Jeanne van Heeswijk is an artist who facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces in order to “radicalize the local.” Her long-scale community-embedded projects question art’s autonomy by combining performative actions, discussions, and other forms of organising and pedagogy in order to assist communities to take control of their own futures.Her work has been featured in publications worldwide, as well as internationally renowned biennials including those in Liverpool, Shanghai, and Venice. She is known for works such as Academy of Staged Happiness (2016), Public Faculties Series (2008-ongoing) and Freehouse – Radicalizing the Local (2007-ongoing).
Van Heeswijk has has received the 2014-2015 Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at Bard College and
the Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change.
“Throughout my practice I have returned to David Harvey’s notion of the ‘right to the city,’ specifically his idea that our ability to change and reinvent the city, according to our ‘heart’s desire’, is a collective undertaking. I describe this as ‘training for the not-yet’, or, ‘re-enacting the not-yet.’ How do we train ourselves to work within a collective body towards a shared desire of how to live when we cannot yet identify the collective body? It is a process of becoming—a balancing act between individual and collective needs.”