// Pieter Desmet is an artist from PARTIE //
Pieter Desmet (Belgium, 1996) started out in dance in secondary art education in Brussels and would later graduate from Antwerp’s Royal Conservatoire in 2018. Since 2019, he has been a dancer with Ultima Vez / Wim Vandekeybus, with whom he collaborated on TRACES, Hands do not touch your precious Me and Scattered Memories.
His own work is always based on the moving body, juxtaposing the identity of the individual with that of the group in a multidisciplinary context. In 2017, he made the site-specific solo piece Ego Me, which represented a first step in his overarching research into ‘the body as manifestation of identity’. This was followed by Desolate Dreams, an installation performance exploring the effect of loneliness on one’s identity. In the dance film TOGETHERNESS, which he created in 2022 with the Backyard collective, he shows that the strength of the collective lies in the individuality of its members.
In 2019, he founded the multidisciplinary collective Persona with dancer Steffi Mennen and photographer Jonathan De Maeyer. Persona serves as a safe place for bringing together their individual work and (co-)creating new work. Pieter also made the video installation Catch-22 (diptych, 2021) and the dance film SKINNED (2021) together with Steffi and Jonathan. In the latter film, two performers embody the inner process of the search for oneself. With the body as their starting point, they question the layers of meaning by which we usually identify ourselves. Layer by layer, the dancers go ever deeper into their evolving physical identity, changing into new forms and ultimately ending up in an abstract state of self-awareness.
In his newest project, the multidisciplinary dance performance My August feels like December (premiering November 2023), Pieter explores how individual grief can co-exist alongside collective comfort.
My August feels like December will return in the 2024–2025 season.
More info on this show can be found here.