Caveat is a collective research project initiated by Jubilee, reflecting and acting on the ecology of artistic practice. Emptor continues along the methodology and efforts of Caveat. It actively applies the practice-based approach to 'property', a concept that highly defines the economy of visual arts.

Stijn Van Dorpe


Stijn Van Dorpe Trajectory

Caveat introduced Stijn Van Dorpe to Eté 78 in Ixelles. Eté 78 is run by private collector Olivier Gevart, founder of this not-for-profit space. Engaging in long-term projects Eté 78 develops programmes that usually are not developed in a private gallery. The intention is to show and share art in new ways, and in a different time frame. In 2019, the Eté 78 programme revolved around labour issues. Olivier Gevart chose to focus on reflections on the ecology of practices. In particular he wanted to question philantropic relationships, such as patronage, and processes of creation. By looking into alternative economic models, the programme would address questions like what is 'work'...

As a kind of anthropologist, Stijn Van Dorpe describes Eté 78 as a micro-environment. He started exploring the space and its surroundings, and investigating its mechanisms and potentiality of art. This micro-environment includes a number of spaces such as the exhibition space, a give away library in the street, the private collector's house, a offices of a social housing service (Fonds du Logement) on the other side of the street, a centre for vocational training of refugees (Convivial)... as well as the protagonists related to these spaces: the artist himself, the owners, the art collector, the curator, the civil servants of Fonds du Logement, the teachers of Convivial, etc.

Van Dorpe approached the whole context of this micro-environment as a kind of test case to analyse and open up the art space and the relational positions floating around it. In describing this opening up of different spaces towards one another, this creation of interstices between them, the artist refers to the notion of third space. Van Dorpe considers third spaces as situated between institutional art spaces & other places created by society. For him they generate the possibility to open up the ecology of the art field to a wider society.

Stijn Van Dorpe developed two approaches for the creation of his work at Eté 78:

-In collaboration with the team of Caveat, and as part of the work, the artist will reconsider 'the contract' by drafting them in a 'relational' form. He reflects on the following relationships:

  1. the artist and Caveat (to be concluded)
  2. the artist and the co-initiator
  3. the artist and the art collector
  4. the artist and the teachers
  5. the artist and the curator
  6. the artist, the civil servants, and the art collector

-Stijn Van Dorpe uses theatrical/performative formats by translating some parts of the conversations/negotiations between the protagonists into a role play that is read in public by the protagonists themselves during the opening event. These documents (the contracts and the theatrical texts) are gathered in a case - a schematic scale model. One particular contract, the one between the collector and the artist, elaborates on a future activation of the art work/project.

Stijn Van Dorpe's research project Curating is Writing the Future. A Portrait opened on 28 September 2019. It was presented at Eté 78 until 27 October. The different agreements where read out loud by the different parties. You can download the agreements here


By formatting different methods of cooperation Stijn Van Dorpe infiltrates in realms of urban, social, pedagogical and political contexts - often in places where the word ‘art’ doesn’t necessarily evoke many images or generate lots of resonance. Within these environments he investigates the art space as an area with particular qualities and perspectives. Dissensus as a specific type of conflict, new forms of visibility, ways of organizing and bringing people together are some of the distinctive elements that define his work. Simultaneously his interventions and related experiences lie at the base of experimental approaches towards documentation, which lead to various forms of documents (films, installations, performances, lectures and publications). Over the past 10 years his work has been shown internationally and he took part in many artist in residence programs. In recent years he has developed and launched long term projects in public space.



Activities (participant)

Notes (participant)