De Cleene De Cleene is a research group. It focusses on novel ways of approaching the everyday, by artistic means and from a cultural and critical perspective.

Research is conducted into an array of varied topics, such as the movement of flags, the conservation of movie set scale models, the aesthetics of the parking lot, demolition and open space, and communication in amateur astronomical societies. A background in photography and literature is combined with an interest in documentary practices. De Cleene De Cleene’s documenting of phenomena, people, landscapes, buildings, technologies and objects leads to publications in scientific journals, artworks, curated exhibitions, talks, presentations, and book publications.

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 works 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 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 an artist living and working in Gent. 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 is a founding member of the School of Speculative Documentary and part of the collective 019

He has published Barriers – European Neighbouring (self-published, 2010), -scope (self-published, 2015), F#1-13 (APE, 2017), Recollecting Landscapes (Roma Publications, 2018) and Reference Guide (Roma Publications, 2019). He has exhibited work in Bozar, FOMU, M HKA, 019, CC Strombeek, deSingel, Kunsthal Gent, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Kunsthal Extra City, etc. He worked as guest editor for Architectuurboek Vlaanderen N°14 (VAi, 2020) and Trigger ‘Uncertainty’ (FOMU, 2020).

Since 2014 he has been working as a researcher at KASK & Conservatory, School of Arts, Gent. 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)