asked to create dance performances for the MUDA School of Arts and WISPER. 

At this moment Steffi researching how to find relation between movement and therapy. When does movement become therapy? Is the therapeutic effect of movement a construction, a tendency or inevitable? Steffi asks these questions when movement is being executed as well as being viewed.

 

 

Pieter Desmet

°1996, Belgium

he/him

 

Pieter started his dance training when he was 12 years old at the Kunsthumaniora in Brussels after which he went on to study at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp / AP Hogeschool from which he graduated in 2018. 

Currently, Pieter is working for Ultima Vez / Wim Vandekeybus, touring through Europe. Meanwhile he works as a freelance dancer for Aïda Gabriëls / OESTER and is part of the research group for costume designer Chris Snik.​

Pieter is one of the founding members of The Backyard-collective and is part of the daily board. He has performed with them in several projects. Currently he is directing the dance movie TOGETHERNESS which will premiere in 2022. 

He has invited as guest teacher in multiple dance schools and companies in Europe; for a.o. the Kunsthumaniora Brussel, de! Kunsthumaniora in Antwerp, the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, the Royal Ballet of Flanders and PerformAct in Torres Vedras, Portugal. 

 

 

Jonathan De Maeyer

°1994, Belgium

he/him 

 

Jonathan is a visual artist who tries to understand his surroundings through his photographic work, films and texts. He works on a digital and analogue image archive that forms the basis for associatively composed series. 

Jonathan studied at the KASK School of Arts in Ghent and the LUCA School of Arts in Ghent where he graduated in 2019. Currently he works occasionally as a guest lecturer for the LUCA School of Arts.

In 2020, he participated in the group exhibition Currents#7 at Z33 in Hasselt, curated by Melanie Deboutte and Louis-Philippe Van Eeckhoutte. Through the Lazy River Workspace Residency, he found his way to a studio in the buildings of NUCLEO.

 

Between 2020-2022, he collaborated with the Seasonal Neighbours collective on an exhibition for Z33 in Hasselt about foreign seasonal labor in agriculture. 

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Persona, still from SKINNED, 2021