Josefien Cornette (°1994, Belgium) studies visual arts at LUCA-arts, Ghent (Mixed Media). They have a previous education in art-history and gender- and diversity studies at UGent. They are currently preparing a PhD proposal about embodied narratives in disabled experience(s) in collaboration LUCA School of Arts and KUL.
Josefien explores a creative practice that is hybrid and heavily embedded in artistic research. Much of their artistic practices contain combining methodologies throughout academic and artistic fields and reflecting on them, inventing new strategies of researching, archiving, writing and reporting.
The multidisciplinary practice, with a wide background in art-history and feminism, is meant as a radical statement of care, where activism is portrayed in narrativity and embodied practices, going from individual work as well as collaborative projects. They use drawing, writing and music to create work in between the negative space of the dichotomous, binary practical and academic divide of the arts. Their work can be seen as a very hybrid reaction to contemporary societal issues addressing themes like frailty, melancholy, impairment and feminism. Their visual work often uses found footage. Their drawings are dark and cinematographic, combined with text. Some motifs and themes are expanded by using musical interventions. Their work can be seen as a very hybrid but systematic use of multiple media, to express specific messages. Sometimes as separate works, sometimes combined in a more transcending use of disciplinary knowledge.
Next to their creative practice, Josefien is a heavily involved activist. They work as a trust person, building towards a more fair, open and accessible art world. Josefien often works in the field of critical disability studies, critical trauma studies, crip- and queer-theory. They work in multiple feminist activist organizations and teach feminist methodology and history in 20th century art and disability studies.
Josefien their work has been praised to be rebellious and poetic, winning several awards like the DiverGent Thesis Prize (2020) with their manuscript A House Called Pain, and the Tallinn Drawing Triennial (2015). They currently work as a core member of Engagment Arts, BE and as writer for rekto:verso.
Josefien invests a lot of energy in building a fair practice. They have a personal code of conduct, to stimulate entities who are doing a significant amount of work to build a fair practice. In order to fight toxic power-dynamics, like for example gender roles, they set herself certain boundaries, before engaging in any collaboration, exchange or project. If all of the following are present before reaching out, Josefien will consider the proposal. If not, an answer is not guaranteed:
- The organization and/or individual acknowledges the difficulties minorities experiences in the art world. They are aware of their origins and are actively making an effort to change the art-world to a more divers and fair world.
- The organization reaching out can not be all white, male, cis-gendered, heteronormative, not size-diverse and able-bodied.
- Solidarity, sustainability, diversity, trust and transparency must be guaranteed if any collaboration or exchange is proposed.
- Payment is fair and clearly communicated in advance. Artistic work is not free work.