Orlando Maaike Gouwenberg becomes the new artistic director of CIAP and FLACC.
The two merging organisations appoint a joint artistic director to build together the common future on the C-mine site.
Orlando Maaike Gouwenberg (NL), curator and initiator working from Europe and the US has been appointed as new artistic director of CIAP, platform for contemporary art, and FLACC, workplace for visual artists. She will lead the two organisations through the exciting transition period into the common future. Still this year, CIAP and FLACC will merge, and in 2022, already as one organisation will move to a new location on the C-mine site in Genk.
Gouwenberg brings to the table a fresh perspective, underpinned by a substantial international network and experience. Currently, she is the co-curator for Melanie Bonajo's presentation for the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2022.
image © Roosje Klap
After running multidisciplinary exhibition space Expodium in Utrecht, Gouwenberg participated in the renowned de Appel Curatorial Program (2006-07) and worked at the research and production platform If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (2007-11). During the directorship of Defne Ayas at Kunstinstituut Melly, she was involved in major projects by Alexandre Singh, Michael Portnoy, and Rana Hamadeh. In 2010, together with artist Keren Cytter and curator Kathy Noble, Gouwenberg initiated A.P.E. (art projects era), which focused on the development of projects that cannot be realised within traditional institutional formats or frameworks. Since 2012 she’s part of the short and mid-length committee at International Film Festival Rotterdam. In 2014, she founded the multidisciplinary residency program Deltaworkers in New Orleans together with Joris Lindhout, and in 2017, Gouwenberg joined the Performa team in New York as producer at large.
The new director takes up the position in a particularly complex, fragile, and challenging context, but also one that requires new perspectives and experimental strategies. “It is an unprecedented time that calls for outspoken choices,” she says. “We are at the tail end of the pandemic that has held up a mirror to the fast-paced, overcrowded capitalist world and forced the individual, on the one hand, to revert to small, local, sometimes lonely, physical ways of living, and on the other hand, expanded the possibilities of communicating, working, and presenting online. It is, therefore, a particular moment to look at how two strong locally-anchored institutions can consciously operate locally as well as internationally; in physical and virtual space.”
CIAP and FLACC are convinced that Gouwenberg, with her versatile experience and unfettered enthusiasm, is the best person to take the lead in shaping the vision for the new organisation. “The DNA of the new organisation, originating from two existing institutions, is rich, layered and offers opportunities,” said the freshly appointed director. “It's like a lichen where ‘1+1=plural’ is the rule and where specific combinations of chromosomes create the shapes that no one could have imagined in advance. It is this polyphony that bears potential and that drives me. The program that I want to develop for FLACC/CIAP will be tailor-made and will have a socio-political focus, building on the already existing basis. The organisation grows from the programme, in which the importance of art, the interest of artists and the connection with the public are key.”