Pseudonyms, what for?


KIOSK organizes an online round table discussion about anonymity and the use of pseudonyms in visual arts, on the occasion of the group exhibition x. With many thanks to:

The presentations and the discussion will happen on Zoom between 8.00 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.

Yana Foqué

Yana Foqué (Belgium, 1986) is a curator and writer based in Amsterdam. She is currently researching the various ways in which artists implore others (assistants, craftsmen, sometimes lovers) into their practice in an attempt to unveil new insights on the construction of singular authorship. She holds the position of director/curator at Kunstverein (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) for which she produces numerous exhibitions, publications, events, interiors and occasions.

Ginger&Piss, Kunstverein’s in-house magazine is a cross between an academic journal and a darts club newsletter. Each issue of the magazine contains a limited amount of contributions that vary in length and style according to the subject matter at hand. The remit of Ginger&Piss is simple: to provide a platform for candid critique while at the same time allowing the author to stay hidden. Therefore, the concept dictates that each contributor writes under a pseudonym. The use of pseudonyms can be considered an answer to the hypocrisy of the art world, albeit a somewhat cowardice one. The concept of the magazine is Maxine Kopsa’s, each issue is designed by Marc Hollenstein and the editorial direction is now under the custodian care of Yana Foqué, occasionally with the help of a guest editor.

Els Roelandt

Els Roelandt is an art historian (Brussels). She works as an editor at KIOSK, KASK, School of Arts in Ghent. Before that she worked at Kunstenbibliotheek where she was ao responsible for acquisitions contemporary visual art and theory as well as for public projects such as Essential Reading. She is a regular contributor to H art Magazine (Belgium) and other publications. She is editor of several books and was co-founder and chief editor of the internationally renowned A Prior Magazine (1999-2012).

In December 2020, Els Roelandt and KIOSK started the project Kiosk's Linda Nochlin Fanzine, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists, with which art historian Linda Nochlin steered art history in a new direction in 1971 and lifted female artists out of anonymity. The fanzines are the result of an open call for contributions that relate to Nochlin's essay.

Various Artists

Various Artists (Brussels) is an art collective with 24 members. Their origins date back to 1995, when visual artist Trudo Engels (1962-2009) started spreading his (fragmented) artistic practice over several fictional characters.

They research the sustainability of the artist as a brand. This long-term practice-based investigation includes opening up its modus operandi to other artists/collectives and experimenting with auto-generative art production. While challenging the limits of the art market, Various Artists explore the borders of shared authorships, even the imaginary ones. The collective of individuals becomes a Gesamtkunstwerk where all research topics and artistic practices merge into collaborative installations or projects.

Riet Wijnen

Riet Wijnen (Amsterdam) is a visual artist. She investigates the connections between abstraction, structures, systems, language, relationships and perception. This research comes together in long-term projects or cycles of works such as Sixteen Conversations on Abstraction (2015- ), The Registry of Pseudonyms (2013- ). The forms that these works take are diverse, from sculpture to camera-less photography, wood print, copywriting, websites and recently letter design. Wijnen has exhibited at various places in the Netherlands and abroad. She currently teaches at the Graphic Design Department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy.

The Registry of Pseudonymsis an ongoing accumulation of pseudonyms, including actors, artists, drag queens, criminals, journalists, popes, editors, mathematicians, philosophers, directors, unmarried couples, historians, dancers, boxers, queens, translators, prisoners, and of course authors. In addition to a listing of aliases and the ‘real’ names behind them, this register also unveils some of the reasons behind the concealment of a name; telling the stories of who is who and why who is who. The Registry of Pseudonyms examines the term ‘pseudonym’ and the history of the phenomenon by recording, arranging and displaying the individual cases.