Ief Spincemaille °1976
Visual artist

Spincemaille’s artistic journey crosses visual arts, design and performance and a diverse range of working contexts. He works in bicycle factories, prisons, residential complexes, ... Exploring the boundaries of his field of work (that of the arts), he plays whit its existing frameworks and shapes. Not just out of joy of playing a formalistic game, but from an necessity for new forms that better respond to his imagination.

His projects always arise from a childish wonder for simple phenomena. Things that are so close and familiar that they remain invisible: Earth’s curvature, the presence of sunlight, our farthest neighbor on the other side of the world, shortening and lengthening of the days, the immense versatility of a simple rope.

Spincemaille succeeds in combining wonder and poetry with a strongly committed and social and political practice. Doing so he continues an avant-garde tradition, an immanent criticism of the cultural institute and a search for closing the gap between art and life, and translates this tradition to a radical new contemporary form. By using an artist-decentered method, a multi-valued approach and working in a radical way in-situ, he explores the limits of one of the most challenging values of modern art: autonomy.

Ief Spincemaille obtained his master in Philosophy at the university of Leuven and studied Jazz, modern music and music and technology at L’aula de musica, Barcelona. After finishing his studies he made his first work as an autodidact in 2006: Is the great bear a lonely bear. Since then he is active as an independent set designer and visual artist. He works and lives in Leuven (Belgium).
His work is supported by Werktank.

The Play (2021)

THE PLAY is a game in three acts using a gigantic toy: a circular sail of 20 meters in diameter with a golden side, a recycled plastic side and an opening in the centre. “The Play” settles in neighbourhoods and communities with the aim of creating a play that is performed at sunset one week. A play in three acts: a transition from an existing situation to a better situation. The Play was originally created from a search for a modular and temporary theatrical space with which makers and actors in the public space can create a performance for the public. For Ief Spincemaille, making is never merely a formal investigation, but always an attempt to depict a new and different world. The Play is at the intersection of these two ambitions: how can we create interesting and modular temporary architectural / theatrical spaces and, how can these spaces stimulate debate, encounters and imagination and act as a catalyst for change?

The Play is a production of Z33, Nieuwstedelijk and Atelier Ief Spincemaille and will premiere in August 2021.


“I am Rope. I am a rope. I am 65 meters long and 30 cm thick. I weigh 196 kg. It would take eleven people to carry me.

I am made from 2.3 kilometers of polypropylene ribbon braided around a foam core. I was born in April, 2017. A team of five hand-braided me in thirty-eight days. I think it was somewhere in Leuven, Belgium. It is a confusing experience, being braided.

They made me absurdly big, bigger than all the other ropes. I just don’t know what to do with myself. I am traveling to reshape myself.

You may use me for anything. You can create a wall with me. A pavilion. A museum. A giant shadow. You can use me to upset people or to create bewilderment. You can sit and relax on me, play an XXL game of tug-of-war, or take me on the train to a distant city and back.

Do something with me.


Since its creation in april 2017 Rope has attended festivals, workshops and shows in:

Fabrica Europa festial, Firenze (Italy)
CRCLR house, Berlin (Germany)
D-conferene, Potsdam (Germany)
Fabrica Belgica, Berlin (Germany)
Luca Biënnal, Leuven (Belgium)
Salone Del Mobile, Milaan (Italy)
M - museum, Leuven (Belgium)
Wiels museum, Brussels (Belgium)
On tour with Invited, Europe.

Concept and realization – Ief Spincemaille
Technical assistant – Bout De Beul
Braided by the detainees in the Central Prison of Leuven, Belgium. Thanks to Cellmade.
Textile research — Leila Boukhalfa en Jan Duerinck
Graphic design flyer — Eva Moullaert, with many thanks to Guido Devadder
Translators — Ire Tsui (Chinese), Corinne Pelzl (English), Ibrahim Khlel and Maysaa Aljanabe (Arabic)
GPS tracker programming — Maarten Lambrechts.
Programming visualization tool for braid patterns — Jan Pillaert

Rope was funded by the Flemish authorities, Werktank (Belgium) and N.O.W. Rope was commissioned by N.O.W [New Open Working Process for the Performing Arts] with the support of extrapole, Fabbrica Europa, Indisciplinarte, Latitudes Contemporaines, Lókal, Mom/El Vivero, Trafó, wpZimmer – Co-funded by the Creative European Program of the European Union.