Sarah Vanhee (°1980, Oostende, BE)
Sarah Vanhee is an artist, performer and author. Her interdisciplinary work travels in between civil space and institutional art field. She worked in open fields, prisons, private living rooms, theatres, on public canvases, in corporate meeting rooms, etc. Recent works include amongst others undercurrents (intervention), collected screams (lecture-performance), Unforetold (stage performance), The Making of Justice (film), Oblivion (stage performance), Untitled (meetings in private houses), Lecture For Every One (series of intrusions), The C-Project (artist novel and work in public space).
While strongly embedded locally, Vanhee's work has been presented widely internationally in diverse contexts such as Wiener Festwochen (AT), Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), FTA (Montreal), Festival Actoral (Marseille), PuSh Festival (Vancouver), Jihlavava IDFF, Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven), Centre Pompidou (Metz), Short Theatre (Rome), iDans (Istanbul), Printemps de Septembre (Toulouse), Forum Alpbach, Noorderzon (Groningen) etc. She co-published Untranslatables and wrote The Miraculous Life of Claire C and TT, as well as other texts. She regularly collaborates with CAMPO (Ghent) and is founding member of Manyone vzw. Sarah Vanhee is supported by Buda Art Centre for the period 2017- 2021, as well as by the APAP network (Creative Europe Programme of the European Union). From September 2018 on, she is a doctoral student at the Antwerp School of Arts, in collaboration with the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts. She was awarded a mandate for her research project “bodies of knowledge - the public space as a forum for the exchange of repressed or underexposed knowledge.”
In 2021 Sarah Vanhee works on BOK - bodies of knowledge a place for the -mainly oral- exchange of non-dominant, underexposed and/or suppressed knowledge amongst different bodies of knowledge constituting society. BOK is a nomadic object/place that can be found on different public squares and parks in Brussels. During lockdown times, the BOK tent is replaced by BOK à pied.
2020 marks a closure and a new beginning for Lecture For Every One: in 2020 Sarah Vanhee published a book on 7 years Lecture For Every One. This is being presented with an accompanying performance We Are Before. Meanwhile, in January, Vanhee started a writing-lab with twelve Brussels teenagers writing their own Lecture For Every One, which they subsequently perform as a surprise in meetings of their choice. From September 2020 on, bodies of knowledge takes place in Brussels.
In 2019 Sarah Vanhee created the lecture performance collected screams – premiered at Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid in January, as well as a new site-specific work undercurrents, premiered at Wiener Festwochen in May. She started developing bodies of knowledge, a.o. in Manchester.
May 2018 was the premiere of Unforetold, a piece for black box, made in close collaboration with seven small beings between 8 and 11 years old. Unforetold is a work in complete darkness, as a magical place where everything is still or again possible, and small creatures evoke new worlds into being. The piece is currently on tour throughout Europe.
January 2017 - Sarah Vanhee released her first film The Making of Justice, in collaboration with seven long term detainees. This followed a lengthy research project exploring on the one hand the discrepancy between the formal, institutional system of justice versus justice as a lived experience; on the other hand the human gap between the exoticised, eroticised Hollywood gangsters, and the monsters created by mainstream media.
Oblivion premiered November 2015 and has been touring since then. Oblivion is a performance with everything Sarah Vanhee would have thrown away during one year working and living. A slow celebration of things unhidden.
In 2014 Lecture For Every One continued spreading all over Europe in diverse languages, intruding into over 250 different gatherings. Vanhee re-made Untitled in the neigbourhood of Forest/Vorst, in collaboration with Kunstenfestivaldesarts and Wiels.
August 2013, Sarah Vanhee made an installation together with inmates of the prison in Mechelen (BE):
Spring 2013 Lecture For Every One took off, a series of unannounced artistic interventions in different places where people gather together for a specific purpose, either private or professional. Lecture For Every One is a short lecture on contemporary society as a co-creation by every-one, traveling from banks to football teams and city councils.
Untitled consists of a series of individual visits to private houses where people talk about the artworks they have at home. Untitled is being developed and presented in different cities, in collaboration with local art venues and citizens. Untitled (Leuven), Untitled (Frankfurt) and Untitled (Gent) took place in 2012.
In 2011 Vanhee created the piece Turning Turning (a choreography of thoughts), in collaboration with two performers and a number of scholars from the fields of philosophy, neuro-linguistics, psychoanalysis, mathematics and performance theory.
The C-Project, realized in 2010, employed fiction and performance for meetings in real and virtual public space that resulted in the novel The Miraculous Life of Claire C and a series of public interviews A Rendez-Vous with Claire C.
In 2009 she organized the first edition of the Great Public Sale of Unrealized but Brilliant Ideas, a public auction project that has since been produced by several venues. She also developed the publication Untranslatables – a guide to translingual dialogue (in collaboration with Elisa Marchesini, Christoph Schwarz and Yolande de los Bueis).
Earlier she wrote and directed the performance-installation WeUsAll, and wrote and performed the lecture-performance Me and My Stranger. In 2008 she choreographed the dance duet How They Disappeared. In 2007 she graduated at the Amsterdam School of the Arts with the performance 4000 trees, a red dress and an apple (possible story).