Why I converted my childhood house into a residency project

The reasons behind the recent launch of our residency project, Dusangneuf Osangsett, all the information you need to know for this Thursday’s opening of its first exhibition, presenting the works of David Widart and Clément Montagne, and what you need to do if you’re an artist working in Belgium wishing to submit your work for consideration.

Join the exhibition and after-party’s Facebook event here

In June of this year, I finally moved out of the house I had grown up in, a former farmhouse that sits bang in the middle of Etterbeek, Brussels. My mother bought it back in 1985 from the farmers themselves, who wanted straight-up cash for it – no banks, checks or cards. Like any childhood house, this one held a lot of memories- some good, some bad – and moving out of it proved to be a real tipping point. Finally, I’d be able to remove the umbilical cord and take my own steps. What’s more, with The Word Magazine offices located in the grange at the back of the house, I couldn’t handle living where I worked anymore and couldn’t wait to get some much needed personal space.

But what to do with the four-story townhouse?  The obvious, most would say smart move would be to make a few flats out of it and rent it out. Another option would be to break it down into separate lodgings and Airbnb it. Money money money, you see. Somehow though, that didn’t sit quite right with the spirit of the house, and the ambitions we at The Word Magazine harbor, namely to identify, nurture and promote emerging Belgian talent. The house needed to give something back to the community, the house needed to involve the community. The house needed to be a community.

And that’s how the idea of a residency project for emerging Belgian artists came about. Called Dusangneuf Osangsett (get it?), the residency’s premise is relatively simple: to support, produce and exhibit emerging Belgian artists by providing them with curatorial advice, media exposure, financial assistance, exhibition space and lodging. Practically, we give the opportunity to two artists at a time to take the house over for a period of three-months, inviting them to sleep, eat, play, party and work in the house, with a three-day exhibition planned at the end of the three-month cycle. We put them in touch with museum directors, curators, collectors and the press, doing what we do best: identify Belgian talents and raise their profile.  

And so, it is with a fair amount of pride and a great deal of excitement that we announce the opening, this Thursday 24th September at 18h00, of the first exhibition in the context of the residency project, which will present the photographic works of David Widart and Clément Montagne. The exhibition will then run on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th from 11h00 to 18h00. And, to mark the opening of this first exhibition, we’re also organizing an after-party with DJ sets by Onda Sonora and Front de Cadeaux. The after-party starts at 21h00 and finishes at 01h00.


Last but not least, if you’re an artist under 35 working in Belgium today and wish for your work to be considered for the residency project, send an email with a few words about yourself and a portfolio to n.lewis@thewordmagazine.com

Practical details
Dusangneuf Osangsett
Cycle #01 – Clément Montage and David Widart
Opens Thursday 24th September from 18h00 to 21h00. 
After-party Thursday 24th September from 21h00 to 01h00. 
107 Rue Général Henrystraat – 1040 Brussels