Gosie Vervloessem
© Jef Boes

Gosie Vervloessem

1973 BE

Gosie Vervloessem lives and works in Brussels. She studied Pedagogical Sciences at the KULeuven and was later awarded a master’s degree in Audiovisual Arts by the LUCA School of Arts Brussels. Since 2013 she has been following the Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies course at a.pass.

While studying at the LUCA School of Arts, Vervloessem produced a book entitled Where does one begin to draw the world? in which cartography prompted her to start exploring organization and classification systems. As Luke Howard said: “To be able to classify something, you first need to know how it originated.” That statement underlies Vervloessem’s many experiments and performances, the first of which were given tantalizing titles like How to make your own clouds (2004), How the west was won (2005), How to make your own Dead Sea (2005) and The Volcano Project (2007). From the outset, Vervloessem associated ‘making’ with DIY, cooking and experimenting.

In 2009 she created Maïzena with Einat Tuchman and four years later Neo-Maïzena. The latter paved the way for a symposium and the State of the Arts, an open platform for artists which champions the diversity of art practices and sustained support for artistic environments.

In 2010 Vervloessem began working under the name Domestic Science Club, touring alone or with others and putting together lectures, performances, workshops, recipes and installations. She regularly experiments with the laws of physics for domestic purposes, which are in fact the basic recipe for all the presentations. “Everything seems so logical, but what is the logic behind things?” Vervloessem observes and questions natural phenomena in a bid to understand their underlying function and eventually reconstruct them on a miniature scale. The projects include Recipes for Disaster: The Market Stand (2012) and The Motherland (2012). For Big Fat Failed Beginnings (2013) she worked with Naomi Kerkhove and Wendy Van Wynsberghe.

In 2014 the focus of Vervloessem’s work shifted to eating, digestion and indigestion. It resulted in the lecture cum performance The Post Pasteurian World about fermentation, bacteria, slow processes and invisible friends and foes, and in Kiek in de Kök, a talk cum demonstration about safety and control in the kitchen. In 2015 Vervloessem is creating Recipes for Disaster: The Magazine & Tupperware Party (2015), which again revolves around the question of classification. Can everything be classified? How should we relate to a non-classifiable world, a world which is chaotic, unhygienic and messy?

The frustration resulting from the chaos and incomprehensibility of the world is also the starting point for Deep Space Navigation (2016) where ‘co-digestion’ (digesting together) is explored as an instrument to better understand the complexity of the local world.

With Greetings from Nagasaki (2016), a lecture-performance on the Japanese knotweed, Gosie focuses on the we-they thinking in relation to nature. She reflects in a poetic-absurd manner on the issue of migration and on the politically charged concept of ‘nature’. Her favourite ‘invasive’ species returns in her video installation Hush Hush of the Bush (2018), where she talks about fascinating encounters during her search for this plant.

The ‘invasive’ species imperceptibly introduce an element of creepiness into her presentations. Gosie becomes interested in the horror genre. She explores the theme of horror and plants in The Horror Garden (2016). There she uses horror films to examine our relationship with plants and zooms in on our colonial past. During the creation, it becomes clear that the horror genre is an interesting way to study the global world in all its complexity.

The local context is again given a prominent place in the performance The cave, the stomach and the oven, storytelling from the gut (2019) that Gosie presents in Matera Cultural Capital 2019. Here she studies a local traditional bread recipe by looking at the traumas in the local landscape, in order to expose the horror of the environment.

Gosie works together with:

  • Scientists: Francois-Joseph Lapointe (Dr. Biology UDMontreal), Denis Diangré (Botanical Garden Meise), Michael Doser (CERN), Ben Craps (Department Fyscia VUB), Franziska Witchi (Biologist working group invasive species, Zurich), Roland Fisher (science journalist), a.o.
  • Artists: Tinna Ottesen, Wendy Van Wynsberghe, Einat Tuchman, Naomi Kerkhove, Frances Mckenzie, Leo Kay, a.o.
  • Gosie is artist in resident at wpZimmer. Her work is supported and presented at home and abroad by a.o. workspace brussels, ccStrombeek, Beursschouwburg, Recyclart, Belluard Festival (Fribourg), De Lustwarande (Tilburg), Phenomena Festival Montreal, Arc (Romainmôtier), Indisciplinarte (Terni), Local (Reykjavik).