De Cleene De Cleene combines a background in photography and literature with an interest in the document and the documentary. Topics vary. The poetics of blockchain. Mount Vesuvius’ 1872 eruption. Coppicing near a highway parking lot. Etc. An architect’s photographic archive. Research leads to artist books, as well as essays, lectures and exhibitions. 

De Cleene De Cleene is Arnout (De Cleene) and Michiel (De Cleene).

Contact: info@decleenedecleene.be


Arnout De Cleene (b. 1986, BE) is an academic and artistic researcher, curator and writer living and working in Gent. He holds degrees in Cultural Studies and Literary Studies. As a researcher for FWO Vlaanderen, he defended a PhD at KU Leuven on the relation between literature and madness. He has curated exhibitions for Dr. Guislain Museum, Gent, where he worked as a scientific collaborator, and for 019, in which he is part of the artist collective. As an artistic researcher at KASK & Conservatorium, School of Arts, Gent, he tests the limits of the documentary genre in photography, film, and literature. He is co-editor-in-chief at cultural journal rekto:verso.

He has published essays, academic articles, book chapters and experimental texts on a wide range of cultural, literary, scientific and artistic subjects in journals such as Image & Narrative, Les Lettres Romanes, Spiegel der Letteren and Elsewhere, in books on experimental literature for SEL (Centre for the Study of Experimental Literature) and in exhibition catalogues. He has written two books: F#1-13 (APE, 2017) and Outsiderliteratuur (Garant, 2020). As part of De Cleene De Cleene, his visual work was presented at amongst others M HKA, 019 and deSingel.



Michiel De Cleene (b. 1988, BE) is a photographer and researcher. His work is an investigation into the processes of limitation, conditioning and authentication within the documentary. He explores the possibilities that arise when uncertainty, speculation and cross-referentiality are considered to be at the centre of documentary practice. He works as a researcher at KASK & Conservatory, Gent. He is a founding member of the School of Speculative Documentary and www.the-documents.org and part of De Cleene De Cleene and the collective 019. In line with his own practice, he works as a landscape and architecture photographer.



Website designed by Mathieu Serruys.

De Cleene De Cleene, booklaunch Capital Compression, Kunsthal Gent, 2023 (picture by JJ)

De Cleene De Cleene (taken from The Situation As It is)