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‘The Burnout Society’

The Burnout Society” is an experimental project, developed in collaboration with PontArte Gallery, that focuses on the issues of Society today.

Highlighting insane dynamics, this project’s objective is to address them, helping artists enter the commercial world.

By creating a project that could support artists, we wanted to create a project that could create an alternative to the current, unsustainable dynamics of the art world. Through our a 360° coaching programme (including specific trainings on artist statement, portfolios, residencies, pricing and the commercial world) and a parallel exhibition in a commercial gallery, our aim is to allow artists to gain the knowledge, skills and connections needed in order to develop a career in the arts. It provides young artists the opportunity to exhibit their works in a commercial gallery, entering the commercial art market.

Moreover, with this project we aim to create a positive change, proposing a new model for a cooperation between non-profit organisations and a commercial gallery. The long-term objective is to suggest a new working model for the arts and enable artists to have a brighter future.

The focus is on guaranteeing more security for the artist (art fee, coaching and support are given), especially important when the artists are very young, but also on how can we introduce the topic of care in the artist’s life while dealing with uncertainty.

We are grateful for having had the possibility to develop this project in collaboration with Marieke Severens, from PontArte Gallery in Maastricht.


“The contemporary psychic maladies, among them burnout, indicate an excess of positivity, that is not negations so much as the inability to say no; they do not point to not-being-allowed-to do-anything but being able-to-do-everything” (‘The Burnout Society’ by Byung-Chul Han, 2015)

How can one choose between what they ‘should’ and ‘could’ do in a Society where everything is possible? How does this impact young people – those who are supposed to create a better future, resolve climate change, fight for human rights, fair practice, and a more egalitarian society? In the exhibition, we highlight the unhealthy dynamics of our Society, using the work of the artists exhibited as a starting point to reflect on the infinite sea of possibilities which affects so many of us.

‘The Burnout Society’ is part of an experimental project, developed to support emerging artists entering the commercial art world. It is a cooperation between The Artist and the Others and Marieke Severens, from Pontarte Gallery in Maastricht.

The Burnout Society will feature works by Sara BachourElisa Verkoelen, Milena Dahl & Stef Lemmens. You are warmly, invited to the opening on Friday the 5th of April from 5 pm at Pontarte. The project is part of the Archipel program of Bip Liège 

Image: “Helping Hands” by Sara Bachour, 2020