Exhibition: from 01.05.2011 until 21.08.2011
Fringe activities:
01.05.11 Opening and live performance of SHELL
02.07.11 Live performance of MASS and nocturne
29.07.11 Film screening Ghost in a Shell by Mamoru Oshii at Zebra Bar 

With EXHIBITION #1, House for Contemporary Art Z33 showed the works of theatre maker and visual artist Kris Verdonck in a major solo exhibition.

Verdonck’s creations are situated in the transit zone between visual arts and theatre, installation and performance, dance and architecture. This, combined with Verdonck’s topical, critical view of our society and world, is what brought him to the attention of Z33.

Verdonck’s installations and performances are designed to reflect on the ‘current state of the world’, with its environmental problems, ecological disasters and wars. He takes different facets of a world that we recognise and translates them, magnifies them or brings them to the surface. The field of tension between man and machine, man and society, and man and nature creates an atmosphere of Unheimlichkeit or alienation in his work.

In EXHIBITION #1, Verdonck focuses on the confusion and alienation of man in his environment, but also on the confusion of the world itself in which the Apocalypse is already upon us. Verdonck gave shape to this latter image in Z33 in a new work: EXOTE. This ‘garden installation’ houses a selection of the most invasive alien species (plants and animals) in Belgium, which constitute a genuine threat to biodiversity, the economy and public health.

EXOTE is part of a larger route of projections and installations that Verdonck created before. Some of these were already shown in his work K, a Society (2010), which revolves around images of a Kafka-esque society: over-perfected and unsettling. Showing the work in a visual arts context, created a different perception of time and space for the viewer.

Along with the installations and projections in Z33, the night projection DUMP was shown as a ‘painting for the city’ in the centre of Hasselt.
The projects exhibited at Z33 during EXHIBITION #1:
(for more information on the individual projects, click on the titles below) 

FRIEZE (2010)
DANCER #3 (2010)
MOUSE (2010)
GOSSIP (2010)
PELLET (2010)
HUMINID (2010)
SYNCOPE (2009)
EXOTE (2011)

Warehouse of Machinery used in performances and installations (2003-2011) of Kris Verdonck
The 'machinery', appliances and objects that are situated behind the scenes of a performance or show, are visualized in this space. The machines often look like medieval instruments (of torture). At the same time, they are often high-technological objects, that fulfil complex functions. They form a large contrast with the extreme esthetical images that they produce.
The overview of machines and earlier performances and installations by Kris Verdonck addresses the field of tension between man and machine in today's society. What relationship can/must/do people want to enter into with technology? How difficult is the balancing act between human control and submission to machines? There are differing degrees in the extent to which we put ourselves at the mercy of machines: from not being able to function without our mobile phones to depending on life and death on a breathing machine.
"The actors, characters brought to life by Kris Verdonck make the transition from man to machine. They are almost cyborgs. But precisely in this is where their tragedy lies. They are hybrids, fully in transition and suffering from the fact that they are neither one nor the other. In earlier installations, Kris Verdonck approached both man that becomes machine and the machine that becomes man. [...] Kris Verdonck's work is characterised by an atmosphere of Unheimlichkeit. The word unheimlich – it was Freud who brought this feeling to our attention – is not easy to translate: strange, incomprehensible, mysterious, frightening, associated with supernatural powers. Literally, un-heim-lich means he who has no home, who belongs nowhere. He who is adrift from the familiar."

Text: Marianne Van Kerkhoven

Concept & direction:
Kris Verdonck
Marianne Van Kerkhoven (Kaaitheater)
Technical coordination:
Clive Mitchell, Hendrik De Smedt & Maarten Ruelens
Project manager Z33:
Evelien Bracke
Production manager ATDC:
Maya Wilsens
Z33 & A Two Dogs Company
With the support of:
Provincie Limburg, the Flemish Authorities, the VGC (Commission of the Flemish Community in Brussels), Klara, Cobra.be, Groep C and Levis
  • 2011
01/05 > 21/08
BE Hasselt Z33
  • EXOTE - © Kristof Vrancken / Z33
  • EXOTE - © Kristof Vrancken / Z33
  • EXOTE - © Kristof Vrancken / Z33
  • Warehouse of Machinery - © Kristof Vrancken / Z33
  • Warehouse of Machinery - © Kristof Vrancken / Z33
  • Warehouse of Machinery - © Kristof Vrancken / Z33
  • PRESYNCOPE - © Kristof Vrancken / Z33