Elien Ronse

I made this collage when I was 10 years old, it pictures all the girls from my back-then class in the village and our two teachers. The drawing shows us as one group whom seems to get along well. I remember it wasn’t always so easy to relate to each other in such a small group for many years. Often there were ruptures in friendships and changes in relational dynamics. Yet we acknowledged our friendships through many signifiers such as sleepovers, friendship bracelets, fashion, friends books,… or collages such as this one. Nowadays, as an adult, friendships are performed and exist in very different ways.

I’m interested in friend-relations and how they are an important space for care for each other. Within late-capitalist structures friendships are rarely recognised in adult lives; there’s a prioritisation of romantic relations and the nuclear family. To me, friendships are important constructions, where the internalised idea of autonomy can be unlearnt. They can be a model for how we might expand conceptions of intimacy, where we can shift ways of living and working together.

In KAOS I’ll proceed the longterm research on the role of ‘friending’ within a late-capitalist society where we are all (made) precarious in one way or another. Through sharing of precarities we can develop intimacies and experience friendships with care. In KAOS I’ll look at signifiers of friendship within the specific context of psychiatry. I try to do this in a process together with interested others, people involved in this framework or its wider environments. 


Elien Ronse (she/her) is a visual artist engaging in trajectories where different fields merge such as contemporary art, community work, political activism, theoretical research,… Her work questions problematic relational mechanisms in late-capitalist society. Through collaborations she aims to shift normative social structures throughout the whole making-process.

She’s often traveling for work and until now she was supported by residencies such as Das Weisse Haus (Vienna), Pier-2 Artcenter (Kaohsiung), Zarya (Vladivostok)… She participated in events and exhibitions in Silent Green (Berlin), Pleasure Zone (Basel), Hotwheels (Athens),… Within Belgium she developed work in the context of De Koer, Kunsthal Gent, workspacebrussels and Plan B.

Next to that she is/was engaged in collaborative practices such as "Cultural Center Truck Stop” on a highway parking, open studio “Manoeuvre” and collective “Para-instituut voor KUNST en precariteit” where they try to transform relational mechanisms in the art-context. 

She holds an MA in Arts received in Dutch Art Institute, a degree in Social Work and graduated, in collaboration with Manoeuvre, from the Advanced Master program in Sint Lucas Antwerp.


Elien works between 27/09/2022-31/12/2022 at KAOS.

Elien Ronse
Elien Ronse
with the support of:
Gemeente Elsene