The name Jubilee is a reference to the Jubilee Law, a 7-yearly cancellation of debts in Sumer (c. 2400 BC). The law was a mechanism for maintaining social peace by redistributing wealth. At the time, people’s debts were inscribed on clay tablets. In a Jubilee year, they were thrown into a river, where the debts literally dissolved in the water…
Jubilee is an artist-run platform for artistic research. Founded in Brussels in 2012 by artists Justin Bennett, Vincent Meessen, Vermeir & Heiremans and art worker Katrien Reist, Jubilee has developed into a polyphonic non-profit that supports the practices of its artists, initiates collective research, and develops research tools.
As of 2023, the members of the association are Justin Bennett, Louise de Bethune, Katya Ev, Ciel Grommen, Vincent Meessen, Hélène Meyer, Maximiliaan Royakkers, Stijn Van Dorpe, Filip Van Dingenen, Jesse van Winden, Clémentine Vaultier and Vermeir & Heiremans. Jubilee’s collective trajectories include Caveat, Tracks, Emptor, and Shards (working title).
The artistic practices within Jubilee are characterised by transdisciplinary methodologies and cross-sectoral collaborations. Through structural support and (inter)national distribution of individual artistic work that lays the substantive basis for collective reflection, Jubilee valorizes artistic research as a practice, and makes it visible as a professional activity.
The concern for sustainable practices of artists is one of the reasons why Jubilee was founded. This motivation continues in the pursuit of viable conditions for an ecology of artistic practices. Jubilee wants to raise awareness among artists and have a positive impact on organisations and policies. It does so both by disseminating critical perspectives on the existing precarization in the arts field through individual artistic projects and collective reflections, and by participating in educational contexts, debates, lectures and working groups on an (inter)national level.
The dynamic between the close support of the artistic processes and the discourse around their value, gives Jubilee the unique quality to continuously map the changing needs of the artists and their artistic research practices. It shares the knowledge that results from it with the arts landscape and applies it in its own mode of operating. In that way Jubilee generates practice-based solutions as a basis for a solidarity system for its members.
Jubilee is polyphony. Jubilee’s voices never merge into one uniform whole. No voice gives up its own identity. Each voice explores its own panorama, creating a constructive tension between the individual and the collective. This means that Jubilee’s network is multiple: it is a topography of Jubilee’s recent history, reminding us that artistic practice generates multi-layered social processes and dynamics.
Jubilee wishes to improve the conditions of artists and art workers in its daily practice and is focusing on these conditions in its collective research trajectories. Read Jubilee’s commitment to good governance, fair practices, and integrity of psycho-social well-being.
Jesse van Winden, curator-coordinator
Ronny Heiremans, financial administration
Ychaï Gassenbauer, audio-visual archive
Board of directors
Justin Bennett, independent artist and founding member of Jubilee
Sari Depreeuw (secretary), intellectual property lawyer Crowell & Moring LLP
Saartje Geerts, artist assistant Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Nav Haq, associate director M HKA
Zeynep Kubat, assistant curator Kanal Centre Pompidou
Katrien Reist, coordinator State of the Arts, :arp, founding member of Jubilee
Pascale Viscardy, art critic, resources responsible Direction des Arts plastiques contemporains (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles)
Former Board members:
Julie Van Elslande, legal advisor
Tobias Van Royen, legal advisor