Level Five is an artist cooperative in Brussels providing artist studio spaces through a collective organisational and mutual support system. Since 2019 we provide accessible and qualitative artist studios for artists in Brussels. Currently, 112 artist members work at 3 locations (Van Volxem, Van Meyel and Van Overbeke), in 3 Brussels municipalities (Vorst/Forest, Molenbeek, Ganshoorn). In addition we provide facilities and programmes to support creative practices such as visual arts, performative arts, theatre, architecture, film, writing and curating.
Brussels, unlike other European capitals, does not have an established artist studio infrastructure and a dedicated policy for artist studios is only in its early stages at the moment. During the last three years Level Five has brought forward its interdependency and created a culture of mutual support among its members while cultivating alliances with other artists, initiatives and organisations in Brussels. As such, Level Five advocates for a sustainable policy and infrastructural investments in artist studios in the city. Step by step we are developing a cooperative organisation that can ensure a sustainable network of artist studio locations as well as a supportive environment for artistic initiative, development and exchange.
The organisation of our workspace is inspired by council politics and democratic models of decision making and action. There is a council elected from the members of Level Five, which organises the basic obligations of the organisation (asbl Level Five vzw). There is a monthly forum where members of Level Five collectively give form to the commons of the workspaces. There are numerous workgroups which develop ideas and solutions to challenges we encounter along the way.
The common spaces are where Level Five members and visitors can meet. They are conceived as open spaces that can transform into the different shapes social action can take: share a meal, watch a screening, view an exhibition, attend a lecture, participate in a discussion, etc. We feel that in this way the gap between production and presentation in the arts is narrowed down, which allows for a more lively and plural culture to emerge.
Ever since the initiation of Level Five there has been an effort towards inclusion. This can be seen in the background and experiences of people on the floor, as well as within the content and form of artistic work. In addition, there is a plurality of backgrounds, gender, and languages. In content and form, Level Five ’s members cover a wide range of artistic disciplines; from painters to performers, from academics to architects, from sculptors to social-activists. This also supports our view of art as a social and democratic practice, it is only from aesthetic plurality that all perspectives can find expression. This aim for plurality constitutes the principle aim of Level Five, that is to maintain a discussion between us and the larger cultural and societal context of Brussels.
Van Meyel – Rue Van Meyelstraat 49, 1080 Molenbeek
Van Overbeke – Avenue Van Overbekelaan 160, 1083 Ganshoren
Van Volxem – Avenue Van Volxemlaan 380, 1190 Forest / Vorst