Johannes Verschaeve is the first resident of the longterm residency program ‘INTERNEN’.
More info about the artist via his band page The Van Jets.
Describe briefly the path (whether artistic or not) you have followed so far.
Music mainly. Writing and playing songs with my boys from The Van Jets since 2003. Fantasizing about cool concepts and stage stuff. First art performance last summer.
How would you describe your work in terms of themes, style, techniques, …?
Stylisticly I try to match opposites like rough and beautiful. Nice and smart tunes with a trashy look. The Van Jets are a blend of guitars and synths, quite songbased. I also like to keep my writing process a bit naïve, so I don’t like to know too much about it all. Most music or musicians magazines make me wanna laugh or cry. Imagination is my main instrument and I practice all day. Themes are decadence, overconsumption, nihilstic post-society kids, sex, drugs and candy.
What would you consider your most important achievement (whether or not artistic) to date?
Everything about and around the album “Welcome to Strange Paradise”
Who or what has been an inspiration to your work?
Non-fiction books, David Bowie, Robert Wilson, Gorillaz, Iggy Pop, video and song of “I’ve seen that face before” by Grace Jones, Prince, kids, life, The Clash, A Clockwork Orange, Jackson Pollock, pop-art, Marcel Duchamps.
Which (art) disciplines other than the ones you’re familiar with, draw your attention or would you like to immerse yourself into?
Naïve visual art, performance, sound-art, writing.
Describe what your focus will be during your residency in Gouvernement?
Let’s call it “Future Primitives”
Some friend gave me the published manifest of the Unabomber, the american anti-technology terrorist. Vivid stuff. It sparked a fantasy of a kind of Future Primitive Age, a “downfall” after a major crisis, where we can’t rely on society as we know it. Post-industrial cavemen kind of. AD and BC unite. I’ll experiment with visual and other techniques to make artefacts, sounds, performance, whatever seems to fit.
In which circumstances or environment would you consider yourself at your most creative?
In a retreat, change of environment. A deadline with a specific goal helps also. I like a simple set up without too much distraction to work fast if needed.
How does “INTERNEN” appeal to you specifically?
It’s a project where I’m forced to do things I would otherwise not do so thoroughly, out of laziness or lack of opportunities. It gives me a chance to retreat to a place with a definite goal, both experimenting in the process and making things to show people.
What do you expect from a residency in terms of personal artistic development and in terms of guidance and support?
Basic comfort and sometimes the smell of freshly washed sheets for a sleepover. Let some practical stuff to the Gouvernement people. Informal feedback as in kitchen-talks at lunch or after some beers at night. I expect Gouvernement to give me some feedback once in a while, and also suggestions of art or people that might inspire or help me.
Who (closeby/faraway, realistic/utopic, living/dead) is granted lifetime membership to your ultimate (secret) society?
Robert Wilson, Prince and Damon Albarn.