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Kanal Centre launches art radio for talks and performances

19:24 14/01/2021

Artists, curators and activists have taken to the airwaves at Kanal Centre Pompidou, which is running a new radio platform called Studio K for the next four weeks – and possibly beyond.

The arts space is closed for four weeks to set up the second half of the It Never Ends project – a series of installations, performances and other initiatives courtesy of Swiss artist John M Armleder. Kanal took the opportunity to launch online radio. It will broadcast from Thursday to Sunday, during the Kanal’s normal opening hours.

“During the first lockdown, we discovered how crucial it was to be together, to share experiences collectively in order to give meaning to what we do and to art,” says Yann Chateigné, a curator at Kanal. “During this interim period, we were thinking about what to do, how to address the crisis, how to be useful for the community.”

Getting together online seemed obvious, but it wanted the experience to be worthy of its name. “We wanted to use a format that has a history in artistic and political practices,” says Chateigné, “so we decided to use radio. It will replace the physical experience of the space with a sonic experience.”

‘Declaration of dependence’

Called “a declaration of dependence,” the multi-lingual Studio K will bring together curators and artists from inside Kanal with experts and activists from outside to discuss a variety of topics, taking in the environment, decolonisation, gender and sexuality, transparency and social engagement.

“The team at Kanal is small, and we don’t think we can legitimately confront issues that many other people in Brussels have been addressing for many years. So we invited them to create their own space within our radio room. They really have total autonomy.”

And it won’t all just be talk. “Discussions are only part of the programme,” explains Chateigné. “Another is dedicated to artistic practices, radio art, audio creations, productions that have been conceived by artists, musicians, poets, performers, writers and filmmakers. So it’s a radio of words and sounds that address how to think collectively and how to create and connect despite the current situation.”

Some Studio K broadcasts will be in French and some in English. Some will be recorded in both languages, and some in English and Dutch. All will be made into podcasts to listen to later.

Listeners are asked to consider what they think makes a perfect museum and let the radio know at aloporcaro@kanal.brussels or 02 435 13 60. Studio K might ask you to record your thoughts – in any language you want – and send it in to be played on air.

Photo ©Getty Images

Written by Lisa Bradshaw