IN/OUT, Escape Through Art
IN/OUT is a multidisciplinary art project with many different participants. Professional artists, students from the conservatoire and amateurs communicate through art.
The project starts IN(side) with experimenting in prison with the inmates: Their whole creative process is filmed or recorded. These experiments can be musical (classical or pop music), but also choreography, paintings, narratives and poems are welcome.
OUT(side) I confront the other participants with the films and the recordings of the inmates.
The other participants are youngsters from a music school or a secondary school, people from the vulnerable society, students of the conservatoire and many professional artists.
They interpret the work of the inmates, experiment with the material: add, change, comment, perform,…and convert it into a performance which is a compilation of ideas of all participants from IN as well as OUT.
All these realizations become part of a performance for public. ( the inmates and their creations are shown on screen). In this happening also the audience has an interactive role.. After the performance all attendants can give ‘art comment’.
The new ideas/interpretation of the OUT-team is filmed again and offered to the IN-team (inmates).
The main tools are:
Art, play and communication.
The project started in 2015 and had 2 editions until now:
1: IN/OUT, a première/ try out in the Music Academy of Lier (may 2015).
Everybody was very enthusiastic about the try out. The comments of the inmates were a confirmation to me that the concept works. The inmates were so proud to see themselves ‘on stage’ performing together with the OUT-team. Their self-esteem grew and they immediately started making plans for the future and coming editions. To connect with the society and communicate through art seemed to me a strong goal in their lives. During this creative process many doors were opened: They started talking with each other and showed empathy. They discovered joy of working and musicking together.
2: PI, premiere in the Cutural Center of Lier was a great success (may 2016). Later on Pi was repeated in the format of a benefit for refugees (january 2017). I integrated several refugees. Another performance took place in deSingel in Antwerp (february 2017).
3: For the moment I am working on a third edition which is called MAP.
IN/OUT started in one prison, but now already three prisons joined the project. The ministry of justice showed interest in the project and helped me to find other prisons. My aim is to create a cycle over ten years. So a communication can be created by art from one establishment to another.
In this artistic process I feel the need to invite researchers into the project to confront artistic results with scientific findings.
Why is art important? After teaching art to prison inmates at Karachi Central Jail since 2007, Sikandar Jogi says, it can turn a hardened criminal into an artist.
Everybody is an artist. Joseph Beuys
The Magic of Sound. John Cage
Alles ist! Dirk Proost
Prisons of Turnhout , Gent and Rekem
SAMWD Lier ( the Music School in Lier)
Conservatoire of Antwerp (Music, drama and dance)
Ons Gedacht, the vulnerable society in Lier