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Gleaning as a practice of slow attention

GLEAN embraces the practice of ‘gleaning,’ the activity at the centre of Les glaneurs et la glaneuse, a 2000 documentary by the Brussels-born filmmaker Agnès Varda. The eponymous gleaners of the film collect leftover produce from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically viable to harvest. Much like Varda herself and the protagonists of her film, GLEAN aims to unearth deeper stories from the contemporary art field, eschewing dominant models of fast-paced, profit- and sensation-driven journalism in favor of a reflexive and context-sensitive approach that leaves no stone unturned. To glean also means to gather and process information, to find an entry point, a way to understand and make sense of the complex artistic narratives that form a part of our lives.

The editorial slogan of GLEAN is ‘Art is Slow Attention’ – a phrase borrowed from curator and writer Bart Cassiman. By giving art the time it intrinsically demands, we open ourselves up to experiences that transcend the consumption-driven, commodifiable forms of engagement that increasingly define our viewing habits in the sphere of contemporary art. By emphasising the qualities of patience, concentration and reflection, GLEAN aims to produce opportunities for writers and readers alike to think and reflect on the art they experience, rather than churn out content to keep up with the onslaught of exhibition openings. The magazine will continue to follow developments and events in the field of contemporary art closely, as it has done, but will seek to place them in context, connecting them to larger historical narratives and trends.

GLEAN is directed by editor-in-chief Kathleen Weyts and designed by Negen Vijfde. On the editorial board of GLEAN are: Ezra Babski,
Bas Blaasse, Tamara Beheydt, Barbara De Coninck, Jessica Gysel, Luc Franken, Sorana Munsya, Els Roelandt and Phillip Van den Bossche.

GLEAN is available at numerous art institutions, art bookshops and independent newspaper traders throughout Belgium and Europe.

Check for up-to-date information.


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