Stef Van Bellingen (1963, Villers Semeuse, France) is a curator with mixed roots based in Belgium and the director of WARP Contemporary Art Platform. Established in 2006, WARP is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting contemporary art and culture from the small but ambitious and dynamic town Sint-Niklaas, between the classical cultural cities Antwerp and Ghent in Belgium. This is done through exhibitions, lectures, concerts, performances, portfolio days, summer schools, etc. All these art activities lead to the question: as an organisation, how can we - today and in the future, meaningfully handle art and create a home for it?
Through WARP Stef initiated the nomadic initiative ‘Artists Village’ – where emerging international artists are selected through an open call and receive intensive feedback on their work over the course of one week. This happens through personal encounters with invited international curators, art critics, museum directors, artists, psychoanalists, gallerists or collectors. It is the base for long term relations with devoted artists and stimulates their international promotion and network.
Exhibitions curated by Stef are sensitive to concepts as: the notion of home, rooting, otherness, diversity, representation and the particular. Crucial in his practice is the exhibition Coup de Ville: a triennial exhibition and city festival of contemporary art. The title Coup de Ville refers to the idea of an ‘occupied city’—in an aesthetic way. The artworks are realised for and presented in museums and historic, domestic, and public locations in the centre of Sint-Niklaas.