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The project Bricks consists of the 2 film installations ‘La couleur de la brique’ (2017) and ‘Ingahi Kama’ (2018), the installation ‘Circular construction versus human body – referring to Toshikatsu Endo’ (2018), the publication ‘Piles des Bricks/Piles des briques’ (2020), the installations and performances ‘Piles of Bricks’ (2020-ongoing) and the drawing series ‘Brick Dust’ (2020-ongoing).

Installation and performance at Other Futures Festival in De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam,

Spectres from Beyond, October 23 to November 11, 2021, performance on November 6, 2021

Stills of the registration of the performance:
camera Karin Kooij en Samuel Allemand

The performative installation “Piles of Bricks”  is realised in collaboration with Malagasy artist Liantsoa Rakotonaivo, based on scores that generate a new interpretation with each new installation and performance. They play with body vs. space, rhythm, migration, defense, continuously changing reality, …
Rakotonaivo made his own installation in Madagascar as well as a video, edited by Bie. This video was projected simultaneously with the performance of Bie, on the wall in the middle of her installation. The perspectives from two different places were combined as they both reacted to each other in their own performance.

26 March — 16 Mai, 2021

“Piles of Bricks” and “Brick Dust” (2020-2021) — a choreography for bricks performed during the exhibition and drawings on paper using the red dust that bricks shed. While the movement of bricks reconfigures the physical, heavy and earthly space, the drawing series “Brick Dust” depict flying people made out of brick dust — airy, weightless and suspended in emptiness. A circular movement of soil and life is documented in this work.

Publication ‘Piles of Bricks/Piles des briques’


With contributions of
Nanne op ‘t Ende, Introduction
Hobisoa Raininoro, Bie Michels à Madagascar : une aventure humaine et artistique liée par la brique
Petra Van Brabandt, Speaking Nearby
Rafolo Andrianaivoarivony, L’emploi de l’argile latéritique dans les constructions malgaches d’hier et d’aujourd’hui
Gwyn Campbell, James Cameron, Missionaries and British Imperialism in Early Nineteenth-Century Madagascar
English, French and Dutch.
Published by APE, to order:

Duo-performance ‘Piles of Bricks (working process)’ with Liantsoa Rakotonaivo (Madagascar)

under the guidance of Marta Castelo, Sonia Si Ahmed, Paulo Guerreiro en Geert Belpaeme.

Showroom of Sint Lucas Antwerp, 20 february 2020 (photos Marta Castelo, Bie Michels, Maxime Jean-Baptiste)
Beursschouwburg Brussels, 4 march 2020 (camera Maxime Jean-Baptiste)

Exhibition ‘DIALOGUING GAZES’ Argos Brussels – 12 May – 15 July 2018

In the work of Bie Michels, the focus is on observing and registering the ‘other’. In her videos, photographs and sculptures, she openly question her own position with regard to her subject. Juggling with narrative structures, Michels subverts the dominant Western perspective and the myth of the unequivocal story.

For three years, Michels has been working with local craftsmen, artists, an anthropologue and organisations in Antananarivo (Madagascar). The three-channel video installation ‘La couleur de la brique’ (2017) and the monumental brick sculpture ‘Circular construction versus human body – referring to Toshikatsu Endo‘ explore the links between earth and humans, object and body, handicraft and tradition. With the installation ‘Ingahy Kama‘ (2018), she fictionalizes a pioneering missionary who introduced bricks in the 19th century in Madagascar. From there, Michels develops a complex anthropological narrative about economic and religious values in a (post)colonial context.

Exhibition text: Ive Stevenheydens_EN
Article in H art (Dutch): H art 182, 21-06-18

Stills of ‘La couleur de la brique’

Stills of ‘Ingahy Kama’ and photo’s of a letter of James Cameron

Exhibition in Is’Art Gallery Antananarivo Madagascar October 2017

Exhibition of my film ‘La couleur de la brique’, together with work of Malagasy artists whom I asked to make work about the object brick in his historical, cultural or social context.


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