Eleni Kamma, Casting Call

The Selfie-Junkie, The Fool, The Animal, The Glossary, The Angry, The Collector of Proverbs, and so on 

Eleni Kamma employs performative strategies and fictional characters to playfully ask serious questions about living well together and the role of public space and time in contemporary Europe. The characters in ‘Casting Call’ use texts and sketches commissioned by the artist on seven social concepts that lead to heated discussions and disagreements: Democracy, Prosperity, Solidarity, Europe, Languages, Migration, Pluralism. Kamma borrowed these from the BELvue Museum, which uses them to help the visitor discover Belgium and Belgian society. Reflecting on these concepts, Kamma’s parade of characters is rooted in entertainment, populist jokes and excess. 

‘Casting Call’ operates between a dark, cultural allegory of contemporary Europe and an invocation of an old, comedic parrhesiastic community.  

Referring both to local art history and to a rapidly pervading social media culture, the allegorical personifications that form the parading core of Kamma’s research are given their first public appearance here. As allegories are metaphorical structures where the singular meets the universal, parades are social occasions where the subjective individual meets the unifying collective. The spontaneity that characterizes the freedom of these festive, almost pan-emotional events is enveloped by an organizing element of theatricality, of staging. A parade is a moving collection of units temporarily connected in an infinite loop: as a moebius ring both inside and outside of a group, and inside and outside of a larger social context. When people step inside a parade and contexts collide, the potential of the parade as a locus for exchange become all the more apparent. The exhibition’s title describes a selection of the allegories that Kamma has developed at this point in her research. The allegories’ attributes are featured as well: props to show who they are, but also to be what they are. 
Jesse van Winden

Performers: Sahra Huby and Jessica Van Ruschen, Fanny Heddebaut, Gitte Hendrikx, Rafaël Elders 
Camera: Boris Van Hoof
Editing: Inneke van Wayenberghe