Mariane Cosserat

Date: 2/10/2006

Marianne Cosserat thinks she is part of an art community, whether she likes it or not. In other communities, the codes of behavior are often very clear (for example how to address other members of the community) but in the art community there exist a lot of unspoken rules. One of them is that you have to “try to be unique without mentioning it”. Another is that your contacts with other community members should be very familiar: “We’re almost friends after we’ve seen each other once.” In the art community, networking is important and you are very personally judged. Because Cosserat has done so many different jobs in the performance field, the way people address her depends on the hat she is wearing.

Specific about the Brussels art field (as compared to other European cities), is that there are many young international performers in Brussels. The Brussels art community is located in a narrow geographic area, which creates solidarity between the performers. The Brussels community is a real crossroad of cultures. Cosserat makes the comparison with the Zagreb dance community. In Zagreb, many people leave the community but few enter and when there is migration, it comes mainly from neighbouring countries. Brussels on the contrary has immigrants from all over the world. The reason for this attraction is that Brussels allows you to keep your own identity. What Cosserat likes about Brussels is that it welcomes experiment: there are possibilities to try new ideas and to make things happen. Professionally speaking, Brussels is one of the places that allow her to dream. Another positive thing about Brussels is that there are many types of support that are given to each generation of artists.

Cosserat feels more part of a European art community than of a Brussels dance community. She assumes that most people in the Brussels dance community do not know who she is. As a consequence she does not consider herself part of it, although she is often in contact with the community (mostly by going to performances). She wants to see how the scene develops and wants to keep track of the work of young creators. She considers it as her duty to help young makers, for example by giving them advice. Being available to give support is also a way of staying in touch with the community. The Brussels dance community is a very young community: if you do not make it between 22 and 35, you are out. With people coming and going, the community is constantly changing. That is why it might not be a good idea to mix professional and friendship relations too much, because it is very likely that your artist-friends will leave one day. Cosserat also mentions that if you stop going to gatherings and premieres, you stop existing in the community.

Because she is involved in international projects, the location where Cosserat is actually working does not matter so much, as long as there is an internet connection and a phone. She likes being in Brussels because there are always interesting things happening. She thinks it is too bad that Belgium is so divided. One of the reasons for this division is that culture is defined by identity and that language is an important part of identity in Belgium. That also implies that even if she would live here for a very long time, she could never become Flemish. She will always be different because she has another native language.

internship – dramaturgy – rules – schizophrenic – hierarchical – cross point – cooperations – Anciaux – minorities – legitimacy – assimilate – prejudices – convenient – narrow – familiar – young creators – gift – memories – despise – work in progress – advice – project-wise – video art – curious – economically independent – faithful – helicopter – duty – tools – charity – superficial – floating – between 22 and 35 – young community – language border


click on the pictures for a full-screen slideshow.

random | back