High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Mathilde Villeneuve is the New Artistic Leader of Arts Centre Buda

Mathilde Villeneuve is the New Artistic Leader of Arts Centre Buda

The board of directors of arts centre BUDA in Kortrijk, Belgium has just appointed Mathilde Villeneuve as its new artistic director. She will replace Agnes Quackels on 1 October, who is ready to take on new challenges after 8 years in the role.

Mathilde Villeneuve (b. 1981, Chatenay-Malabry) obtained a master's degree in Literature in Paris, and a master's degree in Humanities and Cultural Studies in London. She has worked for years as an art critic, coordinating the external projects of the École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts Paris-Cergy. For the past six years, in trio with Dora Garcia and Alexandra Baudelot, she has also led Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, a renowned residency on the outskirts of Paris with a focus on research and experimentation – not only in the performing arts, but also in the visual arts, cinema and literature.

Kristof Jonckheere, general director of BUDA: "There were 33 candidates with quite a range of different experience, with applications coming not only from Belgium, but also from France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Poland, which shows the international reputation that BUDA enjoys and is testimony to the great work that Agnes has done in recent years.
The quality of the candidates was very high. We are very happy with the choice of Mathilde Villeneuve, who will be moving from Paris to Brussels this summer. She will start working in October and by the end of 2020, we will have developed a new plan together for BUDA 2022-2026.”

Mathilde Villeneuve: "BUDA has a strong reputation among national and international artists because of its love of the contemporary arts, its collegial and inviting working atmosphere, and the open-mindedness of the team. For me, BUDA's location is also a major asset: in Kortrijk, on the border between northern France and Wallonia, in the middle of the Lille-Kortrijk-Doornik Eurometropolis, and in a position just outside the very centre of the artistic landscape. It gives artists the opportunity to work in the shade, to focus, and to experiment freely.

Together with the team, I would like to see how we can deepen the support of artists and take what is being developed here in terms of new forms and new knowledge and learn to share it – both within and beyond the sector of the arts. How can we, from a collective dynamic, unlock such diverse artistic practices and turn this formidable art institution into a creative space dealing with urgent social themes in our society, such as decolonisation and ecology? A space for art; and art as a space without limits.”

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