Reading people’s minds seems like a cool superpower
What do you see when you envision the future of the Belgian creative scene? For us, we see diverse, unique perspectives, representative of the world around us. That is exactly why we have been working on our 20-something issues since 2014. These editions feature 20 people in their (pre-)twenties who are a guide, an inspiration or an Earlybird for the young generation of today in Belgium. It is the greatest honour to step into the minds of some of the most innovative young people in Belgium; and learn about their dreams, fears, inspirations and even their celebrity crushes. This year’s list was co-curated with Kevin Kotahunyi, founder of Please Add Color.
she/her, 27, artist, Antwerp
What do we and our readers need to remember about you?
I’m a multimedia artist based in Antwerp who mainly works with video, installation, text and sound.
How do you combine digital and physical mediums in your practice?
I used to call myself a video artist and installation artist by extent but I feel video in my practice becomes very physical when finished and ready to show. So while lately my work ends in the physical realm, it goes through a lot of digital stages such as filming, editing and programming. It derives a lot of visual codes and symbolism from the entertainment culture, cinema and the way we relate to digital connection.
What artists are you listening to?/Which records are you playing most right now?
I’m listening to a lot of different music all of the time, from shoegaze to drill. Yet I do have some kind of shortlist every week, a handful of songs to blast on repeat for a short bike ride or getting out of bed. At the moment there are a few Little Simz songs on it and one Joy Crookes medley cover of Kendrick Lamar.
I’m listening to a lot of different music all of the time, from shoegaze to drill
Which film have you enjoyed lately?
I have been thinking a lot about Good Time by Josh and Benny Safdie. I was crazy about their colour palette and the soundtrack by Oneohtrix Point Never. Though I watch a lot of movies and it has been 2 years since I’ve last seen this movie, those colours and that music formed a vivid memory I’m often reminded of.
What makes your heart go faster these days?
Being on a boat when the sun is low and the sky is clear. I love taking ferries with the bike, even short ferry rides!
What are you doing daily at 9 pm/9 am?
9 pm or 9 am seems an irrelevant hour of the day because every day seems to be different. 9 pm in summer is a great post-dinner-ice-cream hour! 9 am is a good hour to be awake already?
What’s your personal utopia?
My personal utopia is probably quite universal: basic income.
What brings you satisfaction?
Have a good day in the studio.
How do you relax?
I need a real Sunday to relax, doing something very unrelated to work, helping my aunt and uncle in their vegetable garden or going swimming.
What’s one of your sources of inspiration that may surprise people?
I’m enchanted by ancient mythology, especially classical and Hindu mythology, archaeology sites, stone age artefacts and the whole aesthetics of history conservation.
What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
I don’t have real goals for the future except for finding a better flow or balance between life, art, love and work. I do hope to live abroad for some time in the future. I long to be in a completely different scene in a different culture than the Belgian one for a while.
I do hope to live abroad for some time in the future
What is the latest/future project you are working on?
I am working on a book in which I’m trying to categorise and structure a lot of theories, stories and symbolism I invented in the past years. It’s a project that functions as some kind of backstory lexicon. Since I speak so many different languages I’m working hard to connect different cultural-linguistic elements through fiction.
I’m working hard to connect different cultural-linguistic elements through fiction
What will the second part of 2022 bring you?
To be honest I’m not a big planner but I’m looking forward to a trip to Japan this summer. I’m very excited about getting to see the whole neon city culture with my own eyes. I can already feel I’m going to be inspired by it!
Who is the person that most influenced you throughout your development in life?
I rely on my social network of friends and so the person that comes to my mind is a good friend I’ve had since I was fifteen. It’s my most stable relationship.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned lately?
In recent years I’ve made a lot of progress in learning coding languages. At first, my skills were quite random and more web design based. Now I’m incorporating programming into my physical work too!
Is there anyone in your scene who needs more attention?
I find it hard to pin down what scene I belong to. It’s more of an overlap of different scenes and if I would have to pick someone I’d say Céline Aernoudt. We were in art school together and worked very closely. After all these years I’m still very fond of her wit and poetry in her work.
Comfort food/speciality dish?
Recently I’ve started to take tompouce to every party I go to! It all started as an excuse for me to eat it. I’m not necessarily a good cook but I am good at making stuffed vegetables.
I know this is cliché but my celebrity crush is Tyler the Creator! I am in love with everything he does, visually, musically and conceptually!
Most irrational fear?/Most rational fear?
I have this fear of becoming very alone and in some way losing contact with everyone I know. From time to time this is an irrational fear and at other times this is a rational fear because I like to isolate myself sometimes.
If you were a cartoon character in a show, what would be your uniform?
My friends have been joking about me being Tecna from Winx Club because I’m so hyped about digital life. I wouldn’t want a cyborg costume though. I could wear tall leather flat boots and a linen dress every day, maybe the uniform could have some Hussein Chalayan-type laser light or glow-in-the-dark effect for nighttime adventures. I want a cowboy hat too!
What were you like as a child?
I was a very theatrical kid. I used to sing a lot, always inventing stories and characters and talking to myself the whole time.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Reading people’s minds seems like a cool superpower but I’d also like to have some kind of fast forward button while working in the studio or for boring moments in life.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My friends, and even though I have quite a few, I feel every one of them allows me to be a different part of myself.
If there was a book about your life, what would the title be?
‘As moulting and mating chime, …’ I’ve read this somewhere in a scientific article about birds but I’ve been thinking a lot about shedding skin, moulting and how and when this happens to humans on an emotional level.
Biggest red flag?
I am chaotic, easily burnt out and bad at replying to messages.
I always dreamt of living on a boat and never having to settle down or choose a city or place.
Favourite quote from a book/movie/show/song
I never bother to remember quotes. I had this one written down somewhere: ‘One must be in touch with the colours of nature to remove the rust covering one’s heart’ It’s from a Kiarostami movie Close Up where a guy pretends to be a famous director to impress a girl and her family and starts to ponder about cinema. It's very unclear whether the quote is ironic nonsense of the impersonator or a real thought of Kiarostami himself.
Portraits shot by @abdulfaruque, stills by Deveny