ISOS / Printemps Numérique

03.06.2020 - 18.06.2020

La Comédie de Reims
Reims (F)

Civilized life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly.The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us. (J.G. Ballard)

Kris Verdonck makes in ISOS reference to the world and characters depicted in the apocalyptic science-fiction novels by James Graham Ballard (GB, 1930-2009). Ballard portrays in his Magic Realistic stories and autobiographical works, intelligent and visionary descriptions of a future world which increasingly resembles our contemporary neoliberal society. ISOS consists of 3D videos shown in nine view-boxes where virtual sculptures perform in the strained socio-political situation that is called suburbia. The audio-visual installation acts as a short film edited in the viewer's imagination.

Kris Verdonck explores in his work the boundaries between visual arts and theatre, installation and performance, dance and architecture. Verdonck's artistic practice deals with the confusion of human kind in an estranged world, due to technological development. Man and machine are set in a post-apocalyptic world where the tension between living species and dead matter creates an atmosphere of Unheimlichkeitor eeriness. One of the leitmotivs through Verdonck's oeuvre is the ‘current state of the world’ - with its environmental problems, ecological disasters and wars.

ISOS
La Comédie de Reims

Polygon in expocollective#17 supernature

29.05.2020 - 07.06.2020

Saint-Ex / Manège de Reims
Reims (F)

POLYGON 02016 by Lawrence Malstaf is a large kinetic structure composed of lightweight articulating tubes hanging from thin wires. Via a mechanism of motors and counterweights it becomes a geometric landscape that moves organically and adjusts shape and balance in response to the visitors. 

Saint-Ex

USHER in Antwerp, Ghent & Rotterdam

08.05.2020 - 27.05.2020

Various locations
BE & NL

Since her 2015 opera "Private View" based on an Alfred Hitchcock film, if not earlier, the Belgian Annelies Van Parys has established her reputation as one of the most innovative composers of contemporary musical theatre. Her work is distinguished by a keen interest in the facets of the human singing voice as well as an idiosyncratic approach to instrumentation. Starting with the material of the uncompleted opera – Debussy left behind several libretto drafts, a musical fragment of about 20 minutes and some sketches – Van Parys develops in USHER a chamber music theatre that probes the category of the uncanny in a specific musical and theatrical way.

In January 2020 USHER is revived by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and will performed at Opera Vlaanderen in Antwerp & Ghent in May and during Operadagen Rotterdam 2020.

Music Annelies Van Parys / Claude Debussy 
Text Gaea Schoeters / Claude Debussy based on "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe

Musical Director Marit Strindlund Director, set designer, light Philippe Quesne Dramaturgy Roman Reeger Roderick Usher Ola Eliasson L'ami Vincenzo Neri Le médecin Daniel Arnaldos Lady Madeline Alexandra Büchel Symfonisch Orkest Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

Commissioned by Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin and Folkoperan Stockholm in co-production with Muziektheater Transparant (B), Opera Vlaanderen (B) and Nanterre - Amandiers centre dramatique national (F).

  • 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17/05/2020 Opera Vlaanderen, Antwerp & Ghent (BE)
  • 27/05/2020 Operadagen Rotterdam (NL)

TICKETS
Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp & Ghent
Operadagen Rotterdam

Faith, Hope & Thermodynamics

29.04.2020 - 02.05.2020

Vårscenefest
Tromsø (NO)

A site-specific and ongoing performance project along the seaside, with installation art and activism.
If you surf the web, open a newspaper or turn on the news, you get the impression that the world is in the wild. The media is full of war, death and misery. One may be tempted to long for the past, for an easier, happier time. But this media picture is not right. According to research and statistics, humanity is constantly making great leaps towards a better world. And the second law of thermodynamics says that the future cannot be simpler than the present. Complexity will always increase. Going back is not a possibility - we must move forward. That is our destiny - and the meaning of it all. 
So we act.

​Between February and June 2020 STATEX is planning a series of workshops and interventions around the challenges and questions of the Waterfront Laboratory. This research will culminate in a larger performance-based project called ‘Faith Hope and Thermodynamics’ premiering in autumn 2020.

Vårscenefest
STATEX

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MURMUR

17.03.2020 - 29.03.2020

Festival International du Film sur l'Art
Montréal (CA)

Murmur will be screened at the 38th FIFA - Festival International du Film sur l'Art in Montréal, Canada, FIFA Experimental program. 

Murmur is a collaboration between Jan Locus & Stijn Demeulenaere.
Brussels was built on a swamp, today there is only one tiny part of Brussels that is still officially a swamp. Although continually threatened by development the area stayed intact largely due to being ensnared between two railroad tracks. Just before first light, filmmaker Jan Locus and sound artist Stijn Demeulenaere recorded the dawn chorus. The city drone permeates the sound of the swamp, and a strange mix enfolds between the sound of an awakening nature and a human presence. Urban drone and bird song merge to a (un)familiar murmur.

Murmur knew its cinematic world premiere at the 2020 IFFR, International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL) and was selected for the 2020 Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin in Paris (FR) and the Festival International du Film sur l'Art, Montréal (CA). 
The work also won the 2nd prize at The Engine Room International Sound Art Award.

38th FIFA - Festival International du Film sur l'Art
Murmur
Stijn Demeulenaere
Jan Locus

tele-present water in Writing the history of the future / The ZKM Collection

17.02.2020 - 30.06.2020

ZKM - Center for Art and Media
Karlsruhe (D)

tele-present water by David Bowen is part of the ZKM Collection and now semi-permanent on display in the exhibition Writing the History of the Future.

