Bruno Ollé & Hannelore van Dijck intermediate conversation
Gouvernament Gent


How does it feel, working together for the first time with another artist who approaches the artistic practice on another level and uses other mediums?

Our work differs quite a lot. For example, one focuses on surface whilst the other is more interested in structure and colour. It’s a search for the space in between us both. We’ve been friends for a long time and connect on many levels. We share a common understanding, so working together feels and evolves naturally. We clearly speak the same language, in a way that we can make mistakes, share insecurities and are able to fail or succeed – without a lot of pressure. It liberates us and offers room for playful experiments, such as stepping outside of our comfort zones and into a challenge that maybe has no obvious outcome. And we are totally okay with that kind of attitude. We implement other strategies, use unusual materials and really enjoy the creation of new projects. For instance, every “Interne” has to make a flag during the residency. This assignment leads to a certain grip on how to approach each other. Flags are something we’ve separately worked on before, and it was beautiful to almost feel the same things at the same moment, although we work differently. It delivers us from what we’re used to and prevents us from getting stuck in “too much of the same”.

Does this residency influence you as an artist, and if yes, in what way?

Yes, our habitual routine in the atelier is disturbed. We don’t enter the atelier and start a project on our own or concentrate on something we’re working on. We now react to something the other did, or respond to a sudden change. It’s a surprise. We have time to change our perspective and reflect more on our artistic practice. It feels good to break free from our individual path and start something we’re not quite familiar with or which is not a part of our previous work. That open, frisky mindset pushes us to leave room for trial and error, new interpretations and conversations.

What result – if any – do you have in mind or wish to work towards?

It’s more like a refreshing, out-of-the-box work-in-progress for us both. We think of it as an evolving process, not as a conclusive final show, during which we continue working on unachieved ideas or unfinished projects. Neither is it an open atelier. Visitors won’t see the artist in his habitat. They hopefully sense the ongoing artistic ping pong of our temporary partnership and maybe experience discrete changes in the exhibition. As a one-month- residency is not enough for us to finalize our short artistic collaboration, we definitely want to work together in the future. Not on a regular basis, but as a playful process and a welcome break in our routine.