lieve shukrani simoens 
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It is about you, but always more about me.

Lieve Shukrani Simoens is a Belgian-Congolese visual artist and writer, born in Ostend ( 1991 BE); Currently based in Brussels. She lived in Bujumbura (Burundi) until the age of five.

She tactilely and poetically explores the connection between identity, memories and the notion of home. ‘The longing of belonging.’ Her work is the confluence of text, drawings, sculptures, video and photography encountering each other over time, in a concept, in a sentence or a word on its own. She primarily focuses on the poetry of the everyday, in which we are all searching for the meaning of "home. Whether it is for ourselves, in everything or everywhere and always, without really mentioning ourselves.

She explores the narrative aspect of identity formation, where language and image enter into dialogue. In exploring those narrative structures that underlie the self, she redefines time. Fascinated by the associative play that unfolds while observing, she collects observations and labels them as her memories, from which she recreates her own identity and reality.

‘We are all made up out of memories. We are all made up out of observations.’

Her work and process visualize how memories are constructed and how this affects the construction of the individual and our perception of reality. Everything is constantly changing. For Simoens, all things, both people and places, are composed of an infinite variety of layers within which separate elements, extracted from experienced moments, constantly form new constellations. Not only do these individual elements undergo transformation, but also the contexts in which they take shape. Within these spaces, she explores the boundary between fiction and nonfiction, the invisible and visible, in relation to time and space, simplicity and complexity.

Simoens captures our constant desire for control, in a world that is ambiguous and changeable. She believes that approaching memories differently, especially the autobiographical ones, can lead to a different way of thinking about the truths closest to ourselves. She believes that it is precisely by embracing the reconstructive nature of memories, of the narratives we carry with(in) us, that we can find a deeper connection to who we really are and to our environment.

Or as she herself explains:“Because, before anything there was everything. And isn't it so that anything could be everything.  Like you could have been me. As I am always searching for all the me's in you. 

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Picture by Luc Van Malderen