Artist, choreographer and performer Grace Ellen Barkey was born in Surabaya (Indonesia). Barkey lives and works in Brussels and is co-founder of the artists’ company Needcompany (1986). Her work lies on the border between theatre, dance, performance and visual art. ‘To me, absurdity is the only reality’ was Frank Zappa’s motto, and it is also the common ground running through Barkey’s absurd, performative work.

She steadily adds to her visual oeuvre. Her most recent installations relay a stillness. An internalisation. ‘Things left unsaid, things not revealed, are expressed in the absurd but also in the mystic’, says Grace Ellen Barkey. Both the frantic imagination and the stillness are attempts to express the unspeakable. In these installations, the spectator’s senses are not overfed and overstimulated with absurd, grotesque and surreal images between which the connection is unclear with rationale alone. The starting point of her installations is Grace Ellen Barkey’s personal connection with nature and its impermanence. In 2021, she decolonised her name and adopted the name of her grandmother, Grace Tjang. In doing so, she allows another history to resonate in her own identity as an artist. 

Her visual work has recently been exhibited among others: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), Poortersloge (Bruges), CC Strombeek, UZ Jette and Coup de Ville (Sint-Niklaas), M HKA (Antwerp), mumok (Vienna), Berliner Festspiele (Berlin), EcoC24 (Salzkammergut),… 

Grace Ellen Barkey was one half of the artistic duo Lemm&Barkey, together with Lot Lemm. Their work has been exhibited at several museums including BOZAR (Brussels), Benaki Museum (Athens), Musée des Arts décoratifs (Paris), CC Strombeek, Dr. Guislain museum (Gent), Triënnale Hasselt / Superbodies i.a

© Phile Deprez
Performers weNEEDmoreCOMPANY Invisible Time Contact
Jan Lauwers Grace Ellen Barkey Maarten Seghers performing arts visual arts Film
Full calendar
Books Music Film
Subscribe Archive
NEEDCOMPANY  |  |  Privacy  |  Pro area
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our cookies policy.