Entities in Panorama 24 - On the other side

30.09.2022 - 31.12.2022

Le Fresnoy - Studio National des Arts Contemporains
Tourcoing (F)


The sculptures in the series 'Entities' are performative machines, objects that move by virtue of their own independent energy source. They perform without any interaction or connection with people. These autonomous mobiles are powered by solar, wind or residual heat energy and follow the rhythm of the natural element that sets them in motion.

In ENTITIES #1, two hollowed-out halves of a boulder spin silently opposite and around each other. The motor that drives them is connected to solar panels. Heavy material is thus connected to "light." As with the planets, the sun here too sets a rock in motion - albeit in a different way and on a different scale. 

The ENTITIES series is an investigation of energy as an ever-changing, unstable natural phenomenon. The machines powered by such a source consequently follow a similar unstable rhythm. This goes against how almost all appliances and devices work: they need a continuous, stable supply of energy. Electricity producers therefore generate much more energy than is actually needed or consumed. The study of unstable energy thus poses a fundamental question: what if our technological environment were not based on continuous and instantaneous efficiency and instead operated rather like an irregular ecosystem? 

One immediate consequence of this research is that it goes back to the basics of modern technology. The way almost all machines work today needs to be reconsidered. The mechanical elements of ENTITIES are very similar to Leonardo Da Vinci's mechanics, such as hinges, levers or pivots. This kind of mechanics gives the installations something magical, as if the moving objects are not real, as if gravity does not exist.

One could argue that "performance" in an artistic environment is something exclusively human, or at least reserved for living beings. However, the relationship between performance and unpredictability could be even more essential. When an object and its energy source are completely self-sufficient and its movements unpredictable, it becomes an entity with its own independent cycle. It is no longer just "serving" or performing for people, but has a life of its own. Between old and new techniques, old materials and science fiction, between heaviness and lightness: the entities are hybrid sculptures for a time in search of a new balance.

Le Fresnoy - On the Other Side

Notwehr at Biennale Musica 2022


La Biennale di Venezia
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venezia (IT)


What is freedom? And what are you willing to sacrifice it for?
During an illegal protest action, a young activist is arrested. She is locked up for the night together with an older barmaid, who’s been accused of killing her husband. The two women unwillingly share the small prison cell: their forced togetherness starts out on a tense note, but as time passes they open up to each other. First reluctantly and uneasily, then more intimately, they share their fears and hopes. Sheltered by the night, they look back on their lives, and wonder what freedom really is and what they are willing to risk it for. And if the end justifies the means, even if that means breaking the law. Where at first they have no understanding at all for each others actions, they soon find out they have more in common than expected. Their encounter, confined in time and place by their imprisonment, becomes an internal journey that will change them both.

Just like in Adriano Banchieri’s (1605/1623) madrigal cycle Barca di Venetia per Padova (two) people with a very different social background are brought together by coincidence — or is it fate? — and forced to spend a certain amount of time together in a limited space. And just like Banchieri’s travellers, these two women are ‘in the same boat’... Composer Annelies Van Parys’ music enters into dialogue with the Banchieri madrigals, as librettist Gaea Schoeters weaves the old texts into the new libretto and the vocal ensemble paints a picture of the events that led up to incarceration of both women. The two soloists share their thoughts and feelings not only with each other, but also with the audience, as they comment on their own situation — thus turning Notwehr into a performance that is both playful and touching, light and dark. Staged by Sjaron Minailo.

Chamber Opera (50′)
Concept & creation:
Annelies Van Parys — music
Gaea Schoeters — libretto
Sjaron Minailo — stage

A commission of La Biënnale di Venezia, in co-production with Studio Minailo, Hermes Ensemble & Muziektheater Transparant.

Dedicated to Maria Kalesnikava & all other brave women who lost their freedom fighting for a better world. 


Biennale Musica 2022

SHRINK 01995 in The future is

24.09.2022 - 05.03.2023

Trondheim Kunstmuseum
Trondheim (NO)

SHRINK 01995
Two large, transparent plastic sheets and a device that gradually sucks the air out from between them leave the body (in this case the artist himself) 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.

The future is
Today, you can choose your social media pronouns and decide how you want to be defined. It hasn't always been that way. It was not until the 1970s that homosexuality was decriminalized in Norway. Sexual liberation was connected to the student revolution that raged throughout the West. It was a time for new ideas and utopian visions of the future. The exhibition seeks to find a way back to this optimism of the future–a non-binary society–where anything is possible and where everyone can fly. What might a non-binary society look like? The exhibition is a laboratory, an investigation, a thought experiment over a utopian future society.

Lawrence Malstaf - SHRINK 01995
Trondheim Kunstmuseum - The future is

Spacejunk in 1,000 miles per hour

15.09.2022 - 28.10.2022

Beeler Gallery
Columbus, Ohio (USA)

The 50 twigs in this installation point in unison in the direction of the oldest piece of spacejunk currently above the horizon in their location. The invisible network of forgotten debris being tracked are spent rocket bodies, parts from defunct satellites and wayward tools launched in missions as far back as 1958. Constantly circling the earth at over 17,000 miles per hour these unseen distant relics enter our physical space approximately every 90 minutes. With decaying orbits the debris rise and set in ever changing arcs. As if compelled by phototropism, the twigs collectively strive in unison bending toward these tiny, invisible, inert suns sweeping across the sky. When the debris being tracked drops below the horizon the twigs all go to a downward pointing position and await the rise of next orbiting fragment.

