Chépas Collective

February 2019

Chépas is Brussels slang, which stands for I don’t know, and points out the continuous indecisive condition of Brussels.

Chépas collective was founded in 2015 by Sebastiaan Willemen(b. 1990, Bonheiden, Belgium) and Lola Daels (b. 1990, Jette, Bel gium ).

Sebastiaan obtained a master in architectural engineering at the VUB, Brussels and is an active urban designer for Suède36 architectes in Brussels. Besides his architectural work, Sebastiaan is developing an artistic practice in which he explores the boundaries of conventional urbanism, often through interventions and performances dealing with perception of space and spatial behavior. Lola Daels graduated in fine arts at Sint-Lucas Brussels and has since then elaborated her artistic career during several exhibitions and residencies. Beside her work as an artist, she played an active role in the organization of multiple exhibitions, working for M-Museum Leuven and Contour Mechelen.

While the collective started with guerilla urbanism, they’ve been invited to participate in several exhibitions and residencies, in which they always adapted to the situation with temporary in-situ installations.

Statement

Chépas collective exerts performative or sculptural installations in the public space or temporary in-situ installations in museal context.

While inspired through concepts of urban and architectural theory, the body of  work origins from a common fascination for the margins of the urban environment. Due to diverse backgrounds, different approaches to the urban topic result in a fertile collaboration, balancing between pragmatic investigation and experience based perception of the urban tissue.

During our stay in Kooshk residency we both elaborated ongoing projects, and developed new ideas based upon our experience of the context: Teheran, Iran. In our work we are interested in the position of the individual and its behavior inside metropolitan cities. With an increasing globalizing world and universality being the norm in cities outgrown the human scale, we are interested in the struggle of the individual human being to obtain its place and identity within its enormous living environment. To visualize this -often absurd- search for humanity, we use performances in which we position ourselves outside the common metabolism of the city or we make installations or sculptures inspired on singular human alternations of the city scape, both in public space as in museal context.

During the residency in Kooshk we were able to work on 3 different works, from which we were able to show two at the open studio, January 25th.