Thomas Bellinck – House of European History in Exile


Artiste visuel (Belgique)

House of European History in Exile (Domo de Eŭropa Historio en Ekzilo)

Entretien de Thomas Bellinck réalisé par l’Observatoire Critique :

The Belgian director Thomas Bellinck recreates an unsettlingly topical work that looked ahead to the future of Europe. The first international exposition on life in the former European Union…

Domo de Eŭropa Historio en Ekzilo (House of European History in Exile) takes us back over half a century to the beginning of the 21st century. It is a little-known, poorly documented period, and yet it was a crucible of upheavals. It was a strange time, you see, when national borders were becoming blurred, a single currency called the Euro was used for trade, and when Brussels, not War­saw, was the beating heart of the old continent. Despite appearances, Thomas Bellinck is not a ‘Eurosceptic’, quite the contrary, he is eager to awaken awareness in today’s Europe, where nationalism raises old demons and causes people to look inwards to affirm their identities. So before it’s too late, let’s look ahead to a future that may well look like what is starting to happen before our very eyes…

Born in 1983, Brussels-based artist Thomas Bellinck often places questions on the European construction at the heart of his work. Standing at the crossroads between performance, installation art and film, he is known in particular for his work focusing on pow­er, politics and systemic violence which he explores with professional and non-professional actors, scientists, etc.

Thomas Bellinck studied Germanic Philology and theatre directing. In 2009, selected for the Flemish Theatre Festival for a political initiative with illegalized immigrants on hunger strike, he opened the festival with a speech entitled We were dying and then we got a prize. In 2010, he co-set up the Steigeisen theatre company, staging such documentary performances as Fobbit, Billy, Sally, Jerry and the .38 Gun, Lethal Inc., De Onkreukelbare and Memento Park. In 2013, at the Flemish National Theatre in Brussels, Thomas created Domo de Eŭropa Historio en Ekzilo, a futuristic-historical exhibition on “life in the former European Union”. The as-if-museum then travelled to other European cities, including Rotterdam, Vienna, Athens, Wiesbaden and Marseille. In 2015, Thomas co-established ROBIN, an artist-run production structure for tailor-made artistic work. From 2017 onwards, he has been working as a PhD research­er at KASK / School of Arts at the University College in Ghent, where he is one of the founding members of The School of Speculative Documentary. Thomas Bellinck is currently developing Simple as ABC, a series of performances and installations about the apparatus of Western “migration management” and the visual economy of the illegalisation of migration. After an audio play about smell-based detection technology and a musical about the digitalization of “migration management”, he is now working on the next chapter, Sim­ple as ABC #3: The Wild Hunt, which will premiere in May 2019.