David Bowen - spacejunk
Beeler Gallery

Residency at Labverde

01.09.2022 - 10.09.2022

Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

Laura Colmenares Guerra has been selected to participate Labverde - Arts Immersion Program in the Amazon.

Laura will be working on 360º cinematic images for a VR project that's currently under production.

REVERSE (video)


16.06.2022 - 17.07.2022

HISK - Gosset site
Brussels (B)

PELLET - An enormous sphere is lying in semi-darkness. It’s not immediately clear what material it’s made of or how much it weighs. Or is it a projection? This ambiguity makes it something mysterious and alienating. As a spectator, you are standing next to an object with a life of its own that’s not easy to fathom. The basis of this installation, PELLET, is Franz Kafka’s short story ‘The Cares of a Family Man’ (1919). In this story, the family man mentioned in the title talks about Odradek, a mysterious creature that regularly lives with him at the bottom of the stairs. Odradek consists of a star-shaped spool with tangled yarn around it, to which a stick with a kind of leg is attached. Odradek can talk and move but is otherwise a ‘useless’ object. As with Odradek, it is pleasant to be in the company of PELLET. But at the same time, it’s a disturbing figure that makes you think about the hidden life of objects. Both PELLET and Odradek are examples of how crossing the boundaries that separate subject and object can lead to an eerie experience. ‘Living things’ with human characteristics are literally impossible to identify and acquire something oppressive and uneasy. The alienation caused by objects was a way for Kafka to talk about how modern man becomes alienated in a world of new technologies, violence and bureaucracy. This is also a feeling that PELLET evokes in the viewer: if objects and systems continue without needing humans, what is our place?

 PELLET was part of K, a society (2010), a series of ten installations for which Kafka’s work was the starting point. As a ‘performative object’, it is characteristic of the way in which objects and machines are as performative as human dancers and actors in Kris Verdonck’s work.

A Two Dogs Company / Kris Verdonck

ACT - A Beckett Evening

10.06.2022 - 11.06.2022

NTGent Minnemeers
Gent (B)

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.

ACT was selected for Het TheaterFestival 2020. From the jury’s report:
“In ACT Johan Leysen shapes one of Beckett's most elusive characters in an inimitable way. For an hour you hang on the lips of a man who gets hopelessly entangled in his attempt to define himself and the world around him. A moving portrait of Western human beings in search of sense and meaning.”

English spoken 
NL & FR surtitles


They Have Waited Long Enough - MEDEA


Oranjewoud Festival
Heerenveen (NL)

Composers Annelies Van ParysAftab Darvishi and Calliope Tsoupaki create new, contemporary sounds for three women who have had to wait in the wings of the great Greek myths far too long. They shine a new light on these women’s stories, add a new nuance to them and infuse them with new power. Is Medea a revengeful monster or a mother consumed with compassion? Is Circe an evil witch or a heroine filled with great humanity? And what about Penelope’s so-called helpless waiting? 

Author Gaea Schoeters found the words that do these women justice: moving yet liberating. Soprano Katharine Dain sings them to life. Three colourful soloists enter into an intense dialogue on clarinet, duduk and qanun. British stand-up classicist and captivating storyteller Natalie Haynes provides an introduction for the three characters.

Oranjewoud Festival - Tickets

Plant drone

04.06.2022 - 05.06.2022

Share Festival - Searchlight
Torino (IT)

This edition of the Festival brings new trends in tech art to Turin with exhibitions, conferences and performances.

David Bowen's plant drone is selected for the Share Prize.
A drone’s movements are determined by real-time variable resistance data collected from a live on-board plant. Data from each of the plant’s leaves determines the drone's left to right, forward to reverse and altitude movements. Essentially the plant is the pilot of the drone. An ultra-bright LED is mounted to the plant piloted drone. Using a camera with an open shutter on the ground to document the flight path enables the plant pilot to create long exposure drawings in the night sky.

Share Prize and Festival



Work in progress
Brussels (B)

Laura Colmenares Guerra is working on RE/VERSE, the 3rd chapter of the Ríos Trilogy.
RE/VERSE is a Virtual Reality (VR) piece that deepens into the complex situation of Amazonia: The ancestral indigenous populations and the biome of the Rainforest are endangered by the extractive practices operating in the region and the commercialisation of commodities distributed to the rest of the world.

RE/VERSE is conceived to generate a VR experience that underlines the tensions present in the territory by the pressure between the local and global perspectives. Where human, cultural and environmental aspects rub with power, economics and multinational interests in a context of climate stress in which the importance of preserving this unique ecosystem is vital for the survival of the current life on Earth.

Ríos Trilogy 
- Chapter I: RIVERS // AMAZONIA geo-linguistics online application
- Chapter II: RÍOS // sculpture series based on the nineteen major sub-basins of the amazons
-  Chapter III: RE/VERSE - VR