IN PROGRESS

Sunset Inferior Mirage
©Brocken Inaglory-Own work
 
SOMETHING (out of nothing)

I don’t know exactly where it is that I am: this is what happens when we are in the dark. You cannot tell where the limits of your body are, or where the limit with the outside world is. A vertigo, of becoming space. Are you alive or not? (André Lepecki, In the dark).

In SOMETHING (out of nothing) 9 figures wander around on a stage. They are often no more than silhouettes, shadows, living sculptures: a negative of life. Performers and robots criss-cross one another, barely distinguishable from each other or even the decor; living and dead matter share the same space.

This latest performance by Kris Verdonck / A Two Dogs Company in collaboration with ICK Amsterdam presents the human, the performer, as a ghost in a world that is becoming ever more haunted by technologies, by imminent destruction and fading democracies.

SOMETHING (out of nothing) is made up of two parts, a museal part and a theatrical part. The performance literally runs from the museum into the theatre. The same objects and figures that “are” in the museum during the day are later to be found on stage in the theatre. We go from the white space where the objects reign to the black box, the terrain of the living people; and arrive in a world where the difference between objects and bodies no longer counts, in the realm of “the living object”. A place where everything is marketable; plants, objects, machines, people and animals, the earth, everything becomes equal under a commercial status.

SOMETHING (out of nothing) is a first stage in a long-term study into the common ground between the work of Samuel Beckett and traditional Japanese Noh-theatre.





 

detail
©NASA/JPL/Cornell

DETAIL

The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.
(Samuel Beckett, Murphy)

In the installation DETAIL, a large and massive boulder hangs on the ceiling. It is hanging on a steel cable, on a ball bearing, allowing it to fully turn around its axis. The ball bearing is put in motion by a steel wheel rotated by a motor which takes its energy from solar panels. The whole chain leads to a relatively simple situation: whenever the sun shines, the boulder turns around its axis. Once the sun shines, and therefore the stone starts to revolve, the mechanism is simultaneously unrelenting: the fatalism of a world that has to and will turn. A mobile with sunlight. A surreal image with an undertone of danger and yet fascinating at the same time.

The whole (complicated) technical construction has no other goal than to have the “poetry” of a heavy colossus float and turn around. DETAIL is in this sense a pointless use of knowledge and material which makes it even all the more alienating. The question can also be put forward as to whether many other developments that we call ‘technical progress’ really do help the world. The destructive potential of ever greater, faster, more efficient and automatic algorithms, processors, motors and fire power assert their influence on a daily basis in wars and in the depletion of our planet. Where is technological knowledge taking us and does it make us able to handle the problems of our age for the most part caused by ‘technological progress’? DETAIL is then also a stationary situation: frozen, hanging in the air, turning in circles in a vacuum.








KRIS VERDONCK CONVERSATIONS KVRANCKEN 2017 8703
©Kristof Vrancken

MASS II

MASS II is a poetic, moving landscape. A graphite-grey mass flows slowly as if it was water. The matter appears light and yet heavy at the same time. And, as if tectonic plates are interacting, the spectator sees mountains and valleys created before his eyes, only to dissolve in the next instant. A living landscape, geology in a time-lapse. 

MASS II was a part of Conversations (at the end of the world). The grey landscape is the environment in which the characters find themselves. This environment is so all-qualifying that it could be called the main character. It is an entity that does not tolerate anything next to it. The movement of the landscape controls the rhythm and imagines the approaching catastrophe. The people in this landscape have no other choice but to take this into account and eventually go along with it. A solitary beauty is left with new rules, beyond human ones. Time and language are no more. MASS II is a continuous transition from creation to disappearance and once again to creation, an endless, unpredictable metamorphosis from chaos to order and back.



 


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