When artist David Bowen took a sailing trip on Lake Superior in Minnesota in 2010, he was fascinated by the waves’ movements against the boat and how quickly his body adapted to them. Even afterwards, with solid ground underfoot, he could still feel the water’s gentle motion. Bowen’s installation »tele-present water« attempts to recreate that effect of telepresence, the feeling of being present in a faraway place. 

In his piece, a fragile lattice from wooden rods hangs from transparent nylon threads, seemingly suspended in space. The threads connect the lattice to a set of parallel rods. These, in turn, are connected to poles that move the whole installation by means of seventeen motors. Like the arms of a puppeteer, the poles rise and fall, setting off wave-like motions in the grid of parallel rods and the wooden lattice below. 

tele-present water also links to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) buoy station 51003 in the Pacific, which records wave height and frequency data in real time and transmits it to the exhibition space. This means the installation’s movements correspond to actual information on Pacific Ocean waves. A computer translates the buoy’s data into mechanical movements for the wooden lattice to replicate. If the Pacific is calm, the installation moves in gentle waves, whereas stormy seas cause it to break into a wild dance. 

tele-present water is an installation that fuses nature and technology, as well as indoor and outdoor space. In doing so, it grapples with questions of immediacy and involvement in a world where everything is connected to everything else. Author: Julia Ihls

ZKM Collection
Writing the History of the Future

New Publication. MACHINE MADE SILENCE. THE ART OF KRIS VERDONCK

15.02.2020

Performance Research Books
Aberystwyth (UK)

Machine Made Silence. The Art of Kris Verdonck brings together an array of essays written by leading scholars in the field of theatre and performance studies and a series of interviews, performance texts, notes on particular works, as well as an extensive overview of Verdonck’s oeuvre. Rich in images, the book also includes drawings and sketches, opening up the creative process. The question that fueled this book is that of how to make work today. How can we characterize ‘today’ and how can art relate to that? Looking at the work of Kris Verdonck, tensions come to the fore between humans and machines, between life and death, between the now and the end, between visual arts and performing arts, between something and nothing.

Machine Made Silence. The Art of Kris Verdonck
Edited by Peter Eckersall and Kristof van Baarle
With a preface by Guy Gypens and texts by Maaike Bleeker, Andy Lavender, Charlotte De Somviele, Peter Eckersall, Edward Scheer, Tawny Andersen, a.o.
Performance Research Books, Aberystwyth, UK
204 p. - 49 color images

Available here

ACT // A Production of A Two Dogs Company & Het Zuidelijk Toneel (NL)

06.02.2020 - 17.03.2020

On tour
BE / NL

In ACT, Kris Verdonck explores various aspects of the relation between the human on the verge of disappearing in the work of Samuel Beckett. ACT approaches Beckett in three ways: with a monologue with Beckett texts (Stories and texts for nothing), performed by Johan Leysen, with a scientist, invited to react to Beckett and with an autonomous scenography, a possible landscape for a Beckett text.

The variety and multidisciplinary approach reflect the complexity of Beckett’s work and are at the same time an attempt to literally take apart this complexity. The triptych of Science, theatre and high-tech show, as in three acts, each a different facet of the diamond ‘Beckett’. They deepen each other’s experience: a particular way of performing brings a scientific insight to life and vice versa, a performative scenography zooms in on the underlying world of or perhaps after the actor and offers a more contemplative experience.

A Two Dogs Company / Kris Verdonck

Shrink at Festival Out Of The Box 2020

25.01.2020 - 26.01.2020

whiteBOX
Munich (D)

Shrink 01995 - Two large, transparent plastic sheets and a device that gradually sucks the air out from between them leave the body vacuum-packed and vertically suspended. The transparent tube inserted between the two surfaces allows the person inside the installation to regulate the flow of air. As a result of the increasing pressure between the plastic sheets, the surface of the packed body gradually freezes into multiple micro-folds. For the duration of the performance the person inside moves slowly and changes positions, which vary from an almost embryonic position to one resembling a crucified body.

At Festival Out Of The Box 2020 there will be 6 Shrinks and the bodies of 6 performers.

Out Of The Box

USHER

16.01.2020 - 26.12.2019

Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Berlin (D)

'The result is fantastic… Everything is simply right in this production: the songs, the claustrophobic notes from the orchestra, the bleak set design and the special effects with smoke and lightning strikes that reinforce the fall of the house on many levels…”/Der Tagesspiegel 

Since her 2015 opera "Private View" based on an Alfred Hitchcock film, if not earlier, the Belgian Annelies Van Parys has established her reputation as one of the most innovative composers of contemporary musical theatre. Her work is distinguished by a keen interest in the facets of the human singing voice as well as an idiosyncratic approach to instrumentation. Starting with the material of the uncompleted opera – Debussy left behind several libretto drafts, a musical fragment of about 20 minutes and some sketches – Van Parys develops in "Usher" a chamber music theatre that probes the category of the uncanny in a specific musical and theatrical way.

Music Annelies Van Parys / Claude Debussy 
Text Gaea Schoeters / Claude Debussy based on "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe

Musical Director Marit Strindlund Director, set designer, light Philippe Quesne Dramaturgy Roman Reeger Roderick Usher David Oštrek L'ami Martin Gerke Le médecin Dominic Kraemer Lady Madeline Ruth Rosenfeld & Musicians of the Staatskapelle Berlin 

Commissioned by Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin and Folkoperan Stockholm in co-production with Muziektheater Transparant (B), Opera Vlaanderen (B) and Nanterre - Amandiers centre dramatique national (F).

Staatsoper Berlin